Pret A Manger and Caffe Nero to anchor prestigious new Cambridge scheme: Pret A Manger and Caffe Nero are to anchor an upmarket retail offering for the new Station Square development near Cambridge railway station as part of the CB1 master plan. Pret A Manger will be opening a 2,426 square foot shop whilst Caffe Nero will be opening a 2,215 square foot outlet, providing Italian coffee and artisan food. Sven Töpel, chief executive of developer Brookgate, said: “The new retail signings are fantastic news for CB1 and represent the development’s evolution into a thriving city gateway to Cambridge. The calibre of the new occupiers shows our commitment to ensuring that CB1 is characterised by stylish and good quality dining and retail options, to complement the vibrant community that we are creating around Cambridge station.” CB1 is set to provide a significant boost to Cambridge’s economy by attracting world-class and high-growth businesses, residents and visitors to the area. Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the project will deliver a state-of-the-art transport interchange featuring the UK’s largest cycle park with 3,000 spaces, prestigious “grade A” offices, premium residential, retail and hotel space and purpose-built student residence accommodation.


Starbucks recalls 2.8 million metal straws in US: Starbucks in the US has recalled more than 2.8 million metal straws because of the dangers they pose to children – three children were left with cuts in their mouths. They were sold in the US and Canada and on the company’s website from June 2012 to June 2016. A set of three of the straws costs about $6, while beverage cups with straws were sold for between $11 and $30. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers that children should not be allowed to handle or use the stainless steel straws. On its website, it said: “This recall involves reusable stainless steel Cold-to-Go food grade drinking straws in two sizes. The straws were packaged and sold in sets of three and were also sold as a component of two sizes of stainless steel beverage cups: Grande 16-ounce cups and Venti 24-ounce cups. The straws feature a ridge at the bottom that keeps the straw attached to the lid. The Grande straws measure approximately 9.5 inches and the Venti straws measure approximately 10.4 inches.”




MeatLiquor brings brunch menu to London following Bristol launch: MeatLiquor is bringing its brunch menu to London following the launch at its Bristol site. The first site in the capital to offer the new menu will be MeatLiquor N1 in Islington, which will be doing so from 10am on Saturday (6 August). The menu includes some of the brand’s old-school classics that have been mixed with some new additions. These include the breakfast burger, which is also available as a vegetarian option, British and American brunch dishes, and pancakes with maple syrup, fresh fruit and whipped cream. The brunch menu will be available at MeatLiquor N1 on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 1pm.




Sim Trava launches search for ten apprentices as part of Sim Trava Academy: Sim Trava, the company that operates 25 Costa Coffee franchised stores across the north as well as two fast-food Pita Pit outlets, is launching a new apprenticeship programme through its new learning and development arm – the Sim Trava Academy. The £10.1m business, headed by husband and wife team Simon and Tracy Vardy, has invested heavily in the academy having appointed a full-time academy manager, as well as acquiring an additional 1,500 square foot of office space at its headquarters in Altrincham. A spokesman said: “It’s also great to be offering local young people an alternative to the traditional university route, which isn’t for everyone. Paving out a career path for those who learn better by doing, we’re looking forward to the coming weeks and getting to meet fresh new faces in the local area. We’re on the look-out for the next generation of Sim Trava baristas and store managers to start with our fast-growing business in September.” Sim Trava is offering each of the ten apprentices a competitive wage, four weeks’ paid holiday, as well as full-time contracts and individual learning and development plans.


Beannchor Group to open Northern Ireland’s first ski-themed bar as part of new £4m Belfast hotel: Northern Ireland hospitality company Beannchor Group has revealed it will open the country’s first ski-themed bar as part of its new £4m Belfast hotel. The company is set to open the 43-bedroom Bullitt Hotel on the corner of Ann Street and Victoria Street in October. It will also include The Baltic – a ski-themed bar that will feature four sets of 1980s skis and boots on the wall and be a centre for evening music and entertainment. Director Conall Wolsey told the Press Association: “Our vision for Bullitt is to create a new and exciting hospitality concept. The hotel will offer so much more than just a bed for the night, it will also be a place where people can work, relax and socialise.” Beannchor Group also owns the National Grande Cafe/sixty6, The Dirty Onion, Little Wing Pizzeria and more than 40 pubs across Northern Ireland.


JSM Bar & Leisure opens Beatles-themed venue in Liverpool: Liverpool-based independent operator JSM Bar & Leisure has opened a Beatles-themed bar and grill concept in the city. The company has launched Sgt Peppers in Mathew Street, on the same side of the famous road as The Cavern. The ground floor is predominantly a bar and grill with live music played everyday, with a strong Beatles theme. Meanwhile on the first, second and third floor will be a Beatles themed-museum, featuring new exhibits and rare memorabilia, which will open at a later date. JSM head of communications Gary Bond told the Liverpool Echo: “We have been working very closely with several experts including Rogue Best, Pete Best’s brother. This has led to us sourcing some amazing pieces such as gifts the band received from Elvis Presley as well as some very rare items such as a pair of John Lennon’s glasses. More information including the title of the museum will be released very soon.”


Patisserie Valerie extends Debenhams partnership with Chelmsford concession opening: Patisserie Valerie, the company that has sector investor Luke Johnson as executive chairman, has extended its Debenhams partnership by opening a concession in Chelmsford, Essex. The company has opened a cafe at the department store in High Street, creating 15 jobs. It offers the brand’s patisserie and cake range, which are hand-made on-site. Paul May, chief executive of parent company Patisserie Holdings, said: “We’re excited to open our first store in Chelmsford, and to continue to expand the brand around the south east of England as well as our partnership with Debenhams. We hope the town enjoys the new store and our tasty cake range.” Patisserie Valerie, launched in 1926 in Soho, London, by Belgian-born Madame Valerie, has more than 115 sites throughout the UK.


Global Brands’ Franklin & Sons drinks range scoops six stars at Great Taste Awards: Drinks distributor Global Brands’ Franklin & Sons botanically crafted tonics and mixers range has scooped six stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards. The brewed ginger beer with malted barley and a squeezer of lemon was awarded two stars while the British dandelion and handpicked burdock with star anise, original ginger ale, Indian tonic water, and Sicilian lemon tonic each received one star. Justin Horsman, Franklin & Sons brand controller, said: “Winning these prestigious awards not only cements our credibility for creating only the most premium soft drinks, tonics and mixers, but also reflects the hard work and time invested into the Franklin & Sons range.” The Great Taste Awards, delivered by the Guild of Fine Foods, is the largest awards scheme for the speciality fine food and drinks industry. More than 10,000 products are entered each year, which are blind tasted and rated on taste, texture and aroma.


North Wales-based operators secure second site for Fat Boar bar and restaurant concept, in Wrexham: North Wales-based operators Don Bircham, Barry Horne and Rich Watkin have secured the second site for their Fat Boar bar and restaurant concept, in Wrexham. The trio, who launched the concept in Mold last year, are set to open the Fat Boar Wrecsam on the site of the old Black Horse pub in Yorke Street, creating up to 35 jobs. They plan to invest £750,000 in the 80-cover restaurant, which will have additional seating outside along with an open kitchen and specialist cocktail area. The upstairs will have a double floor glassed area and balcony space, which will look over to the Eagles Meadow suspension bridge. Watkin told “We are looking to bring something to town that might not exist already. To get what we will offer you might have to go to Chester, Liverpool or even Manchester. Fat Boar Wrecsam will be 25% to 30% bigger than Mold. No other location in Wrexham would have suited us more than this pub.”


Be At One to open site in Nottingham next month: Cocktail bar brand Be At One will open a site in Nottingham next month. The company is transforming the former Nirvana bar in Victoria Street, which closed earlier this year, creating 16 jobs. It will be the company’s 33rd site and is due to open on Friday, 16 September. Be At One, which was founded by Steve Locke, Leigh Miller and Rhys Oldfield in London in 1998, offers a range of more than 150 cocktails. It aims to ensure customers are met with eye contact by a bartender within five seconds, drinks are made in one minute, and change for payment is given in 30 seconds. Locke said: “I’m really looking forward to opening the bar – it’s going to be absolutely phenomenal. Nottingham is a great city and the Hockley area in particular is really buzzing, although there’s nothing like Be At One there at the moment. We take our drinks seriously and are consistently refining our menu and testing the drinks to keep improving them. We also pride ourselves on offering great customer service. Our new bartenders are all local talent and they undergo nine weeks of training, which costs £5,000 each. This training means that all our guests will be acknowledged within five seconds of reaching the bar. To my knowledge no-one else invests so much in training their bartenders.”


Revolution to open tenth Revolucion de Cuba in October, in Harrogate: Revolution Bars Group will open its tenth Revolucion de Cuba in October, in Harrogate. The company is investing £1m on the venue in Parliament Street, which is opening on the site of the former Rehab nightclub, creating 60 jobs. As well as live music events, cocktail masterclasses and Cuban dining, the venue will offer special events, networking events and private parties. General manager Will Kershaw told The Business Desk: “Harrogate is widely recognised as a vibrant and cosmopolitan town and this is reflected in its growing ability to attract considerable investment as it evolves. With so many new developments, including the imminent launch of a new cinema, we felt this was the perfect time to bring something a little bit different to the town. We are really excited to be launching our tenth Revolucion de Cuba venue in Harrogate and to be investing significantly in the local economy by creating jobs and developing a prominent site in the heart of the town.” The company also operates 52 sites under its Revolution brand.


New vegetarian and vegan restaurant specialising in authentic Indian dishes opens in Liverpool: A new vegetarian and vegan restaurant specialising in authentic Indian dishes has opened in Liverpool. Jay Shokla has launched Sanskruti, on the corner of Ormond Street and Bixteth Street. It serves a mixture of Gujarati, Punjabi and South Indian styles of food in a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes. These include street food favourites Sev Puri, and Bhel, featuring crispy Bombay mix served with tender potatoes, onions, puffed rice and sev mixed with an assortment of chutneys. Shokla told the Liverpool Echo: “In India there is so much great vegetarian and vegan food, and we found that wasn’t always being reflected over here. I used to work in banking and my wife worked in a hospital, but we really wanted to be able to offer the food and hospitality that authentic Indian restaurants do so well. Quality is key – we knew we wanted to make everything ourselves, from the paneer to grinding the spices. We had to import our own spices from India. By importing them ourselves and grinding them here we can ensure that authentic taste.”


New South American restaurant concept opens in Hessle: A new South American restaurant concept has opened in Hessle, East Yorkshire. Denny Cooper has launched Cascara South American Grill, in Prestongate, creating up to 20 jobs. It is mainly food-led, serving both a lunch and evening menu, including steak, chicken and fish dishes. There is also a bar area where customers can enjoy a range of wines, cocktails, and spirits as well as South American beers. Cooper told the Hull Daily Mail: “I was working with quite a few South America friends in Ibiza and they introduced me to the food and I wanted to bring it here.”