Dame Kelly Holmes starts expansion of active cafe concept: Double Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes has started expansion of her Café 1809 Active concept by opening a second site in Kent. The venue has opened at the outdoor multi-sports centre in Wrotham Road, Gravesend. Holmes, who launched Café 1809 in her home village Hildenborough, near Tonbridge, in 2015 said the concept involved a healthy menu featuring Kent produce, alongside activities such as yoga classes. A spokesman for Holmes told Kent Online: “Café 1809 Active is the first lifestyle cafe in the area and is set to become a social hub for local people who want to be part of a like-minded, active community and feel good about themselves. There is a strong emphasis on having an active lifestyle to enjoy a healthy mind and body. Kelly hopes to take the concept further with her new Active brand, getting more people to enjoy social interaction as part of their healthy, active lifestyle.”
New Indian restaurant concept Darjeeling Express to launch in Carnaby this month: New Indian restaurant concept Darjeeling Express is to launch in Carnaby in the West End this month. The venue will open on the second floor of Kingly Court, alongside Dirty Bones and Le Bab, on Tuesday, 27 June. Darjeeling Express is the brainchild of self-taught cook Asma Khan and is her first permanent restaurant. She will serve authentic food in large sharing platters replicating the “dawaat” or feast tradition. The open kitchen at the 1,206 square foot restaurant will offer diners a chance to see a unique kitchen, run by housewives. Most of the women began as part-time assistants when Khan started her foundation four years ago. Communal tables will feature in the centre of the restaurant, enhancing the family dining feel. Khan said: “To be surrounded by other independent restaurants is the perfect setting for Darjeeling Express. Located in the heart of the West End alongside such diverse cuisines is the perfect environment to introduce Londoners to authentic Indian home cooking.”
Seafood specialists The Oystermen to open permanent site in Covent Garden next month: The Oystermen Seafood Bar and Kitchen, which recently finished an extended ten-month residency in South Kensington’s The Sampler, is to open a permanent home in Covent Garden next month. The 26-cover restaurant and oyster bar will open in Henrietta Street on Monday, 3 July highlighting British seafood alongside wine and champagne. Oysters can be buffalo-barbecued, Cajun-battered or freshly shucked. The venue will also offer mussels, south coast crab, shellfish platters, daily fresh fish specials and home-cured, smoked and pickled fish. The wine list has been created to complement the seafood alongside The Oystermen’s oyster stout, brewed in collaboration with Canopy Beer Co, and craft ale. The venue will also operate a “bubbles and oysters” happy hour. The Oystermen concept was launched in 2014 by Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton. Lovell said: “Since its inception, The Oystermen has always been committed to finding a permanent home from which to bring our friendly and fresh seafood concept to the wider London audience. We are incredibly excited to be making that home Covent Garden, the heart of the West End and an increasingly vibrant foodie location.”
Freehold of Kent village pub featured in Michelin Guide goes on market with guide price of £650,000: The freehold of the Wheelwrights Arms in the village of Matfield in Kent has been put up for sale with a guide price of £650,000. Believed to date from the early 1600s, the pub, which is being marketed through agents Fleurets, has been run by Rob and Gem Marshall since May 2011. Since 2015, it has been listed in the Michelin Guide to Eating in Pubs. Simon Bland, of Fleurets, said: “The Wheelwrights Arms is located in a really lovely village setting, within an area of outstanding natural beauty. Situated next to reputedly the largest village green in Kent, on which cricket is played throughout the summer, the pub has been at the heart of the community for centuries and has an enviable reputation for good food and ale. In my opinion it is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a freehouse in a really great location.”
Deliveroo partners with Pride in London: On-demand delivery service Deliveroo has been announced as the official catering partner of next month’s Pride in London event. Deliveroo will work with MeatLiquor and JKS Restaurants’ gourmet hotdog and champagne concept Bubbledogs, with both brands setting up in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, 8 July offering one-off dishes inspired by the “atmosphere and energy of Pride”. Deliveroo will also keep the hundreds of backstage volunteers and workers fed and watered during the weekend-long event and take part in the Pride in London parade, with riders and office staff “flying the flag for equality”. Dan Warne, from Deliveroo, said: “Pride is such a fantastic event to be part of and sums up the spirit and energy of Londoners. We’re a London startup ourselves and always look forward to the parade as an annual event so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to get involved.” Polly Shute, Pride in London’s development and partnerships director, added: “We’re delighted to have the support of Deliveroo for this year’s Pride in London and salute its commitment to the equality cause. We’re looking forward to seeing them in action in the parade.”
Turtle Bay secures Winchester site in off-market deal: Turtle Bay, represented by agent Savills, has secured an off-market deal for a new restaurant at Sunley House, Winchester. The Caribbean restaurant chain has agreed a new 20-year lease for the ground floor and basement of the property, which is owned by Lewis Innovative Investments. The letting involves a proposed extension at ground-floor level, which would see the total space occupied increase to 4,200 square foot (390 square metres). Adam Bullas, licensed leisure director at Savills, said: “We are pleased to have supported Turtle Bay’s ongoing expansion in the UK with this new restaurant, particularly as competition for optimum trading space in Winchester is so strong. With prominent return frontage on the corner of Jewry Street and St George’s Street, Sunley House is ideally located to benefit from a high level of footfall.” Cokayne-Frifth represented the landlord.
Former JD Wetherspoon pub in Norwich set to become boutique bowling alley and restaurant: Plans have been submitted to convert a former JD Wetherspoon pub in Norwich into a boutique bowling alley and restaurant. Fledgling company Bowling House has submitted plans to convert the venue in Dereham Road. The alley would feature five lanes as a more “intimate experience”, alongside a bar serving wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. It would also feature a courtyard beer garden opening from 9am to midnight daily and until 2am on Saturdays. Bowling House director Jack Thompson told the Eastern Daily Press: “The set up would be more adult-orientated and less family-driven as per the multi-lane operations currently in and around Norwich. We think the venue would work well for groups, parties and couples. The food offer would be set up for sharing using fresh, local ingredients taking inspiration from classic modern dishes. Other cities have had boutique lanes for many years and there is clearly a market for it in Norwich.” The venue was last occupied by all-you-can-eat Asian buffet Merge, which closed in November. Originally the Regal cinema, the building housed a bingo hall and casino before becoming derelict. JD Wetherspoon took over the venue and opened it as the City Gates in 1999.
Vegetarian self-service concept Tibits to launch second London site this month, in Bankside: Vegetarian self-service concept Tibits is to open its second site in London at the end of this month, in Bankside. The 120-cover restaurant is due to open in Southwark Street close to the Tate Modern gallery on Thursday, 29 June offering dishes such as spring leek and carrot stew, Creole jambalaya, marinated silken tofu, and curry and coconut udon. It will also offer a takeaway service and feature an open kitchen, bar, garden room and private dining space. Tibits, which was founded in Switzerland in 1999 by brothers Christian, Daniel and Reto Frei and operates nine restaurants in the country, made its London debut in Heddon Street in 2008. The company has said it is looking to open one or two restaurants a year in Europe.
Deliveroo and Diageo trial startup that gives students free printing for watching ads: Deliveroo and Diageo are trialling a startup that gives students free printing for watching advertisements. A new startup, Printt, has developed an app and printer system that provides free printing services for university students in exchange for them watching ads. Students can either watch an in-app video ad while they’re waiting for their job to print or have small banner ads printed on the bottom of every page. Diageo funded more than 59,000 pages and had a click-through rate of 8.6%, while Deliveroo sponsored 122,736 branded pages and received a 4% click-through rate. “We worked with Printt to extend the reach for the recent ‘Stay yourself’ responsible drinking campaign for Diageo, which was targeting students,” Chris Arnold, creative partner of Creative Orchestra, told Campaign. “The results were better than digital and more accountable. It’s probably one of the most interesting new media channels for brands to reach the student population. A simple idea that blends the benefits of old and new techniques.” Printt head of marketing Val Alsop added: “We’re starting out in the student space but we can see this going anywhere you see a printer. Hotels, cafes and serviced offices – wherever a printer is, Printt could run.”
EasyCoffee to open first Sussex site, in Hastings: Budget airline EasyJet is to open the first site in Sussex for its EasyCoffee low-cost coffee concept, in Hastings. The company will open the venue in York Buildings, off Wellington Place, on Friday (9 June). EasyCoffee launched in the UK last year and is now expanding across the UK after receiving “huge interest” from franchise investors. The company said it plans to rival Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee and Starbucks by selling a cup of coffee for only £1. EasyCoffee chief executive Nathan Lowry told the Hastings & St Leonards Observer: “EasyCoffee has been popping up all over London – with shops, pop-ups and vending machines in Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Oxford Street and Earls Court – and in Southend, and we are finally heading to Hastings. We are delighted to have such a fantastic site and cannot wait to be part of the high street.”
The Ivy Collection opens City Garden site: Richard Caring-backed group The Ivy Collection has launched The Ivy City Garden in Bishopsgate. The central London venue has opened in Dashwood House at a site previously occupied by Des McDonald’s Vintage Salt restaurant. It features an onyx bar, pendant lighting, marble floor tiles, leather banquettes and midnight-blue bar stools. There is also a private dining room seating up to 30 guests. The garden, with capacity for 32 diners, features three fireplaces, a summer water fountain that turns into a fire pit during the winter months, and its own bar. As well as traditional Ivy Collection favourites, the menu features an exclusive truffle beef wellington sharing platter for four served with foie gras sauce, dauphinoise potatoes and green salad. Ivy City Garden also offers a new cocktail menu, including the Dashwood Blossom made from Beefeater gin, fresh grape, mint, nettle cordial and aloe vera juice. The company continued regional expansion of its Ivy brasserie concept by opening sites in Cobham, Surrey, and Marlow, Buckinghamshire, last week and earlier this week signed a 25-year lease to open its first site in Scotland, in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square.
Two Michelin-starred restaurant The Raby Hunt reopens following £400,000 investment: Two Michelin-starred restaurant The Raby Hunt, near Darlington, County Durham, has reopened following a £400,000 investment. Chef and owner James Close shut the venue at the beginning of May for a major makeover, including extending and redeveloping the kitchen, building a new entrance and installing glass walls so diners can watch the chefs at work. Close told Chronicle Live: “This is the first time The Raby Hunt has been closed since taking it on seven years ago. Having gained a second Michelin star last autumn, the time was right to invest and put The Raby Hunt on not just the UK’s good food map but the world’s. I am especially excited by the new research kitchen. It will allow us to develop better techniques, continue to challenge prevailing kitchen practices and gain additional knowledge that can be transferred to the menu and create more of a food journey for guests.”
North west-based multi-site operator Ma Kelly’s secures sixth site: North west-based multi-site operator Ma Kelly’s has secured its sixth site. The company has bought the Uncle Tom’s Cabin pub in Queen’s Promenade, Blackpool, which had been on the market for £750,000. It will be turned into Ma Kelly’s Showboat featuring a sports bar following a £500,000 refit and is due to reopen on Thursday, 3 August. Ma Kelly’s director Michael Sugden told the Blackpool Gazette: “It will be completely ripped out and we will start again and make it into a showbar with a cabaret floor show. The family room at the back will be a sports bar and there will be a new beer garden at the front. One of our other recent new venues, the New Albert Sports Bar, has proved a real success, which is why we are going to put a sports bar into Uncle Tom’s. It will have big screens and snooker tables.”
BrewDog launches chilled supply chain process: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has launched a new chilled supply chain process. The company has worked with warehousing specialists in Glasgow to install refrigerated storage, and all its beer sold within the UK will be stored below eight degrees until it is shipped out for UK trade customers. The brewery will also store all its guest beers for 30 UK BrewDog bars in the same cool climes. Co-founder James Watt said: “Beer kept cold keeps its flavour and quality for longer, and that is a fundamental requirement for us. We live and die by the quality of our beer and our commitment to this chilled process will ensure we never let our beer drop below eight degrees.” BrewDog, launched in 2007, now operates 50 bars around the world and will open its sister brewery in Columbus, Ohio, this year. Its UK sales grew by 97% in 2016, with 65 million bottles of craft beer shipped worldwide, while turnover was up 61% to £72m last year.
Domino’s to stream classic Ferris Bueller film in the US this Sunday: Domino’s Pizza in the US is to stream cult comedy movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off this Sunday (11 June). It is the 31st anniversary of the film’s release and Domino’s is celebrating by inviting everyone in the US to a nationwide movie night. In partnership with Epix – and with help from agency CP+B – the pizza chain will stream the movie on Facebook via the Domino’s page while offering discounts on menu items if viewers invite their friends to participate in the event. The more people who join, the greater the potential discount. Domino’s president Russell Weiner said: “Fans of the movie can interact live with each other and even order and enjoy a pizza, all from the comfort of their favorite screen.” Earlier this year, the pizza chain recreated Matthew Broderick’s famous film in a fun promotion for its pizza-tracking watch app.
Staffordshire-based hybrid pub and off-licence Ten Green Bottles starts expansion with second site: Hybrid pub and off-licence Ten Green Bottles has started expansion by opening its second site, in Stone, Staffordshire. The concept, which launched in nearby Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2015, has opened the venue in High Street in the former Pets At Stone shop. The site stocks more than 60 varieties of bottled beer for people to take away, as well as offering seating for customers to enjoy a beer in the venue. It also serves wine by the bottle or glass and artisan gin, as well as coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Assistant manager Tom Barnes told the Staffordshire Newsletter: “People are looking for something different. We’ve got local beers as well and the gins come from all over the world. The beers will change regularly – we have nine different ones on draught.”
Beds and Bars reopens St Christopher’s Inn in Borough High Street: Pan-European hostel and bar company Beds and Bars, led by chief executive Keith Knowles, has reopened its St Christopher’s Inn in Borough High Street. The pub had been closed since the terrorist attack in the London Bridge area on Saturday (4 June). The company invited people in the industry to gather at the venue last night (Wednesday, 7 June) to celebrate Knowles’ 40th year and Beds and Bars managing director Murray Roberts’ 20th year in the business. Last month was a busy one for Beds and Bars as it partnered with an unnamed, recently developed real estate investment fund to enable the company to expand into new territories such as Dublin, Madrid, Vienna and Lisbon as well as allowing it to grow its existing hubs in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. The company also launched a no deposit booking engine for St Christopher’s Inns, which operates 21 hostels across Europe in 13 locations.
Porro trio leave group to launch their own Cardiff restaurant: Three of the founders of Cardiff restaurants Porro and the Potted Pig have parted with the group to set up their own restaurant. Cerys and Tom Furlong and Gwyn Myring, who already own and run The Lansdowne and The Grange pubs in the city, have taken over the site of the Italian restaurant Cibo in Pontcanna Street, which closed at the weekend. The new restaurant, called Milkwood, has a planned opening for mid-July. The menu will be small and focused with only four or five starters and main courses. Tom Furlong told Wales Online the trio’s departure from the Porro group was amicable, adding they were grateful to multi-millionaire majority shareholder Jahan Abedi. The Potted Pig opened in 2011 inside a former bank vault in Cardiff’s High Street. Four years later, the group opened Porro in Llandaff followed by another in Roath in 2016.
Dalata to sell and lease back Cardiff hotel for £22.1m: Dalata Hotel Group has agreed the sale and leaseback of its Clayton Hotel in Cardiff to M&G Real Estate, one of the world’s largest property investors. Consideration for the transaction is £22.1m and is expected to be complete by mid-June. The hotel will be let on a new FRI (fully repairing and insuring) lease for a 35-year term. The agreed initial rent for the property is £1.15m per annum and will be subject to five yearly rent reviews, index-linked to the Retail Price Index. Dalata will retain the fixtures and fittings within the hotel to the value of £2.1m and also the benefit of a restaurant sub-lease to Viva Brazil Cardiff on the ground floor of the building on a 20-year lease, expiring in 2032. The Clayton Hotel Cardiff is a four- star hotel in St Mary Street in Cardiff city centre, a short walk from Cardiff Central train station and the Principality (formerly Millennium) Stadium. The hotel contains 216 air-conditioned bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, a fitness suite, and extensive meeting room facilities. In 2016, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff generated Ebitdar of £2.3m. The consideration is payable in cash and the proceeds of the transaction will be used to reduce net debt arising from recent acquisitions. Dermot Crowley, Dalata deputy chief executive business development and finance, said: “The sale and leaseback of Clayton Cardiff is consistent with our stated strategy of growing our UK portfolio primarily through operating leases. We are delighted to be engaged with such a prestigious investment partner as M&G Real Estate, which values our balance sheet and operating covenant appropriately. The hotel continues to perform strongly and this reaffirms our commitment to developing our hotel business within the UK.” Matthew Stone, head of long income at M&G Real Estate, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this bespoke transaction with Dalata, which reflects our strategy of working with occupiers to set the lowest possible rent in return for a long lease commitment. Dalata will therefore benefit from a long-term sustainable occupancy cost and M&G’s investors will benefit from a long-term predicable and stable cashflow.”