New Neapolitan-inspired pizza restaurant Panzo to open in Exmouth Market this autumn: A new Neapolitan-inspired pizza restaurant concept is set to open in Exmouth Market, London, this autumn. Anna Skigin has partnered with Eccellenze Campane, the agricultural centre in Naples, to create Panzo. The 50-cover restaurant’s decor will have Scandinavian and Italian influences, featuring copper, wood, Italian tiles, marble and leather. Tables and chairs will be an eclectic mix of wood and copper-topped tables, with concrete banquettes scattered with oversized leather cushions. There will also be outside seating areas at the front and rear of the restaurant. The pizza will be individually sized, made with double-cooked lighter dough and topped with seasonal ingredients, a concept inspired by the Neapolitan panuozzo sandwich, which will also feature on the menu. Desserts will include a selection of pastries alongside Italian classics such as tiramisu. A selection of produce brought by Eccellenze Campane will also be available to buy, including Campane olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. All drinks will be served on tap, including a range of proseccos, beer and wine, using eco-friendly kegs. Skigin said: “The inspiration behind the dough came from the panuozzo, a Neapolitan pizza sandwich by Luca Manzi, of the Manzi brothers, considered to be among the best artisan makers of panuozzo in Naples. This is the stage at which the idea for Panzo was born. I noticed that so many pizzas in London focus more on the dough over the ingredients and flavours on top. I wanted to create a pizza that wasn’t so heavy without compromising on flavour, concentrating on the ingredients and produce used. Exmouth Market was the perfect location. I love the local vibe, and it’s a true food-lover’s paradise.”
Veeno gets go-ahead to open ninth site, in Warrington: Italian wine cafe Veeno has been given the go-ahead to open its ninth site, in Warrington, Cheshire. The company, led by Nino Caruso and Andrea Zecchino, has been granted permission by Warrington Borough Council to transform the former home of the Officers Club in the Golden Square Shopping Centre. A planning application had been submitted to alter the change of use of the vacant site from retail to flexible use for retail and a drinking establishment, reports the Warrington Guardian. Application agent JLL said the wine cafe would provide a “relaxed and civilised” environment for visitors. Veeno opened its first venue in Manchester in 2013 and now has sites in Bristol, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham and York. Last year, the company revealed it was planning to expand to 80 sites by 2020.
Ibérica boss – ‘we’ve seen no fall in business since Brexit’, first Scottish site to open this month: Spanish restaurant group Ibérica said it has yet to see any fall in business since the Brexit vote as it prepares to open its first Scottish site this month. The company is investing £1.5m in the new 113-seat venue in St Vincent Street, Glasgow, which is due to open on Friday, 30 September. While managing director Marcos Fernandez Pardo predicted people would eat out less as the impact of the vote dented confidence and the fall in the value of the pound stoked inflation, he expected the company to prosper in the casual dining market because it had an offer that could appeal to people on a range of budgets. Pardo told Herald Scotland that Ibérica had yet to see any fall in business since the Brexit vote in the seven outlets it operates –five in London and one each in Leeds and Manchester. He noted the company opened its first outlet in London’s Marylebone district on the day Lehman Brothers bank crashed in 2008, heralding the start of a deep downturn. Pardo added that Ibérica would increase the use of products sourced from the UK to help offset the impact of the recent fall in the value of the pound, which would push up the price of imports. The company is due to open its second Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square in June next year.
Coyote Ugly set to open first UK site next month, in Cardiff: Coyote Ugly, the Western-themed bar that inspired a Hollywood movie, is set to open its first UK site next month, in Cardiff. The bar, which will have capacity for about 900 people, will be based in former nightclub The Square in St Mary Street. It will be operated by Steve Lewis, who runs two bars – Jack Murphy’s and The Adelphi – in Swansea having signed a franchise agreement in January. The venue, which is due to open on Wednesday, 12 October, will feature a craft beer bar with 24 different types of draught beer and also offer American barbecue food. It will have a VIP section and booths, while a television screen will take up the entire back wall that will screen live sport. There will also be a stage for live music and a bucking bronco, reports the Spirits Business. Coyote Ugly founder Liliana “Lil” Lovell previously said: “We couldn’t be more excited about exporting our version of honky-tonk to the United Kingdom and could not have found a better team with whom to partner as we enter the market. We expect a strong and positive reception in the UK.” Coyote Ugly currently has 21 sites in four countries – the US, Russia, Ukraine and Germany.
Hart brothers reopen Quo Vadis with new bar and restaurant: Sam and Eddie Hart have reopened their Soho restaurant and members’ club Quo Vadis ahead of the venue’s 90th anniversary in November. They have transformed the interior to include a new members’ restaurant on the first floor and merged rooms on the second floor to create a library bar. Later in the year, the brothers’ Michelin-starred tapas bar Barrafina will move into the ground floor of the building when it relocates from its nearby site in Frith Street because of a redevelopment plan. Sam Hart, who took over Quo Vadis with his brother in 2008, said: “We are extremely excited to be ushering Quo Vadis into its nineties with a huge number of thrilling developments. Bringing Barrafina into the building as well as giving the whole building a well-deserved makeover has been nearly two years in the planning.” The Harts operate a third Barrafina site in Drury Lane, Covent Garden, as a sister to the Soho original and its second site in Adelaide Street. Barrafina Soho opened in 2007 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2014.
Wahaca opens Chichester restaurant: Mexican restaurant brand Wahaca has opened a site in Chichester, West Sussex. The company, which was co-founded by 2005 MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby, has opened the restaurant in South Street on the site of a former Cargo store. Wahaca showcases street and graffiti artists’ work in its restaurants, inviting artists from across the world to leave their mark on each site. In Chichester, the 152-cover venue features artwork by Barcelona-based street artist Gola Hundun. A Wahaca spokesperson told the Chichester Observer: “We’ve been watching as the food scene in Chichester continues to go from strength to strength.” The Chichester site is Wahaca’s 24th in the UK – the majority are in London, with other regional sites in Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester. This month the company lodged plans for a restaurant in Nottingham, which would be its first venue in the Midlands. In March, Wahaca announced turnover had passed the £30m mark.
PizzaExpress and Loungers sign up for new £3m leisure quarter in Aberystwyth: Plans to turn a former school in Aberystwyth, west Wales, into a £3m leisure quarter have been given the go-ahead, with PizzaExpress and cafe bar brand Loungers having already signed up for the project. The 14,000 square foot scheme for the grade II-listed Yr Hen Ysgol Gymraeg (old Welsh school) will offer space for up to six different restaurant, leisure and retail operators in units ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet. The scheme, from Arbenigol Property Development Consultants, will form part of a courtyard-style development with a tree-lined walkthrough leading from the train station to Park Avenue, which fronts a new Tesco and Marks & Spencer development. Commercial property agent Cooke & Arkwright has been appointed to let the scheme. Cooke & Arkwright director Huw Thomas told Wales Online: “We’re delighted to have secured terms with PizzaExpress and Loungers and we are now looking to seek interest from other suitable occupiers, with the aim of opening in mid-2017. The new leisure quarter will be about a two-minute walk from the town’s main retailing street, Great Darkgate Street, which puts it in a prominent position for the town’s 19,000 residents, 14,000 resident students, and the many people from the surrounding areas who travel to Aberystwyth as their nearest shopping destination. Our aim is that the development of Yr Hen Ysgol Gymraeg will attract more people into the town centre and to shop locally.”
Starbucks takes Teavana to China: Starbucks has launched its Teavana range as a core offering in more than 6,200 stores across its 16 markets in China and the Asia-Pacific region as part of the company’s plans to increase its global tea business to $3bn during the next five years. China is Starbucks’ fastest-growing market and the chain is opening 500 stores a year, with an aim of 3,400 stores by 2019. The company is looking to China for growth momentum, honing in on China’s $9.5bn tea fixation, almost ten times larger than the country’s coffee market. The Teavana range may also align with Chinese consumers’ growing demand for healthier products. Starbucks acquired Teavana, a line of teas and tea houses, in 2012. American consumers seeking healthier food and drink options have propelled the company’s tea business to grow 12% last year, with best-seller iced tea growing 29%. China’s tea-drinking market is growing at about 6%, roughly the same pace as coffee. For Asia, Starbucks has invented a tea range with bolder and more sophisticated combinations, including black tea with ruby grapefruit and honey and green tea with aloe and prickly pear. John Culver, group president, Starbucks Global Retail, said: “The launch of Starbucks Teavana in China and Asia-Pacific brings an entirely new and modern tea experience specifically developed for our customers, who increasingly want new and different tastes and experiences.”
Belfast-based, US-inspired frozen yogurt concept Spoon Street set to open third site in city: Belfast-based, US-inspired frozen yogurt concept Spoon Street is set to open its third site in the city. The company, owned by Katie Waddell and Harry Wang, is opening the outlet in Lisburn Road in the former Marks & Spencer store. Plans for the new site have been submitted but are understood to be in the early stages of development, reports the Belfast Telegraph. Customers pour their own “froyo” before adding a selection of different flavours and toppings. Waddell previously said: “It’s been great, and a lot better than we had initially thought. There was nothing else like it in Northern Ireland. We are hitting this one with a bang and are going above and beyond. With Spoon Street we wanted to create a fun factor and atmosphere around the product and business.” The company opened its first site in the Ballyhackamore area of Belfast in October 2014, followed by its second in Ann Street in the city centre last year.
Kornicis Group to launch new We Are Bar concept at end of month: Kornicis Group will launch its new We Are Bar concept at the end of this month. The company is converting its Jamies wine bar site in Bishopsgate, London, into the new neighbourhood bar format. Kornicis currently operates 16 sites in London under its Jamies and Smollensky’s brands, along with the Number 25 bar and Brodie’s Bar & Kitchen. In June, the company reported Editda almost doubled in the year ending 27 September 2015 to £934,601, compared with £479,630 the year before.
Chipotle settles nearly 100 lawsuits after food-borne illness outbreaks at US restaurants: Chipotle Mexican Grill has settled nearly 100 lawsuits filed by victims of a series of food-borne illness outbreaks at its US restaurants last year. Bill Marler, of Seattle-based law firm Marler Clark, said Chipotle has settled 96 of 97 complaints he brought on behalf of clients who had fallen ill. The settlements, which have occurred on a case-by-case basis since March, included victims of three E. coli outbreaks – one limited to the Seattle area and two others that sickened 60 people in 14 states – as well as bouts of salmonella in Minnesota and norovirus in Massachusetts and California. The one complaint still pending, involving a young girl sickened by E. coli, had complexities that may take some time to resolve, Marler said. Chipotle communications director Chris Arnold told Nation’s Restaurant News the company chose to settle those claims “simply because we thought it was the right thing to do for those customers”. Chipotle is also facing a federal criminal investigation relating to the outbreaks, as well as civil charges filed by shareholders who allege the company misled investors about the safety of the chain’s food. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the outbreaks officially over in February, and Chipotle has worked hard since then to beef-up food-safety protocols and bring back lost customers with free gifts and discounts that are expected to continue until the end of the year.
Greggs set to open first Northern Ireland standalone store outside Belfast: Greggs is set to open its first Northern Ireland standalone bakery outside Belfast amid its latest expansion drive. The company has submitted plans to open the outlet in Main Street, Bangor, as part of a roll-out of 50 stores across the country, reports the Belfast Telegraph. It has already opened at Applegreen service stations in Northern Ireland as well as Royal Avenue and Boucher Road in Belfast. The company is planning further outlets in the capital – at Duncrue Industrial Estate, the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast, and Castle Lane. It is also proposing to have its Northern Ireland headquarters in Donegall Square in the heart of the city centre. Last year the company revealed it was eyeing 50 locations across Northern Ireland, with about ten in Belfast. Greggs has 1,670 stores across Great Britain.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen opens Exeter city centre restaurant, first Devon site: Gourmet Burger Kitchen has opened its Exeter city centre site, the company’s first restaurant in Devon. The venue is at the new £12m Queen Street dining quarter at the redeveloped Guildhall Shopping Centre. Gourmet Burger Kitchen is the second eatery to open at Queen Street, following Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay, which launched its own debut Devon site last month. Other restaurant brands set to open in the dining quarter include The Stable, the artisan pizza and cider brand in which Fuller’s has a 76% stake, barbecue restaurant Grillstock, and Faucet Inn’s Scandinavian-inspired restaurant and cafe concept Kupp. Gourmet Burger Kitchen was founded in 2001 in Battersea, south London. The Exeter site is the company’s 76th UK restaurant.
CH&Co Group’s specialist City arm Lusso secures £48m of business, retains 100% of clients: Lusso, the specialist City caterer and part of the CH&Co Group, has secured £48.7m of new and retained business during the past 14 months, more than half of it with new clients. The company also enjoyed a 100% client retention rate during the same period. The new deals are worth £23.4m in turnover over the duration of the contracts and include prestigious new contracts such as Grey Advertising London; investment management company Charles Stanley; and law firms Charles Russell Speechlys and Bond Dickinson. A total of £25.3m relates to the retention of existing contracts. Lusso specialises in providing corporate fine dining and hospitality for media, law, accountancy, insurance and banking firms, primarily in London and other major UK cities. Lusso managing director Paul Hurren said: “Although we’re now part of a bigger group, we’re still very much a small company within that business. We thrive on the attention to detail and exacting standards expected of us and we’re really looking forward to working with these new clients, and building on our existing relationships into the future.”
Freehold of award-winning East Sussex restaurant goes on the market for £695,000: The freehold of a restaurant that was a winner of Sussex’s Best Dining Experience in 2012 and 2015, as well as a finalist this year, has gone on the market for £695,000. The Curlew, which is in Bodiam, East Sussex, is being marketed by agent Christie & Co. Once a former coaching inn for those travelling between London and Hastings, the restaurant caters for 64 covers with an open-pass view of the kitchen. The garden seats a further 32 diners and there is parking for about 20 vehicles. James Hughes, of Christie & Co’s Maidstone office, who is handling the sale, said: “The current owners have been running the business for eight years and have built a strong reputation among the local and wider community. The restaurant is fitted and maintained to a very high standard throughout and is in no need of further investment. It really is a beautiful property in a beautiful location. The market in East Sussex is steady and demand is increasing, which can only be a good sign. Because of the attractive price, we expect a lot of interest consistent with the levels of demand within the area. Whoever purchases The Curlew will be taking over a successful and well-run business which has even more potential to grow.”