Soho House committed to £60m Brighton project despite delays: Soho House has said it is still committed to opening a £60m site on Brighton seafront, despite delays to the project. The company had been set to open at Aquarium Terraces in Madeira Drive next spring after being granted planning permission in December. But it is now hoped the first phase of the scheme will open by late summer or autumn 2017. Soho House told The Argus the delay has been down to design modifications with a planning application submitted in recent weeks. It said work would begin in January to convert the lower-tier vacant restaurant into a members’ club, while two new pavilions would be built above to create restaurants and bars, an open air plunge pool and new terraces. Accounts filed with Companies House last week showed Soho House has had an injection of £40m to finance more expansion after a year of increased operating losses. Its parent company SHG made an operating loss of £11.8m in the year to January 31 2016, after including £15.6m of depreciation and amortisation costs, compared with an operating loss of £577,000 in the prior period. The company, which has 60,000 members globally, did make a pre-tax profit of £1.96m, but only thanks to £13.8m that flowed into the business from the sale of a 50% stake in its Pizza East, Dirty Burger and Chicken Shop chain of restaurants to a private investor.
Brew Cafe team to open new all-day dining venture in Kew: The team behind independently owned and operated Brew Cafe will open a new all-day dining venture next month in Kew called Antipodea. The 80-cover restaurant will open in a 1,073 square foot site in The Old Post Office in Station Approach. Agents Restaurant Property advised on the sale of the site, which is close to Kew Station and The Royal Botanic Gardens, with the lease assigned to run until 2019. Antipodea will include favourites from the Brew Cafe menu alongside a selection of wood-fired pizzas, robata grill dishes, daily bakes, and seasonal specials. The group’s new executive chef James Brown has devised an “internationally influenced” menu alongside his partner-in-food at Brew Cafe, Moran Etedegi, who has worked alongside fellow Israeli Yotam Ottolenghi. A takeaway service will offer a selection of Home Brew products with the motto “Made by Brew, Finished By You”, while a retail area will sell produce from the group’s bakery and butchery. As well as wine and cocktail, Antipodea will offer freshly made juices, smoothies and Brew Coffees. Brew Cafe was founded by restaurant entrepreneur Jason Wells, who launched the first site in the UK in 2009 following openings in Melbourne and New York. There are now five Brew Cafe sites in London – at Wimbledon, Clapham, Putney, Wandsworth and Chiswick.
£1.5m Newcastle rooftop restaurant to take Chaophraya brand to the ‘next level’: Thai Leisure Group has said its £1.5m rooftop restaurant, which will open at the new dining area at Newcastle’s Intu Eldon Square complex before Christmas, will take the company’s Chaophraya concept to the “next level”. The opening will create 50 jobs and is thought to involve the highest investment figure for a single site in the city’s restaurant scene. Chaophraya will be in the prime position as one of 20 restaurants opening in the £25m Grey’s Quarter dining area. Thai Leisure Group brand strategy director James Hacon told Chronicle Live: “Our investments into Intu Eldon Square will take our Chaophraya restaurant concept to the next level. Over the past year, we have had a team flying back and forth between the UK and Thailand, with the ambition to make the Newcastle environment a truly inspirational experience for our customers.” Newcastle agency Karol Marketing has been appointed to deliver a launch event and integrated communications campaign for Thai Leisure Group ahead of the opening. Restaurants already open in Grey’s Quarter include Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian, TGI Fridays, fish and chip restaurant George’s Great British Kitchen and Handmade Burger Co. They will be joined by Smashburger, The Restaurant Group-owned Chiquitos, Tapas Revolution, Reds True Barbecue and Casual Dining Group-owned Bella Italia, among others.
StreetDots debuts street food at Oxford Street Christmas lights switch-on: StreetDots, the team behind London’s growing network of street trading pitches, is to bring 20 street food vehicles to the NSPCC Oxford Street Christmas lights switch-on, for the first time in the event’s history, on Sunday (6 November). The inaugural inclusion of street food at the event showed the extent to which Londoners have embraced this style of eating, according to StreetDots co-founder Atholl Milton. He added: “StreetDots traders serve at a different location every day as they move around our network of pitches across London. Now they have a chance to serve the whole city as it comes together for the West End’s biggest family event.” The line-up, which includes Mexican burrito Daddy Donkey and Wheely Good Coffee, will see traders split into four street food hubs dotted along Oxford Street. The vendor mix is designed to appeal to the family-focused nature of the event from risotto balls, gourmet hotdogs, burgers, wood-fired pizza and falafel. The event marks another milestone in StreetDots’ growth. In September, it opened three street food trading pitches – or “dots” – in London’s Bermondsey Square, taking its total UK network to 30. Once traders have registered with StreetDots they can book on to its dots in a few clicks using the StreetDots “Trade Smart” app.
Innis & Gunn founder – principal aim of £1m crowdfunding campaign is to roll-out The Beer Kitchen brand: Dougal Sharp, founder of Scottish brewer and retailer Innis & Gunn, has told Propel the principal aim of its £1m crowdfunding campaign is to roll-out The Beer Kitchen brand. The company, which was founded in 2003, is offering a 2% equity stake in return for the investment on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Innis & Gunn intends to double its turnover to £25m during the next three years and the capital raised through the Adventure Capital campaign will be used to accelerate its immediate growth priorities. Sharp said its main aim was to fund the roll-out of The Beer Kitchen brand, which was launched in Edinburgh in July 2015. It has since opened a second site, in Dundee, while bars will follow in St Andrews next month and then Glasgow, which will house the company’s first micro-brewery, before its first international venue in Toronto, Canada. Sharp said: “We are focused on rolling out The Beer Kitchen in Scotland for the time being. We believe there is plenty of opportunity and it is working fantastically well for us. It is a question of ‘when’ we head south but we need to work out what the right route is for us. We are in ongoing negotiations on a site in downtown Toronto. Canada has long been our biggest market abroad so it makes sense to take The Beer Kitchen there. We will be looking to work with an experienced hospitality partner and, if it is successful, then we will look at other markets.” The company also plans to expand beer production at the Inveralmond Brewery in Perth, Scotland, which it acquired earlier this year and is now to be named the Innis & Gunn Brewery. Production volume is forecast to triple in the next two years to 30,000HL. The company will also install a barrel-ageing hall and new filtration technology that will expand the development, giving it the capacity and capability to “brew some of the beers we’ve not been able to”. Sharp said: “We’ve been brewing since 2003 and we’ve gone on to become one of the biggest craft beer brewers in the UK. Craft beer still only accounts for a fraction of the beer consumed annually. This means we have substantial opportunities for growth. Since we did our mini-bond last year, where we raised £3m, we’ve been having conversations with our investors about another crowdfunding campaign. With Adventure Capital, we are building a community of like-minded, passionate beer lovers who care deeply about quality, innovation, flavour and integrity. We can’t wait to begin the next chapter of our journey with them.” Since its foundation, Innis & Gunn has reported continued year-on-year volume and sales growth, with an annual group turnover of £12.5m in 2015 – a 36% increase since 2012. In 2015, Innis & Gunn sold more than 23 million bottles of beer globally.
BrewDog reveals international plans for 2017: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has revealed its international plans for 2017, which include a hunt for bar sites in the US and its first European brewpub. The company said its Equity for Punks USA fund-raise had attracted more than 3,000 US investors, with three states “leading the charge” – Ohio, California and Texas. The company added it would start a “BrewDog road trip” during 2017 to uncover locations for new US bars, while first test batches from its new brewery at Columbus, Ohio, were scheduled for late January. BrewDog is also looking to take its Collabfest multi-venue craft beer festival across the globe in 2017, uniting its bar in Japan with one of the country’s leading craft brewers, with similar possibilities in Brazil and Sweden. Regarding expansion into Europe, BrewDog said: “Europe is very much where it’s at as far as we are concerned. Still our largest export market, the greatest concentration of our non-UK customers, and the continent with the highest number of international BrewDog bars. And we are heading there in a big way. Our increased capacity, thanks to the expansion of our East brewhouse, means more beer for these thirsty markets, and we are also working on ways to reduce shipping costs imposed on us by courier firms. Plus we are looking at not just more bars, but a new way of having BrewDog beer abroad – our first European BrewDog brewpub. We have a city in mind for this, but we will keep it under wraps for now. 2017 is set to be a huge, colossal, fantastic year for everyone here at BrewDog.”
McDonald’s UK paid Luxembourg arm £123m in franchise rights last year: The British arm of McDonald’s paid £123m for “franchise rights” last year, as part of a structure that is under investigation for enabling unfair tax avoidance. The European Commission launched a probe last year into whether Luxembourg’s tax arrangements for McDonald’s amounted to illegal state aid, as part of a broad crackdown on companies that route money through subsidiaries to cut their global tax bills. Luxembourg-based McD Franchising Europe, which employs 14 people, reported turnover of $1bn and profits of $540.6m last year from royalty payments generated around the region. The European Commission has said it has “virtually not paid any corporate tax in Luxembourg nor in the US on its profits since 2009”. The firm said the royalty payment is “given careful consideration, based on arm’s length principles, and is benchmarked externally against OECD-approved methods. We have a constructive relationship with HMRC and are in discussion with them on this matter. McDonald’s complies with all applicable tax laws including the timely and accurate payment of taxes that are owed in the UK.”
David Muñoz opens long-delayed StreetXo restaurant in Mayfair: Three-Michelin-starred chef David Muñoz has opened his restaurant StreetXo in Mayfair, London, following a series of delays. The new restaurant in Old Burlington Street is Muñoz’s first outside his home country of Spain, where he runs DiverXo and StreetXo restaurants, both in Madrid. London’s StreetXo was originally set to open in June 2014 but has been beset by delays, some connected to construction issues. The StreetXo menu takes inspiration from European, Asian and South American cuisines but Muñoz also told Hot Dinners that most dishes have “either a Mediterranean or East Asian backbone”. Cocktails include Liquid DiverXO (jasmine, coconut vinegar, lime, ginger and violet essence), and The Smoker USA (aged rum, lime juice, cola, cranberry juice, mandarin tea and ginger). The lower ground-floor restaurant features a bar at the front and restaurant at the rear, with all tables facing an open kitchen.
Hammerson reveals £5.7m plans to revitalise The Riverside dining and leisure hub in Reading, Comptoir Libanais to open at complex: Owner Hammerson has revealed £5.7m plans to revitalise its dining and leisure hub, The Riverside, at The Oracle shopping centre in Reading. Central to the regeneration project will be a new 167 square metre fully glass-fronted pavilion that will be home to Comptoir Libanais, the Lebanese canteen specialising in fresh Middle Eastern dishes. The regeneration project will be delivered in two phases. Phase one will deliver the new pavilion and reconfiguration of The Riverside’s terrace steps to create a larger public space that will be ideal for performances, kiosks and pop-ups. The second phase will deliver the second tranche of public realm works. Hammerson head of restaurants and leisure Sarah Fox said: “Welcoming a restaurateur of such calibre as Comptoir Libanais to The Riverside is testament not only to The Oracle’s already well-established dining offer, but also our vision for its regeneration. The Oracle has continued to successfully attract new and exciting brands to Reading. This next stage of development for the centre will help meet the demands of today’s discerning shopper, and by boosting the already vibrant dining and leisure offering it will only serve to entice other international brands.”
The Flour Station to launch permanent site in Camden this week: Bread Holdings, the parent company of Gail’s Bakery and artisan baker The Bread Factory, and which is part-owned by Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners, will open a first permanent site for its sourdough brand The Flour Station this week. The Flour Station began in 2002 in the kitchen of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant before expanding to at least eight markets across London. Now it will open an all-day cafe at Stables Market in Chalk Farm Road, Camden, on Wednesday (2 November) offering its most popular baked goods, including salted chocolate brownies with hazelnuts, and scones filled with tomato, basil, onions, spinach and cheese. The breakfast menu will include sharing platters and a breakfast pudding featuring layers of croissant soaked in vanilla custard and fruit. Chris Honor, best known for cafe concept ChrisKitch, will supply salads for the lunch menu, which will also feature Scandinavian open-faced rye sandwiches, and sticky toffee brioche buns, Hot Dinners reports. The Flour Station will also offer British charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon, Neal’s Yard Cheese and Borough Wines. The dinner menu will feature more sharing platters and beer from Toast Ale, which The Flour Station works with to transform waste bread into beer.
Small Batch chief executive steps down to pursue other interests: Nigel Lambe, chief executive of Brighton and Hove coffee chain Small Batch, which is majority owned by sector investor Luke Johnson, has stepped down to pursue other interests. Lambe has been involved with Small Batch Coffee for six years and took over as chief executive last November. He remains a shareholder – he owns 16% of the company. He told The Argus: “Most of the businesses I have been involved in have been turnaround situations, and I just felt it was the right time to move on.” Lambe said he would be focusing efforts on his two other main business interests – Brighton Gin, where he is executive chairman, and as non-executive director at the Sussex Innovation Centre. He is also involved in a couple of new startups. Small Batch Coffee launched out of an industrial unit in Brighton and Hove ten years ago. It now has eight retail outlets across the city and has just opened a new store in Portland Road, Worthing. The team sources and roasts about 100 tonnes of beans a year from the Goldstone Villas headquarters in Hove and is opening a new roastery in Portslade in 2017, which will also house the Brighton Gin distillery.
Fuller’s on-trade sales director steps down: Fuller’s on-trade sales director Simon Treanor has stepped down – he has taken voluntary redundancy after a review of the Beer Company’s board structure. In a note sent out yesterday, he stated: “I am writing to advise that I have decided to leave Fuller’s by way of voluntary redundancy following a review of the Beer Company Board structure. I have had three and a half very enjoyable years at Fuller’s and I know I am leaving the sales team in some very capable hands.”
Waxy O’Connor’s celebrates 21st anniversary this week: Waxy O’Connor’s, the Irish pub off Leicester Square operated by Glendola Leisure, marks its 21st anniversary this Thursday (3 November). Alex Salussolia, managing director of Glendola Leisure, said: “We had this large site in the West End and this Irish pub idea, and I thought, ‘let’s be part of that! Let’s have the biggest, most impressive Irish pub in the country’. When you’re inside, you’ve got the warmth, the welcome and the music – and that’s all you need.”
New curry concept Dum Biryani House opens in Soho: Dhruv Mittal, a chef who has worked at The Fat Duck, Hibiscus and Sat Bains, has launched curry concept Dum Biryani House in Soho. As the name suggests, the restaurant in Wardour Street focuses on biryani dishes and Telugu cuisine from southern India. Main dishes include lamb shank biryani with Hyderabadi curry, smoked aubergine raita and a seasonal vegetable biryani (currently wild mushroom, chickpea and baby potato), Hot Dinners reports. The drinks list includes lassi and chahch (salted lassi), alongside Indian lagers and a short selection of wines and homemade, spice-infused cocktails.
Marston’s launches radical image change to attract new generation of drinkers: Marston’s has given its beer brands a striking new look in a revolutionary departure from its traditional imagery in a bid to attract a new generation of drinkers. The company is putting the Marston’s story in Burton, the spiritual home of UK brewing, at the heart of the new campaign. In rejuvenating the positioning and identity so fundamentally, Marston’s is investing more than £1m during the next 12 months on a new assertive position that is “100% Burton”. The range, which includes Marston’s Pedigree and the newly created 61 Deep, will boast new packaging, pump clips, point-of-sale materials and younger tone of voice to convey a compelling meaning behind each of the brand’s stories. And a new consumer campaign, “From Burton With Love”, will depict the brand’s proud Burton roots and brewing back-story using local people scouted from the streets, in everyday locations and situations. In addition to a new beer range, Marston’s brewery will develop its new product development pipeline in “DE14”, a new 600-pint innovation brewery inspired by the brewery’s postcode. Marston’s marketing manager Lee Williams said: “The harsh reality is that, as a brewer, we’re not resonating with the next generation of drinkers who are attracted to the authenticity and simplicity of the new beer scene. For them it’s real and it resonates. Talk to anyone working at our brewery in Burton, though, and you realise we’re no different and share the same passion and love for what we do. So you could say this is just about us presenting ourselves in a new and honest way, as only a true Burton brewery can. We need the next generation to consider our beers, perhaps for the first time, and discover they love the taste too – just as generations before have done, and still do.”
Cafe, bar and nightclub concept Bomo opens in Bournemouth: Cafe, bar and nightclub concept Bomo has launched in Bournemouth. The new venue in Lansdowne is set over three floors and includes a cafe bar with terrace that turns into the Bomo Bunker club at night. Bomo Cafe Bar is open daily offering “tasty light bites” alongside cocktails. Bomo Bunker opens until 4am, with the basement playing underground dance music, the main room featuring garage, house and disco, and the first floor “cosy bar” offering funk and soul. Bomo creator Paul Potter told the Daily Echo: “I wanted to bring the cafe culture to Lansdowne with a twist. A place that by day you can relax, and then you can have cocktails and dance when the sun goes down. It is a place of food, music, art and dance, with an array of entertainment.”
Judy Joo starts Jinjuu expansion with Mayfair launch: Jinjuu, the Korean restaurant concept by chef Judy Joo, has started expansion with the opening of a second central London site, this time in Mayfair. The new venue in Albemarle Street continues Joo’s interpretation of Korean street food as offered at her original Jinjuu site in Soho, which launched last year. There are also some new dishes added, including Joo’s hoe dup bab (slices of raw and fresh seafood with Korean dressing); barbecued skewers of Iberico pork or prime rib-eye steak marinated in Korean barbecue-style sauce; and shaved ice bing su (raisins soaked in rum served with gourmet brownie bites and mango). The drinks menu will include Asian beer, wine by the glass and a cocktail menu with a focus on soju, including the Soju Sour (soju, ginseng spirit, honey, lavender and fresh yuja juice), Hot Dinners reports. Joo also operates a Jinjuu site in Hong Kong.
Neville and Giggs to take hospitality brands global: The hospitality company led by former Manchester United stars Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs is to roll-out its Hotel Football and Café Football brands in mainland Europe and Asia. GG Hospitality will first expand Café Football into central Manchester before opening its first overseas restaurant in Singapore in 2017. Hotel Football – opened next to United’s Old Trafford home in 2015 – will launch its second site overseas at a location as yet unknown. Neville recently announced his intention to not consider football coaching appointments and concentrate on his business interests instead. He told The Business Desk: “It was very important for us to prove our brands worked in the UK before considering expansion and, following on from the success of Café Football and Hotel Football Old Trafford, we’re now in a strong position to introduce our brands to a global audience. We have several exciting developments nearing completion in Manchester that we’re looking forward to launching, both later this year and into 2017, but we’ve always said we’re an ambitious team and we’re looking forward to the challenge that launching our Hotel Football and Cafe Football brands in new countries presents.” GG Hospitality is co-owned by Neville, Giggs and Singaporean-based Rowsley. The company is also involved in developing a luxury, 200-bedroom hotel – separate from the Hotel Football brand – in the £200m mixed-use St Michael’s development in Manchester.