Grillstock goes into administration: American-style barbecue restaurant Grillstock has gone into administration. Administrators Gareth Roberts and Paul Ellison, of KRE Corporate Recovery, are looking to sell the business and its assets as a going concern. Grillstock has been trading for seven years and has restaurants in Bristol, Bath, Leicester and Walthamstow in east London, plus a market stall in Bristol. All the restaurants remain open and there have so far been no redundancies, according to reports. The administrators said they were looking to complete a sale in the next two to three weeks. Last month, co-founders Jonathan Finch and Ben Merrington stepped down from the business as directors while Turtle Bay founder Ajith Jaya-Wickrema also resigned as a director.
Warrens Bakery targets 1,000 stores in next ten years, Greggs bids for first Cornish site: Cornwall-based baker Warrens Bakery has targeted a total of 1,000 shops in the next ten years. Mark Sullivan, chief executive of owner Provenance Brands, said openings would focus on the “Great British Bake Off end of the market” rather than taking on rival baker Greggs head to head. Sullivan said Cornwall’s oldest pasty company had become “lacklustre” until Provenance Brands acquired it a few years ago. Now the company is seeking franchisees as part of expansion throughout the UK. He told Devon Live: “We’re the leading craft baker in the UK. We want to have 250 stores open over the next five years and go up to 1,000 in the five years after that. We want to get the whole Bake Off population interested in craft bakery as we’re not just about pasties but also about craft bread and cakes.” This month, Warrens Bakery will open its most northerly store, in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, after partnering with Costa Coffee franchisee Sim Trava. Warrens, which opened its first store in St Just in 1860, currently operates more than 50 stores. Meanwhile, Greggs has confirmed it is looking to open its first site in Cornwall, home of the pasty, by 2019. A spokesman said: “There is strong demand for the Greggs offer and we look forward to being able to make this available to customers in Cornwall.”
Electric Star to start expanding to other parts of London as it looks to double estate: The founder of east London-based pub company Electric Star has told Propel he plans to start expanding to other parts of the capital as he looks to double the size of the estate. Rob Star has opened his fifth site, and largest to date – the Heathcote and Star – in Leytonstone. Now he is looking at further expansion with two sites earmarked for addition to the portfolio in 2018. Star said: “We are looking for sites and have one in the pipeline at the moment. That will be our first in 2018 and we’re looking to do a second one next year as well. At the moment we can self-fund one site per year so we may look to some bank funding to help us. I’m looking to grow to ten to 12 sites over the next five years. So far we’ve been in the north east London corner and I would be keen to go to south east London. We don’t want to spread too thinly as having the pubs so close geographically allows us to share staff between our pubs as well as making it easier to manage on the operational side.” The Heathcote and Star features a games room with pool and table tennis tables. As with its other sites, street food brand We Serve Humans is creating dishes for the venue, while the outdoor terrace features an open fire pit. Star plans to add bedrooms to the site next year once he has got the pub “bedded in” and said it could become an important revenue stream for the company. He added: “Rents have been steadily increasing in the past three years so you need to maximise your assets as best as you can and rooms is certainly one way we can do that.” Having opened The Star of Bethnal Green in 2008, the company has since added The Star of Kings in Islington, The Star by Hackney Downs, The Jackdaw and Star in Homerton, and the Leyton Star in Leyton to its portfolio.
Whitbread to trial new hotel style as it doubles number of rooms at Cardiff Premier Inn site by cutting them in half: Whitbread is to double the number of rooms at a Premier Inn site in Cardiff – by halving them in size. The company plans to split bedrooms in two with the “prototype” plans piloted in Roath, Cardiff, transforming the 70-bedroom hotel into 140 rooms. An application to the city council revealed rooms would be created on both sides of a corridor – some internally facing with no windows. A spokesman told The Sun: “Many Premier Inn guests are in transit or spend little time in their bedrooms. Roath has been selected as a prototype for this new style.” The changes are being made by dividing the internal space differently and reducing room width. While the relaxing area in rooms will be cut, the hotel’s restaurant and bar space will increase. The application, which has been approved, states: “Some rooms will have limited windows and the scheme introduces an inner skin to the front elevation wall so external alterations are avoided.” Whitbread plans to grow its Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn estate to 85,000 bedrooms in the UK and Ireland by 2020, up from about 70,000 currently.
Castle Rock Brewery to open first micro-pub and wine cellar for 25th site: Castle Rock Brewery, the Nottingham-based brewer and pub company, is to open its first micro-pub and wine cellar for its 25th site. The company will open the venue in Carrington Street and retain the name of the sweet shop that graced its location – The Barley Twist. Opening on Tuesday, 12 December, the site will specialise in keg and craft beer, real ale, bottled British beer and an extensive wine list. With no food operation, there will be space for an off-licence, beer and brewing memorabilia, and the sale of Castle Rock merchandise. The Barley Twist has been leased by The Beer Consortium, an Enterprise Investment Scheme run under the chairmanship of Geoff Newton. Other pubs in this group include The Embankment at Trent Bridge and The Fox & Grapes in the city’s Sneinton Market, which are operated and managed by Castle Rock Brewery. The Barley Twist will include a wine cellar bar and new frontage paying homage to the building’s legacy. The property is part of the Portland Hotel, itself undergoing improvement works. Newton said: “Interestingly, although the hotel was a temperance house it was built by the Hicking family who were wine merchants by trade. There will be no place for temperance now, we intend to create a city centre micro-pub that welcomes everyone.” The venue will be managed by Yvette Marshall, who has spent the past 11 years in charge of the nearby Canalhouse. The first customers will be Sue and Alan Fielding, Arnold Market traders and former proprietors of The Barley Twist sweet shop.
Plant-based brand By Chloe to open Covent Garden site in January for first venue outside US: Plant-based brand By Chloe, which operates seven sites in the US, is to open its first site outside America, in Covent Garden in January. The fast casual brand will open the restaurant in Russell Street seating 70 diners and offering a takeaway service. By Chloe has partnered with TGP International to bring the brand to the UK, Europe and the Middle East, with two further sites in the pipeline and partners being sought for expansion across all regions. The entirely vegan menu will include quinoa taco salad, matcha kelp noodles, and vegan mac and cheese, alongside dairy-free ice cream, baked goods, sandwiches, salads and soup. The brand launched in New York City in 2015 and has grown to four locations in New York, one in Los Angeles and two in Boston, as well as a standalone bakery, Sweets By Chloe. There are further US openings planned this year in New York and New England. TGP International managing director Simon Wright said: “With the brand being so established in New York, we saw London as the perfect market for its expansion.” By Chloe is an operating partner of New York-based group ESquared Hospitality, which co-founded the concept with chef Chloe Coscarelli.
Goodman Restaurants to open third Zelman Meats venue this week at former Burger & Lobster site in St Paul’s: Goodman Restaurants is to open a third London site for its Zelman Meats concept, this time in the City. The concept, which focuses on steak and slow-cooked meat, will open this week at a site formerly occupied by sister brand Burger & Lobster in St Paul’s. Zelman Meats’ City site will also offer rotisserie chicken dishes for the first time and offerings from Rex & Mariano, another concept by Goodman founder Mikhail Zelman. Other dishes will include “dirty” sirloin steak cooked on charcoal and sides such as black truffle and parmesan chips, Hot Dinners reports. Zelman Meats launched in Soho at the end of 2015 in a conversion of Rex & Mariano, with a second site opening on the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols department store in Knightsbridge in August 2016. Last year, Goodman Restaurants also launched late-night bar concept Zelman Drinks in Finsbury Park at the site of former live music venue The Silver Bullet, partnering with chicken specialists Spit and Roast for the food offering.
Ormer ends Shaun Rankin relationship, prepares for new Liverpool venture: The owners of Jersey restaurant Ormer in have ended their commercial relationship with Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin and are preparing to launch a new UK venture in Liverpool. Rankin, who has been removed from the board, moved to the island in the 1990s and helped set up Bohemia in St Helier before opening Ormer in 2013. The existing team at Ormer will remain in place with Lee Smith as head chef. In a statement, Ormer said Rankin would not be part of the restaurant’s future plans, reports ITV News. The company said: “It is time to move forward with a refocused vision for Ormer and Shaun Rankin does not form part of our plans for the future. We will be concentrating on enhancing our presence in Jersey and selectively adding to our restaurants in the UK, starting with an exciting new venture in Liverpool.”
East London-based Burger Bear to continue expansion with first regional site, in Bristol: East London-based Burger Bear is to open its first site outside the capital, in Bristol. The company will launch a burger bar in Bristol’s Gloucester Road in early 2018 at a site formerly occupied by Bagel Boy, the Bristol Post reports. Burger Bear offers “burgers, disco and good times”, with offerings such as the Quarter Panda (aged beef patty with bacon butter, bacon-smoked Swiss cheese and sriracha mayo), alongside some “seriously hot” sauces. Burger Bear started out as a street food stall before launching flagship site Stokey Bears in Stoke Newington High Street. The company recently launched a second Stokey Bears venue nearby, with further east London sites in Haggerston and Hackney labelled as “coming soon” on its website. Burger Bear also operates a burger bar from its “BBHQ” at the Magic Roundabout in Old Street and a residency at The Old Nuns Head pub in Peckham.
Tasty signs with Feed It Back to accelerate digital transformation: Tasty, the 65-strong restaurant chain and owner of the Wildwood and Dim T brands, has signed with EPOS-linked guest feedback service Feed It Back to accelerate its digital transformation. Tasty said it wants to deepen and make better use of its guest insight as part of a move to leverage new technology and big data for rapid operational improvement. Chief financial officer Tim Cundy said: “We have previously taken a traditional approach to guest insight, focusing on mystery visits, but we have seen new platforms emerge that provide far deeper insight by combining multiple key data sources to provide a holistic view of each guest interaction. Feed It Back is a perfect example of this. We want to give our guests a voice and gather deep insight without interrupting their time with us, then use real-time insight to make better decisions faster. This will support us in differentiating our offering in a competitive market place. To achieve this, our new guest insight will be integrated with our EPOS system and our loyalty programme. We will also leverage Feed It Back’s integrated social review management and guest recovery products.”
Goodlife Projects launches Italian concept Passo in Old Street: Goodlife Projects, the company behind Fitzrovia restaurant Foley’s, has launched Italian concept Passo in London’s Old Street, offering authentic Italian cuisine daily from 7am to midnight. Head chef Massimo Laquinoto, who trained in Sicily’s two Michelin-starred restaurant Locando Don Serafino, has been joined in the kitchen by executive chef Joe Hill – the pair worked together at London members’ club Shoreditch House. Passo offers a range of small and larger plates and features an outdoor space designed for year-round use. Passo also features large tables, an open kitchen, a marble-topped bar and a chef’s table, Hot Dinners reports. The Goodlife team, which is co-led by Rum Kitchen founders Jonny Boud and Alex Potter, launched Foley’s in Fitzrovia in June 2016.
Northamptonshire brewer opens debut pub: Hart Family Brewers, which brews traditional English beer from its site in Wellingborough, has opened its first pub in the Northamptonshire town. The Old House has launched in Sheep Street in the town centre offering the brewer’s range of cask and bottled beers and India Dry Gin produced at its custom-built brewery in Nene Court. The grade II-listed building, known locally as the Tudor House, is owned by Wellingborough Council. Restoration work carried out by the authority ahead of the lease deal included re-thatching the roof, installing new floors and redecorating throughout, the Northants Telegraph reports. The site originally consisted of two houses and was part of the Croyland Abbey estate. Much of the ground floor is medieval, with the foundations thought to date to 948. It is one of the few domestic buildings that survived the great fire of Wellingborough in 1738 and the only thatched house in the town. Former uses for the building include an antiques shop and a Chinese restaurant.
East Kent-based Turkish restaurant to open fifth site, in Dover: East Kent-based Turkish restaurant Aspendos is to open its fifth site, in Dover. The company will launch the venue in January in King Street on the site of the former Chapter 8 restaurant. Aspendos operates a restaurant in Folkestone and three takeaways, in Dymchurch, Cheriton and Hythe. Owner Gunes Aspendos said the Dover site would be the same as its Folkestone restaurant, which opened in 2015 and boasts an open grill approach to cooking. The menu will include freshly grilled meat, fish dishes, hot and cold mezze, salads, kebabs, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Aspendos told Kent Live: “We have only had the property about ten days but we are looking forward to opening in mid-January.”
BrewDog reveals more details on new sour beer facility as crowdfunding campaign passes £5m mark: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has revealed more details about its new dedicated sour beer facility, The Overworks, as its Equity for Punks V crowdfunding campaign passed the £5m mark. The company said the necessary materials and equipment were currently being fitted into the completed building. About £3m of the money raised by Equity for Punks V will be used to equip the facility, which will produce an array of sour and spontaneously fermented beers. Specialist equipment, including a custom 50-hectolitre Coolship, are being primed to allow Overworks to harness airborne wild yeasts, which are integral to the brewing of sour beer styles such as lambic. The Equity for Punks campaign has so far raised £5,018,992 of its £10m target, with a stretch goal of £50m to further its global expansion. This includes building breweries in Australia and Asia, opening of 15 craft beer bars in the UK, increasing capacity in its UK brewery, and launching The Overworks. The campaign will run for an initial three months, closing on 15 January. Shares cost £23.75 each and are issued in blocks of two, with a minimum investment of two shares. BrewDog has seen its value increase by 2,765% since 2010 – much of its growth supported by Equity for Punks, which has raised more than £41m since 2009. Earlier this year, BrewDog sold a 22% stake to US private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners for £213m, giving BrewDog an enterprise value of £1bn.
Glossop-based operator to open £1m champagne bar and restaurant in Manchester this week: Glossop-based operator Phil Healey is to open a £1m champagne bar and restaurant in Manchester this week. Healey will launch 1761 and Lily’s Bar in Booth Street on Wednesday (22 November). Set across two levels, the venue has taken over a unit that housed Italian restaurant Avalanche and had been empty for more than a year. The first floor will house 1761, a restaurant offering a take on British classics and decked out with chandeliers, Chesterfield sofas and decadent wallpaper. To the left of the main bar visitors will find a mural of former Bollinger Champagne owner Lily Bollinger, with a flight of stairs beneath leading to Lily’s Bar in the basement and an 118,000-litre marine fish tank as its centrepiece. The bar will also feature Lily’s Library, a secret drinking den available for private hire with its own bar, projector and fireplace. Drinks will take the theme of “a moment in time”, with each inspired by a story from the history books. Healey, who owns Victoria Lounge in Glossop, told the Manchester Evening News: “I wanted to create something that is truly of this city. For me, the whole concept of 1761 is something that has come from Manchester, in Manchester, for Manchester.”
Ivy Collection to open brasserie in Cheltenham next month: The Ivy Collection is to open a brasserie in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, next month. The company will open the venue on Wednesday, 13 December in the grade I-listed Rotunda building in Montpellier that formerly housed a Lloyds TSB bank branch, reports SoGlos. The Ivy Collection is set for further expansion in the regions, with openings lined up in Guildford, Manchester, Leeds, Tunbridge Wells, York and Winchester.
Black and White Hospitality opens second Wheeler’s of St James’s, in Liverpool: Black and White Hospitality, which owns the rights to five restaurant brands belonging to celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, has opened a second Wheeler’s of St James’s site, in Liverpool. The 120-cover restaurant has opened at the Pullman Liverpool hotel on the city’s UNESCO world heritage waterfront. The partnership is the first between the hotel chain and Black and White Hospitality. Pierre White told the Liverpool Echo: “Pullman Liverpool is the perfect setting for Wheeler’s, which is an iconic brand with an unmatched standard of excellence. Liverpool is an amazing city and its renaissance in recent years has given new life to its history, particularly its maritime past. Wheeler’s has a new home and I’m sure the food and the experience will be enjoyed by everyone who visits the restaurant.” Black and White Hospitality, which also operates the Marco’s New York Italian, Mr White’s English Chophouse, Bardolino Pizzeria, Bellini & Espresso Bar, and Steakhouse Bar & Grill brands, has 43 restaurants in the UK, with more in development.
Cafe and cycling concept Dynamo starts expansion with second London site: Dynamo Cycle Café and Restaurant, the Antipodean-style all-day cafe, restaurant and cycling shop, has started expansion by opening a second site in London. Dynamo has taken on the ground floor and basement of a former French cafe in Ritherdon Road, Balham. Dynamo, which opened its debut site in Putney last year, offers breakfast, brunch, woodfired pizza, wine and beer. Like Putney, the new venue features a clubroom that acts as a hub for cyclists starting, finishing or taking a break from their rides. The clubhouse also features a workshop and sells bike parts. The concept is the brainchild of Tim Molema, head of food at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and Matt Utber, founder of design agency The Plank. Rob Meadows, of agent Davis Coffer Lyons, which secured the site on behalf of Dynamo, said: “Dynamo is a really exciting concept that has established the brand during the past year throughout London’s cycling community but with a food quality that also attracts non-cyclists.”
Chicken sandwich concept Butchies to open debut bricks and mortar site, in Shoreditch next week: Chicken sandwich concept Butchies is to open its debut bricks and mortar site, in Shoreditch next week. The restaurant will open in Rivington Street on Monday, 27 November, with founders Garrett & Emer Fitzgerald giving away fried chicken sandwiches to the first 500 customers. Split across two floors, Butchies will accommodate 45 covers and a takeaway service, with the menu featuring a range of wings, sides, salads, specials, homemade pickles and hot sauces, shakes, cocktails, wine and craft beer. The Fitzgeralds launched the concept as a street food operation at Broadway Market, going on to open a “hatch” at Camden Market, which has since closed.
City Centre Pubs bids to convert Dundee tanning salon into lounge bar: City Centre Pubs, led by former Dundee Football Club owner Jimmy Marr, has submitted plans to convert a tanning salon in the city into a lounge bar. Marr wants to convert Luxuria Tanning salon in Whitfield into a bar in an area of Dundee where the last one closed almost four years ago, the Evening Telegraph reports. The company owns part of the Lothian Crescent site once occupied by Whitfield Labour Club, which closed four years ago and now houses the tanning salon, two hot food takeaways and a Spar convenience store. A planning statement included with the application said: “The building is ideally placed to serve the local community, which does not have licensed premises at present.”
Catering firm opens bar and restaurant at £400m Leeds development: Catering firm Eat & Best has opened a bar and restaurant at the £400m Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds. The new venture, called Butlers after the historic site’s former owners, will operate as a deli and restaurant during the day and a bar in the evening. Chefs Richard Walton-Allen and Mark Dawson have acted as consultants on the project and designed menus for food in the deli restaurant and a range of items to go, including a range of low-carb, high-energy items. The restaurant is based within the flagship Number One Kirkstall Forge building that has been developed by CEG. CEG investment manager Paul Richardson told Insider Media: “We could have filled the concession for Butlers many times over with national chains but we wanted a strong independent food offer that was as equally distinctive and trend-setting as the site itself.”
Nottinghamshire-based operator lodges plans for second site: Nottinghamshire-based operator Hilary O’Donnell has lodged plans for her second site. O’Donnell, who runs the Harley Cafe in Welbeck, has applied to Rushcliffe Borough Council to launch The Atrium Bar And Kitchen in Radcliffe-on-Trent. She wants to convert a former NatWest bank branch in Main Road that closed two years ago into the new venture. It would have an all-day menu using locally sourced ingredients, freshly prepared on-site. Coffee, wine and craft beer will also be available, reports the Nottingham Post. O’Donnell opened Harley Cafe ten years ago.