Tim Hortons to open sites in Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast as it accelerates UK expansion: Tim Hortons, the Canadian cafe and bake shop owned by Restaurant Brands, has revealed the second phase of its UK roll-out plans as it prepares to open sites in England, Wales and Northern Ireland this year. The company, which has an outlet in Glasgow, will be opening in Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast over the coming months. The Cardiff site will be at the Queens Arcade shopping centre with Tim Hortons having taken a ten-year lease on a 2,500 square foot unit. The new outlets will offer Tim Hortons’ signature coffee, espresso-based drinks, hot chocolate, French vanilla and classic frozen Iced Capp, as well as baked goods and breakfast and lunch offerings. Tim Hortons’ UK roll-out is being led by SK Group, an experienced franchise operator that has already played a major role in the UK expansion of Domino’s Pizza. Kevin Hydes, chief finance and commercial officer of the Tim Hortons franchise in Great Britain, said: “We were blown away by the reception we received in Glasgow, and are delighted to announce the opening of restaurants in Cardiff, Belfast and Manchester. We know there’s a great deal of excitement out there and we can’t wait to share more details.” The first Tim Hortons restaurant in the UK opened in Argyle Street in Glasgow at the start of June with a second due to open at the city’s Silverburn shopping centre. It has also secured a site at a retail park on the outskirts of Ayr. Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 by its namesake, a professional ice hockey player who wanted to create a space where “everyone would feel at home”.
London-based membership wine bar and restaurant Farley Macallan to launch £400,000 crowdfunding campaign to open flagship site: London-based membership wine bar and restaurant Farley Macallan is to launch a £400,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open a flagship site in the capital. The concept, launched by Luke Ramsden in Hackney last year, is offering a 25% stake in return for the investment of which 120,000 is SEIS approved, offering 50% tax breaks on investments in UK startups. The campaign is due to go live on Monday (11 September). It states: “Our first space came in the form of a short-term lease in Morning Lane in Hackney; a prototype project we used it as proof of concept and to test our ability in creating a space. We opened in just nine days and spent only £38,000, making £113,000 in net sales in our first year. We are seeking investment to further develop our membership initiative but most importantly launch the flagship to take the business from a lean startup to a true contender known for bringing community back to London. We aim to open the new location in November using the Christmas period to project our launch growth and reach operational profitability by April 2018. Our community-led membership is designed to reward customers that use the space regularly and in turn create a core group that are the lifeblood of the community. Memberships offer discounted food and beverage, access to events such as wine tastings, seasonal parties and free room hire fees for private events. Local residents receive bigger discounts when living within a certain radius, meaning the closer you live to each unit the better value it is. We are forecasting a series B round in 2020 for an additional unit, and then self-funding a third larger unit in 2022, we aim to position the business for a venture capital sale to expand nationally and internationally. Assuming a five-year exit and an 11 times Ebitda multiple, investors are projected to achieve a 5.3 times return on investment.”
Glendola Leisure to bring Alston Bar & Beef brand to England with Manchester opening: Glendola Leisure, led by Alex Salussolia, is to open the first site in England for its gin and steak brand Alston Bar & Beef when it heads to Manchester. The company is opening the restaurant and bar in the Corn Exchange this autumn. The 160-cover venue, which will contain an additional private dining area for 12 people, will launch following an extensive fit-out of the 6,500 square foot basement space. It will be the second UK site for the concept following its launch in Glasgow and represents a £2m investment from Glendola Leisure. It will build on the success of the original venue while incorporating highlights of Manchester’s food and drink heritage and culture. At the bar, an initial selection of 58 gins from all over the world will be available, several of which are distilled in Manchester, including Manchester Three Rivers and Manchester Gin. A selection of bespoke gin-infusions, created in-house will also be on offer. Guests will enter the venue via a feature staircase with the bespoke bar centred around the extensive gin offering. The restaurant space will have a ten-metre wide mural feature wall that has been specially commissioned by Manchester-based street artist Tank Petrol. The space is completed by a show kitchen and the private dining room. Salussolia said: “Having seen such success in Glasgow, we’re confident Alston Bar & Beef will make the perfect addition to the Manchester food and drink scene when we open our doors this autumn.”
Waterworld Leisure Group acquires indoor mini golf company in £20m investment deal, plans to roll-out 20 sites across UK: Staffordshire-based Waterworld Leisure Group, owned by Mo Chaudry, has acquired Adventure Island Mini Golf in a deal valued at £20m, with the aim of expanding the leisure operation. Waterworld Group acquired the indoor golf business, which is based at the Star City complex in Birmingham, from owner and founder John Whitehead. Whitehead will continue to run the Birmingham business while also heading up the group expansion strategy alongside Chaudry. The acquisition will form the basis of a £20m investment by Chaudry over the next five years with the aim of taking the leisure brand nationwide. The Adventure Mini Golf business, founded nine years ago, is England’s first indoor tropical adventure complex and features two themed 18-hole crazy golf courses, located across three levels. The courses feature tiki huts, waterfalls, volcanoes as well as a “Lost Hut Trail” and “Hidden Cove Challenge”. The Waterworld Group is now identifying keys towns and cities to roll-out a chain of Adventure Mini Golf centres across the UK. This process will see a second Adventure Island Mini Golf and Trampoline Centre launch at the Waterworld complex in Stoke-on-Trent, which is expected to open by the middle of next year. Chaudry told The Business Desk: “We plan to fund and roll-out 20 of these indoor adventure golf centres across the UK, with a target to open about four new centres each year for the next five years.” Whitehead said: “We have had an incredibly successful time over the past nine years, making Adventure Island Mini Golf one of most successful destination leisure attractions in the Midlands. The time is now right to expand and develop the brand further, working with Mo Chaudry and the Waterworld Group will allow us to realise the full potential of this fun and exciting concept nationwide.”
Cinnamon Collection announces promotions as group expands: The Cinnamon Collection, which is owned by Boparan Restaurants, has announced a number of promotions as the group expands. The company, which operates The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho and Cinnamon Bazaar, has revealed several team members will take on new roles to grow the current portfolio and support additional sites. Former head chef of The Cinnamon Club, Rakesh Ravindran Nair, who has been with the group since 2002, has taken on the new role of group development and training chef. Hari Nagaraj, who has also been with the team for 20 years, will become the group operations manager, having previously worked as head chef at The Cinnamon Club. Group general manager Jean-Luc Giquel, who has been with the Cinnamon Collection since 2006, will lead the hospitality ethic, front-of-house service and training for the entire group through its internal management training programmes. Raju Ramachandran, former head chef at the original Cinnamon Kitchen in the City, will become the group opening chef, focusing on setting up new kitchens, teams and development within the new sites. Santosh Shah, previously sous chef at The Cinnamon Club, will take over as head chef of Cinnamon Kitchen in Devonshire Square. Regison Devassy, former general manager at The Cinnamon Club, will take on the role of executive general manager with a focus on developing the front-of-house teams at new sites. Executive chef and founder Vivek Singh said: “Our people have been our biggest asset and it’s only through continuous learning and development that it’s been possible. The career progression of our teams is something we’re immensely proud of and it’s a commitment we extend to all our people who join us in our next phase of growth.” Two new Cinnamon Kitchen restaurants are scheduled to open – in October at the new Westgate Centre in Oxford, the group’s first outside of London, and in the Battersea Power Station development in November.
Wagamama to open second New York site next month: Wagamama is to open its second New York site on Tuesday, 3 October, with the location being 55 Third Avenue in the East Village. It will be the second Wagamama location in Manhattan with the first having opened in Fifth Avenue in November last year, occupying a three-story space overlooking Madison Square Park. The previous tenant of the new site was M2M, an Asian grocery that opened in 2002.
Scottish hospitality group Manorview launches dedicated employee app and reward system: Scottish hospitality group Manorview has launched a dedicated employee app that also incorporates a reward system. The company has launched Iris, which keeps staff updated on the latest company news as well as access to staff rotas, advice, information and a means to contact everyone within the organisation. Staff can upload their photos and share ideas and also see their training and development progression. The reward scheme includes a peer-to-peer system where employees can reward each other, stating a reason why. Points are also awarded for achieving employee of the month, delivering excellent customer service, receiving good reviews, coming up with innovative money-saving initiatives, and for participating in the group’s charity programmes. Points earned translate into cash, which employees can bank and save up to as much as £900. Money can be cashed in or can be used across the many discounts offered by the app. It also has a section dedicated to health and well-being, which offers healthy food advice, recipes, helplines, support and information. And there’s a section to allow for questions, if employees want to know something, give feedback or ask for advice. Chief executive Steve Graham said: “My goal is to inspire a team who see long-term career opportunities at Manorview, and are proud to be a part of our growth. I believe we can achieve this by nurturing our talent, rewarding loyalty, and by communicating our core values.” Manorview was founded by Graham in 2007, when he purchased The Commercial Hotel in Wishaw, Lanarkshire. The company has since grown to incorporate a total of 16 sites, comprising five pubs, two nightclubs and nine hotels. Total turnover for the year to 31 March 2016 for the entire group was £15.8m.
JD Wetherspoon to close Cardiff city centre pub: JD Wetherspoon is to close its Cardiff city pub The Crockerton this month. The company is shutting the venue in Greyfriars Road on Wednesday, 27 September with the property then being handed back to the landlord. Wetherspoon added staff members would be offered positions at its other pubs in the area. Queen Street and the area around the pub was known as Crockherbtown, or Crockerton, until 1887 and the pub’s name pays tribute to that, reports Wales Online. The closure comes after the company revealed at the start of the year it would sell the Central Bar in the city. The pub, in Windsor Place, has continued to remain open and trade as a Wetherspoon venue and would do so until the pub is sold.
Smith & Wollensky launches special carbohydrate counting menu for type 1 diabetes customers: Smith & Wollensky, the American steak restaurant chain, has launched a special carbohydrate counting menu, especially for diners with type 1 diabetes, with the help of charity JDRF. The menu details exactly how many grams of carbohydrate are in each of the items on the lunch and dinner menu, so diabetes sufferers can calculate the amount of insulin to take before eating. Smith & Wollensky, located just off The Strand in the Adelphi building, will also be donating 50p to JDRF for every potion of its seared chilli and garlic shrimp, a dish that contains zero grams of carbohydrates. JDRF director of fund-raising Dean Benton said: “Calculating the carbohydrate content of each meal is a vital and demanding part of daily life with type 1 diabetes. Those with the condition must inject insulin every day, just to stay alive. When eating out, this ‘carb counting’ is generally guesswork. But special carb-counted menus mean people with type 1 diabetes can spend a little less time managing their demanding condition, and more time enjoying their meal.” JDRF funds research projects across the world working on treatments for type 1 diabetes and towards curing and preventing the condition.
Huddersfield-based chef entrepreneur acquires second site for gourmet burger concept: Huddersfield-based chef entrepreneur Eric Paxman has acquired a second site for his gourmet burger restaurant concept Pax Burger. Paxman has bought the former Yorkshire Building Society in Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, and plans to convert it to the new venue. The first Pax Burger opened in the Huddersfield suburb of Lindley in February last year. Paxman, who also runs upmarket restaurant Eric’s in Lindley, told the Huddersfield Examiner: “There’s nothing else like this in Mirfield. Everywhere else around Huddersfield is saturated with restaurants and bars and when this came up I thought it would make a great Pax Burger. I’m hoping to open at the beginning of next year, but it all depends on planning.” Having trained under Marco Pierre White at L’escargot in London and Australian chef Bill Grainger in Sydney, Paxman launched Eric’s in 2010, with the Lidgett Street venue being listed in the latest Michelin Guide.
North Wales-based adventure company to open restaurant this week after developing menu with celebrity chef: North Wales-based adventure company Zip World will open its Bethesda restaurant this week after developing a menu with celebrity chef Bryn Williams. The Blondin Restaurant will open at Zip World’s Penrhyn Quarry site on Thursday (7 September). The modern, bistro-style venue will feature a mixture of Williams’ classic dishes and bespoke plates that celebrate his love of North Wales. The 150-cover restaurant offers a combination of indoor seating and an outdoor terrace with views over the waters of the lake in Penrhyn Quarry. Just metres above the terrace is the fastest zip wire in the world, Velocity, affording diners the sight of adventure close up. The Blondin Restaurant is at the heart of the new three-floor Adventure Terminal building developed by Zip World. The top floor is The Gallery, a private function space for up to 60 people while the ground floor will welcome those starting their Velocity zip line experience. Zip World co-founder Sean Taylor told the Daily Post: “North Wales is now a real dining destination and the Blondin Restaurant will be a great addition to the landscape.”
North Yorkshire country inn goes on the market for £600,000: A North Yorkshire country inn has gone up for sale for a guide price of £600,000. A private vendor, represented by agent Savills, has brought the Bolton Arms in the village of Redmire to market. The property, located in the heart of Wensleydale and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, comprises a restaurant and bar, alongside five en-suite letting bedrooms. With parts dating from the 19th century, the inn has undergone a comprehensive refurbishment by the current owner. Peter Scholes, surveyor in the licensed leisure team at Savills, said: “The prominent location in the heart of historic Redmire ensures it is popular with locals and visitors alike and makes the property an outstanding lifestyle business with strong levels of interest expected.”
Cheltenham-based Indian restaurant owner to launch gourmet burger concept: The owner of Cheltenham-based upmarket Indian restaurant Bhoomi is to open a gourmet burger concept in the Gloucestershire town. Michael Raphel is launching Holee Cow in Clarence Street on the site of the former The Cafe at No 9. The property is being refurbished with the new restaurant expected to open next month. Raphel told Gloucestershire Live: “We’re looking to create a casual restaurant. It will feature gourmet burgers. They will be made from prime cuts of beef and minced the morning we use them and made into patties that day. The beef will be from selected local farms. Everything is very fresh and even the buns will be artisanal.”
Skegness seafront pub opens on site of leisure complex destroyed by fire: A new pub, Busters, has opened on Skegness seafront on the site of a leisure complex that was destroyed by fire ten years ago. The venue has opened in Grand Parade after the site was developed by the Bola family, which has already opened pirate-themed fish and chip restaurant the Trawlers Catch on the site. Busters features a nostalgic theme based on “being at the movies”. Taj Bola told Lincolnshire Live: “We wanted to create something of quality that engages with our customers and becomes not just a pub but a visitor attraction in its own right. We believe the resort of Skegness has a wonderful future with lots of opportunities for new companies to invest in the area and help Skegness to grow. The economy of the town is vibrant and in the coming years we see a very exciting time for business owners, residents and visitors alike.” Bola said his company still planned to open an ice rink at the site that would include “the UK’s first family-orientated all-year-round ice bar”.
Belfast-based restaurant Stix & Stones to open second site: Belfast-based restaurant Stix & Stones is to open its second site in the city. The new restaurant will open at the Balmoral Hotel in Blacks Road this month. Alongside steak and seafood, diners will have the option of cooking their meal on hot stones at their own table. Stix & Stones owner John Trainor, who is also a Balmoral Hotel director, told the Irish News: “We hope to build on the reputation Stix & Stones has in its Upper Queen Street branch so we can continue to deliver great-tasting food, a memorable dining experience and the excellent service we are known for.”
Rhubarb signs West Horsley Place contract: Food experience brand and events caterer Rhubarb is to add grade I-listed West Horsley Place in Surrey to its client list. Rhubarb will take the role of sole caterer, managing and operating all food and beverage events across the estate. West Horsley Place is a 15th century house owned by the Mary Roxburghe Trust, situated on a 300-acre estate separating the Surrey villages of West Horsley and East Horsley. The property has recently started hosting weddings and private events. Rhubarb director Sarah Hammond said: “We are delighted to be the exclusive caterer at West Horsley Place. It is a stunning venue and I look forward to planning many weddings and events from our Surrey office.” Rhubarb operates outlets in more than 60 venues across London and the Home Counties, including the Royal Albert Hall, as well as Heathrow T3 and T5, Royal Ascot racecourse and the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex