Subway appoints new director for UK and Ireland: Subway has appointed Peter Dowding as director for UK and Ireland, responsible for driving the franchised brand’s ongoing growth and expansion. Dowding has worked for major international brands including Carlsberg, Britvic Soft Drinks and Coffee Nation (now part of Costa). In his previous role as managing director of frozen yogurt brand Yoomoo, he developed a franchise business across the UAE, Thailand and several European countries. He said: “The brand is one of the largest and best-known franchise brands, with more than 2,300 stores across the UK and Ireland. I see my role as facilitating further sustainable growth, with individual and multi-unit owners, as well as our corporate partners.” Justin Goes, Subway regional director – Europe, added: “Peter brings a wealth of valuable experience across the retail and drinks industries as well as relevant franchising expertise, which will be invaluable as we continue to grow the business.” Subway has more than 44,000 stores in over 110 countries.
Zip wire attraction operator looks to develop ‘adventure hotel’ in Snowdonia as part of investment plans: Zip wire attraction operator Zip World is planning to develop an “adventure hotel” in Snowdonia to build on its accelerated investment in the area. Commercial director Sean Taylor said the business was considering building a hotel with caverns, slides, virtual reality technology and saunas close to its Zip World Forest site near Betwys-y-Coed. He added the hotel would help ease an accommodation shortage that meant some Zip World customers have had to stay as far away as Liverpool. Taylor told Wales Business Insider: “We have 120 acres of the Conwy Valley we could develop, without displacing anyone else’s business.” Zip World plans to invest £6m to develop and upgrade attractions in 2017. These include Zip Coaster, which will run on elevated tracks through trees at Zip World Forest; and a visitor centre and more zip wires at Zip World Velocity, the fastest zip wire in the world, near Bethesda. And for its first South Wales venture, it aims to create “something a bit different” on four zip wires at the Celtic Manor Resort, near Newport. Taylor said: “It could be the first ever paintballing on zip lines.” The company recently recruited David Stacey, former UK operations director of Virgin Active, to be its managing director. Taylor said Zip World would make sales of between £10.5m and £11m in the year to December, and predicted growth of 22% for 2017.
Bosi brothers buy historic Ludlow pub: Double Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi and his brother Cedric have bought The Church Inn in Ludlow, Shropshire. The brothers have created a new menu and completely refurbished the 14th century pub after forging a partnership with Ludlow Brewery to create a beer cellar. Claude Bosi told the Shropshire Star: “There won’t be any Michelin stars here. We’re a pub that does food, not a restaurant or gastro-pub. We’ve got a good menu, with great soup, scotch eggs, chilli dogs, steak and chips, fish and chips, and faggots with mash. There are pies, loaded potato skins and delicious puddings.” Claude Bosi left Ludlow in 2007 when he relocated his double Michelin-starred Hibiscus restaurant to London. In 2014, the brothers returned to buy The Townhouse hotel, while Cedric and wife Amy also own The Charlton Arms pub. The brothers also bought The Swan Inn in Esher, Surrey, earlier this year, which includes a 55-cover restaurant and six bedrooms, while Claude Bosi at Bibendum will launch at the iconic restaurant in Fulham Road, London, this spring in partnership with Sir Terence Conran. Bosi closed Hibiscus in October.
Scottish brewer Alechemy signs expansion deal: Scottish brewer Alechemy Brewing Co has signed a share deal with investment company Catalyst Drinks to aid expansion plans. The six-figure deal will see Alechemy move to premises in Livingston that are twice the size of its current space in the West Lothian town, allowing the company to can and bottle its own beers on-site, expand production of keg and cask beers, and create jobs. Alechemy was founded by James Davies, a doctor of microbiology, who set up the company five years ago. He has grown the business to an annual turnover of £500,000, with award-winning craft beers such as Bad Day At The Office IPA. Glasgow-based Catalyst Drinks is led by Jim Young, who has been in the drinks industry for more than 30 years as director of Scottish & Newcastle, Belhaven, Tennent’s and Magners. He moved into the craft beer sector in 2010 as co-director of Due North Group. Davies said: “I felt that, although we’d grown our turnover quite quickly, I wanted to get to the next stage. I felt Jim got what we are about and the partnership would help us achieve the growth and presence in the market we both believe Alechemy beers deserve.”
Deltic appoints new head of property: Deltic Group, the UK’s largest operator of premium late-night bars and clubs, has appointed Richard Whitehouse as its new head of property. Whitehouse replaces James Doran, with responsibility of managing the group’s property estate and overseeing new acquisitions while working closely with Deltic’s legal, accounting and operations teams. Whitehouse has more than 25 years’ experience in the property sector, having spent the bulk of his early career at CBRE. He has also held senior roles at Miller Developments and Shepherd Developments. He said: “Deltic has some fantastic properties in its portfolio with great potential and I look forward to working with the team to build on that.” Deltic chief executive Peter Marks added: “The locations of our bars and clubs are paramount to their success so it was important for us to welcome the right person into our team. Richard’s vast experience and expertise in the property sector will be a real asset to us as we continue to develop our portfolio.”
Five restaurant brands agree deals to open sites in rooftop terrace at new Oxford development: Five restaurant brands have agreed deals to open sites in the rooftop terrace at the new Westgate Oxford development. Cinnamon Kitchen, which is part of Cinnamon Collection and owned by Boparan Restaurants; The Breakfast Club; Living Ventures brand The Alchemist; Pizza Pilgrims; and London-based restaurant company Polpo will join the line-up at The Roof Garden, the scheme’s “kitchen-garden” eating and drinking destination that will accommodate 12 brands in total. They will join already confirmed Japanese restaurant brand Sticks n Sushi; Comptoir Libanais, owned by Levant Restaurants Group; Belgian restaurant and boulangerie brand Le Pain Quotidien; and Shoryu Ramen, which specialises in Kyushu cuisine from the southernmost of Japan’s main islands. Westgate Oxford, which is due to open in October 2017, is being developed by the Westgate Oxford Alliance, a joint venture between Land Securities and The Crown Estate, and will sit alongside a boutique Curzon cinema. The restaurants, which have been secured through agent Davis Coffer Lyons, are all between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet. The 140,000 square foot John Lewis, which will anchor the development, is due to open a rooftop restaurant of its own. The 800,000 square foot complex will house more than 100 retailers and 25 restaurants and cafes. The centre is now 65% let or in solicitors’ hands. Land Securities leasing director Naomi Howard said: “Our rooftop terrace is one of the most special elements to our new scheme, offering customers unseen before views across the dreaming spires and the countryside of Oxford, and we are so excited to have such a fantastic line-up of restaurants sharing our vision.”
Japanese tea bar concept Katsute 100 opens in Islington: Traditional Japanese tea bar concept Katsute 100 has launched in London. The new venue has opened in Camden Passage, Islington, and offers a huge drinks menu, including tea served by the pot and flavoured tea by the cup, plus non-leaf teas and takeaway options. Teas on the menu include sencha, hojicha and sakuracha, which is made with pickled cherry blossom and comes with a side of sakura mochi dessert, Hot Dinners reports. The more adventurous can opt for black bean tea or Japanese vegetable tea, which is made with onion peel, corn, carrot and kabocha (a type of Japanese squash). Light snacks are also on offer, with a range of traditional home-baked cakes and sweets, including matcha cakes. Katsute 100 also sells Japanese spirits to take away, including whiskeys, shochu and sake.
Hart brothers launch Mexican taqueira concept El Pastór in Southwark: Sam and Eddie Hart, who operate Michelin-starred tapas bar Barrafina and Soho restaurant and members’ club Quo Vadis, have launched Mexican taqueira concept El Pastór in Southwark. The new venue is in Stoney Street, just off Borough Market, with the concept named after the “al pastor”, a Mexico City staple with origins in the Arab shawarma. The name roughly translates to “shepherd style”. The El Pastór team has created an in-house pastor marinade, with the entire mezzanine floor dedicated to a tortilla factory, The Handbook reports. The restaurant also offers a large range of Mexican dishes. The Harts operate three Barrafina sites in London, two in Covent Garden and one at the same site as Quo Vadis. Barrafina Soho was awarded a Michelin star in 2014.
Stonegate to open latest Common Rooms pub following £200,000 overhaul of Bath site: Stonegate Pub Company will open the latest site under its Common Room format in Bath on Saturday (17 December). The company is launching The Canon after investing £200,000 in an overhaul of its Molloys site in Barton Street. Originally a church, the transformed site will feature free superfast Wi-Fi, a printing station and charging points for mobile phones and tablets. Pool tables and a selection of retro games will also be available as well as a boosted sports offering. General manager Steve Kenward said: “We’re really excited to open the doors of the new bar and hear what everyone thinks of the new-look site. With a special focus on our food and drink menu, we hope our customers will enjoy everything from the vegetarian options on our Greenhouse section to our eight taps of craft beer and ciders that will be on rotation regularly.” Stonegate has more than 660 pubs split into seven formats – Classic Inns; Common Room; Proper Pubs; Slug and Lettuce; Town, Pub & Kitchen; Venues; and Yates’s.
Paul UK extends The Felix Project partnership to help less fortunate this Christmas: French artisan bakery and patisserie Paul has expanded its partnership with The Felix Project to help people less fortunate this Christmas. Paul UK will donate 50p for each loaf of bread sold (400g or larger) until 15 January to the charity. The Felix Project distributes London’s surplus fresh food that would otherwise go to waste to the homeless, those living in poverty and families struggling to get by. Paul UK currently donates unsold products to the charity on a daily basis and has expanded the partnership by inviting customers to support its Sharing Our Daily Bread initiative. Paul UK chief executive Jean-Michel Orieux said: “Our ongoing partnership with The Felix Project ensures fresh food left at the end of each day is put to good use by feeding those who will enjoy it and really need it. With this new initiative, we will also donate 50p from every 400g or larger loaf of bread purchased in our shops and online until 15 January in the hope of helping even more people benefit from being warm and fed this winter.”
Sheffield nightclub bought out of liquidation in bid to revive ‘bassline’: Sheffield nightclub Niche, which spawned dance music sub-genre “bassline”, will relaunch next month after a local businessman bought another club out of liquidation. The Arch 9 nightclub in Wicker Arch closed after less than a year despite undergoing an extensive refurbishment. Steve Baxendale, who ran the original Niche in Sidney Street, will now revive his club after buying the business from liquidators Wilson Field. Niche was forced to close by police in 2005 but the new venue will have a stringent door policy targeting older club-goers, especially fans of bassline, which originated at the club in about 2002. Baxendale told the Yorkshire Post: “We are aiming this squarely at the music and the hardcore followers of bassline – our door policy is strictly for older Niche aficionados. We are not going down the route of discounted shots and cheap drinks. It is for people who miss the essence of the original club – and they won’t be disappointed.” Wilson Field associate director Andy Wood added: “The sale of Arch 9 will see a part of Sheffield’s music heritage revived. We were called in as liquidators for the venue after it failed to become established on the nightclub circuit. Running a nightclub is difficult without an established brand and the return of Niche will be of interest to the large client base for this type of offering.”
Tasty set to open first Wildwood site in Cheshire: Tasty will continue expansion of its Wildwood brand later this month by opening its first site in Cheshire. The restaurant will launch in Barons Quay shopping centre in Northwich on Tuesday, 20 December. Wildwood chief executive Jonny Plant told the Northwich Guardian: “We know there is nothing like our restaurants available in Northwich at the moment and we look forward to showing Barons Quay customers some homely hospitality.” Stephen Cliff, of Barons Quay owner Vision Developments, added: “We are delighted Wildwood has selected Barons Quay to open its latest restaurant. Barons Quay is going from strength to strength and is going to make a huge difference for people living in Northwich and further afield, creating lots more jobs in the process.” Wildwood operates 51 sites across the UK with further openings due in York and Edinburgh, which will be the first site for the brand in Scotland. Last month, Tasty raised £9m to fund Wildwood expansion after making a conditional placing of 6,210,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 145 pence per share.
Sussex-based Half Man! Half Burger! begins expansion with second site: Sussex-based burger restaurant concept Half Man! Half Burger! has started expansion by opening a second site, this time in Eastbourne. Founders Rory Myers and Matt Woodhouse operated the concept as a pop-up in Brighton and at festivals before opening a permanent site in St Leonards last year. The new restaurant in Grove Road offers burgers made from 100% grass-fed Sussex beef, as well as vegan and vegetarian options and a Half Kid! Half Burger! children’s menu. Drinks include cocktails and craft beer, while the wine list features one red, one white and one prosecco. The company’s website states: “Our beef cuts are freshly ground every day and hand-pattied on site for maximum taste. We griddle in hot butter, not oil, so the juices flow. Our smoky bacon relish, bourbon whiskey BBQ sauce and chipotle mayo are all hand-made on site. We have sought perfection with our fries after feeling let down by many gourmet burger outlets on our tasting travels. Hand-cut Maris Piper potatoes (never frozen) are twice-fried with skins on and then lightly dusted with rosemary salt.”
New barbecue concept TJ’s Meatshed opens in Corby: New barbecue concept TJ’s Meatshed has launched in Corby, Northamptonshire. The concept is described as a “meat-lovers’ paradise”, with platters of smoked and barbecue dishes alongside 16 craft beers and ciders. The town centre restaurant features table service and a digital ordering and payment system. There is also an unlimited soft drinks fountain, super-fast Wi-Fi and recycled and upcycled furniture. A TJ’s Meatshed spokesman told the Northants Telegraph: “We only use locally sourced produce from local butchers so we can ensure we know where the meat is coming from and it is sustainably sourced. The ethos of the ‘Shed’ is to re-use and upcycle whenever possible by using reclaimed products but, to ensure comfort where and when required, we use new furnishings and coverings such as the three large comfy booths for groups of eight to ten diners.”
New gelato cafe concept opens in Tunbridge Wells: A new gelato cafe concept has opened in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Ian Parker has launched Swirls in Camden Road. The cafe spans three floors with room for more than 50 covers. The downstairs area will used for children’s themed parties and other functions. It offers a range of different flavours of gelato, waffles, thick milkshakes, pastries and crepes. Parker told Kent Live: “The market we are targeting is people who just want to come out and have a great dessert.”
Mas Q Menos opens fourth London site, further expansion planned in 2017: Spanish jamón and tapas bar Mas Q Menos has opened its fourth London site – with further expansion planned in both London and Paris in 2017. The company has opened the 1,600 square foot site in Holborn Viaduct following a deal secured through agent Restaurant Property. The 50-cover restaurant has a rent of £80,000 per annum and a lease on assignment that runs until 2024. Mas Q Menos, which translates as “more for less”, currently has sites in Soho, Farringdon and Fenchurch. Igor Matrosov, of Mas Q Menos, said: “In addition to the Holborn Viaduct site, we are planning a number of new openings in London very soon – and in the first quarter of 2017 we will open two Mas Q Menos restaurants in Paris. As a brand, we don’t like to stand still and are keen to constantly evolve and improve our offering for customers. We believe Spanish food and drink resonates well with the public.” There are more than 30 Mas Q Menos jamón and tapas bars in Spain. It serves a range of food and tapas, including platters of cold cut Iberian jamón, salads and artisan bread, accompanied by Spanish wine, cocktails, draught beer, juices, smoothies and coffee.