Giraurdi Group to make UK debut in Chelsea: Monaco-based hospitality group Giraurdi is to make its debut in the UK with an opening in Chelsea. Propel understands the business, which was founded by Ricardo Giraudi, has secured the former Tom’s Kitchen site in Cale Street for what is expected to be an opening under its Beefbar steakhouse concept. Launched in 2005, Beefbar currently operates circa 15 sites, which includes venues in Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. The concept, which says its street food sharing style has been breaking “the classic and stiff codes of steakhouses since 2005”, had previously been linked to the Mirabelle site in Mayfair’s Curzon Street. The company launched a variation of the concept in partnership with Relais De Paris earlier this year in Paris. At its peak, Tom’s Kitchen, the concept from chef Tom Aikens, operated five restaurants across the UK (four in London and one in Birmingham), as well as one in Istanbul. However, the group was subsequently reduced to just its original site on Cale Street in Chelsea, which closed earlier this year.
Wendy’s eyes Camden opening and return to Wood Green: Wendy’s, the third-largest quick service restaurant chain in the US, which made its return to the UK with an opening in Reading last month, is continuing to build its openings pipeline here, with sites in London’s Camden and Wood Green on its radar. Propel understands the brand is looking to take the NatWest bank site in Camden High Street. At the same time, it is thought to be looking to make a return to Wood Green, where it previously operated a site at the turn of the century during the brand’s last attempt to expand in the UK. It is believed it is looking to open a site in Capital & Regional’s The Mall scheme. Earlier this week, Propel reported the brand was planning to open a drive-thru site in Peterborough. The company, which hopes to eventually open up to 400 sites in the UK, has submitted a planning application – alongside ones from Costa and Taco Bell – to build a drive-thru site at a planned new 3.1-hectare development off Maskew Avenue, New England, in the town. Wendy’s has already confirmed it will open sites in Oxford and Stratford, east London, in the second half of this year. The company plans to open five sites in the UK this year, with a target of eventually operating about 20 company-owned branches in Britain.
Rudy’s to double up in Liverpool: Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, which is owned by Mission Mars, and recently opened its debut London site, is set to open a second site in Liverpool. Propel understands the Roy Ellis-led company is set to take a site in the city’s Bold Street, for an opening later this year. The eight-strong group concept already operates a site in Liverpool’s Castle Street. It recently opened on the former Wahaca site in Wardour Street, Soho. Rudy’s makes its dough on-site each day, taking 24 hours to double ferment and 60 seconds to cook. It operates two sites in Manchester, as well as one in each of Birmingham, Leeds, Sale and Stockton Heath. Mission Mars, which is backed by BGF, also operates the Albert’s Schloss concept.
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Dodo Pub Co to take on ex-Bill’s site in Oxfordshire: Oxford-based operator Dodo Pub Company is to open a sixth site, and fifth in Oxfordshire. Propel understands the company, which is chaired by Patrick Henchoz, who set up the Esporta rackets and gym chain, is set to open on the former Bill’s site in Witney’s Market Square. The company, founded in 2009 by Leo Johnson and Chris Manners, launched The Last Crumb in Caversham, its first site in Berkshire, in 2019, after taking over the Prince of Wales in the town’s Prospect Street. Johnson has previously said the company is looking to open ten to 15 pubs in the Home Counties by rescuing “run-down and unloved pubs”. It currently operates three pubs in Oxford – The Up In Arms, The Rickety Press and The Rusty Bicycle, plus The Bottle Of Sauce in Cheltenham.
Douglas Jack – Loungers ‘leading from the front’: Peel Hunt leisure analyst Douglas Jack has said cafe bar group Loungers is “leading from the front” and expects it to indicate there is more outperformance of the sector to follow. Issuing a “Buy” note on the shares with a target price of 350p ahead of the company’s full-year results, Jack said: “The 2021 financials will be relatively meaningless due to pandemic-related closures. However, the results will provide an opportunity for the company to update on operational progress, expansion and the strength of recent like-for-like sales. Like-for-like sales were up 26.6% in the four weeks to 13 June versus the equivalent period in 2019. Excluding the VAT-cut benefit, this was a 15% like-for-like increase. Although we upgraded our forecasts in June, we believe more upgrades could follow given our 2022E forecast assumes 2% like-for-like sales (minus 7%, excluding the VAT cut). 2022E forecast upgrades should reduce the level of net debt carried into 2023E, further strengthening the balance sheet as expansion accelerates. Five new units, all Lounges, opened during the first eight weeks of 2022E, bringing the estate to 143 Lounges and 30 Cosy Clubs. We forecast 15 new sites in 2022E and 25 new sites in 2023E, all financed by internally generated cash flow. We believe the quality of new sites is very high. If we apply the recent ex-VAT benefit like-for-like figure of 15% to 2023E average sales versus 2019 (equivalent to four years of 3.6% annual like-for-like sales growth versus a historic average of 5%), 2023E Ebitda would be £8m higher than forecast (on a 40% drop-through). We estimate this scenario would imply an IAS 17 EV/Ebitda rating of 8.8 times 2023E, and net debt/Ebitda of 0.4 times 2023E. Over the long term, margins could offer the greatest forecast upside in our view. At present, our forecasts cautiously assume no benefit from rolling out central distribution and regional pricing. They assume a 6.0% Ebit margin in 2023E (IAS 17) versus 6.6% in 2019. If margins progress towards those of Mitchells & Butlers, the incremental impact on profitability could be significant.” Jack’s note comes as the company has opened its 175th site, the Athro Lounge in Aberystwyth. Propel understands the company has lined up an opening in Ealing for its Lounge concept, and is in talks to take on the ex-RBS site in the town’s high street.
Hubbox to open Cheltenham site next month: Hubbox, the south west-based burger and barbecue concept led by Richard Boon, will open its latest site, in Cheltenham next month. The ten-strong company will open the venue at The Brewery Quarter. In preparation, Hubbox is looking for a 30-strong team and is holding a recruitment day on Wednesday (21 July) at the development’s co-working space, Hub8. Boon said: “The Brewery Quarter is the perfect spot for us. I’ve always loved Cheltenham and kept an eye on what’s happening. The mix of new operators joining The Brewery Quarter family is fantastic and we are excited to be rubbing shoulders with them. I grew up close by, in Bristol, and really got to know Cheltenham well. I have always had a desire to open here – so this is a dream come true.” Hubbox operates sites in Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Falmouth, Pentewan, Plymouth, Portsmouth, St Ives, Taunton and Truro.
London-based seafood restaurant concept SeaSons to open Mayfair site: London-based seafood restaurant concept SeaSons is to open a site in Mayfair. The company is opening the venue in Bruton Street in the former premises of The Square, which hit the headlines when it closed in the middle of a lunch service in 2019. SeaSons operates bistros in Bayswater, Fitzrovia, Kensington and Notting Hill, and has plans to launch in Miami and New York but this will be its flagship restaurant in London. The Mayfair site will offer dishes such as the SeaSons prawn burger and tagliolini with clams. There will also be a separate raw seafood bar, reports Hot Dinners.
Wagamama set to open site in West Bridgford in premises first targeted eight years ago: Wagamama, The Restaurant Group-owned brand, is set to open a site in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, in premises the business first targeted eight years ago. The company has applied to Rushcliffe Borough Council to open in the former Carluccio’s premises in Central Avenue, reports West Bridgford Wire. Permission was granted to Wagamama to use the premises as a restaurant in July 2013, but it didn’t take on the property and it became Carluccio’s, which shut in May 2020 after the company went into administration. Last month, Wagamama launched a new restaurant in London’s Paddington, which has been specially designed with ample space for click and collect and delivery. Wagamama operates circa 145 sites.
Lancashire-based holiday park operator acquires Ribble Valley site in £11m deal for 15th outlet: Lancashire-based holiday park operator Hill Brothers Residential & Leisure Parks has acquired its 15th site. The company has bought Beacon Fell View for £11m from Hagans Leisure UK in an off-market cash deal brokered by Colliers International. The four-star holiday park is set in 35 acres, overlooking Dilworth Upper Reservoir in the Ribble Valley. It is licensed for a total of 419 caravans and has planning consent for further lodge development. Facilities include an indoor swimming pool, a bar, an amusement arcade, a gym, and an entertainment venue with food and beverage offer. Hill Brothers director Tom Hill said: “We see it as a great opportunity to expand our portfolio in the Ribble Valley because parks of this quality and size don’t often come to the market in the north west, and we look forward to further expansion in this sector.” Robert Smithson, senior surveyor at Colliers, added: “Beacon Fell View was brought to the market confidentially as a rare asset, and it attracted significant demand, which was crystalised in a short timescale with various offers. The fact the deal was achieved off-market to a cash buyer underlines the strength of the holiday parks sector, which was performing well before the pandemic and has since continued to flourish amid rising demand from holidaymakers seeking staycations.”
Smith’s and Ayllu team appoints managing director: Smith’s and Ayllu, two separate restaurants housed within one building along the Grand Canal in London’s Paddington, have appointed Hector Hernandez as managing director. Hernandez will support the growth of Peruvian restaurant Ayllu and Smith’s, a restaurant that serves a British and European menu. Hernandez’s career began in New York where he worked at Employees Only bar as part of the operations team and then at The Cheesecake Factory as operations openings manager, where he opened 12 restaurants across the city. He then headed to the UK to launch the Cigar Lounge at Park Plaza hotel in London and manage Chino Latino in the same hotel. Hernandez has spent the past six years in various managerial roles in London and has been responsible for the rebranding of restaurants Mole, Canek and Peyotito. Hernandez will take up his new role on Sunday (18 July) as Smith’s launches its new Sunday roast menu.
Tequila and mezcal bar Hacha to open in Brixton for second site: Deano Moncrieffe, who is European ambassador for Diageo, and Emma Murphy, are to open a second site for their tequila and mezcal bar concept, Hacha. The venue will launch in Brixton Market Row in late August. It will have a larger capacity than its original site in Dalston. The Brixton outlet will be set across two floors, featuring a 50-cover bar and open kitchen set above the market, plus a ground-floor Mirror Margarita bottle shop – Hacha’s award-winning signature cocktail. The venue will be closed once a week to run a free-to-all community day offering training, mentorship, talks, practical workshops and more in partnership with Moncrieffe’s not-for-profit organisation Equal Measures, which provides tools for growth to under-represented BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities within the hospitality industry. The bar will feature a rotating menu of 25 varied tequilas, mezcals and lesser-known agave spirits that can be enjoyed solo or in tasting flights along with cocktails. There will also be a selection of dishes including camote tacos and chicken tinga. The bottle shop will offer the opportunity to sample the Mirror Margarita in tasting flights before deciding which of the variants to take home. Murphy said: “There’s a synergy to Dalston and Brixton that drew us here. Both are such eclectic areas with a strong sense of community, a mass of independent businesses and an openness to try new things.” The duo launched the concept in Dalston in 2019.
Robinsons invests £1m growing and refurbishing Individual Inns estate: North west brewer and retailer Robinsons has invested £1m growing and refurbishing its Individual Inns estate. The company acquired The Mason Arms, Strawberry Bank; The Wheatsheaf, Brigsteer; The Spread Eagle, Sawley; The Tempest, Elslack; The Fountain Inn, Linton; and Wheatley Arms, Ben Rhydding, as part of the deal in 2019. These have been joined by the Queens Head, Troutbeck, and the Queens Head in Hawkshead. Robinsons has, so far, renovated the bedrooms at the Masons Arms and Wheatley Arms, with further bedroom improvements planned at the Tempest, which will be followed by the pub and function facilities. In addition, Robinsons has invested at the Wheatsheaf, improving kitchen facilities and refurbishing the pub. The Spread Eagle has benefited from an external makeover. William Robinson, managing director of the pubs division at Robinsons, said: “Despite the impact of the pandemic, the £1m investment thus far is consistent to how we have invested for the long term in our pubs. We knew we acquired some fantastic businesses and have used the recent closure periods to good effect to further improve them and add to our customers’ experience.”
Deliveroo offers cloud canteen service and group ordering for businesses:Deliveroo for Business, the corporate arm of Deliveroo, is offering two new business-to-business technology solutions to companies to support a hybrid working model. It comes following research by the company that showed 50% of its clients are looking to adopt a hybrid way of working post-pandemic, working two days at home and three in the office. Just 20% of the survey’s respondents said they would fully return to the office. To cater for this flexible way of working, Deliveroo has launched two new solutions – hybrid cloud canteen and group ordering. The cloud canteen will allow businesses to offer their employees food on a pay-as-you-go basis – both in the office and at home. It allows for employees to expense a meal while the company has full visibility on spend. Group ordering allows a business to share an order link and let up to 100 colleagues add their own dishes to a shared basket. The group order can be planned 24 hours in advance and items will be added to the cart with the corresponding name of the person ordering. Juan Diego Farah, global head of Deliveroo for Business, said: “Since 2019, we have seen demand for Deliveroo for Business grow, with a 101% increase in new account signings globally. Hybrid perks are the future of the workplace; being able to access these at home or in the office will become increasingly important as we adapt to new ways of working.”
Chris Denney to return to London scene with multifaceted restaurant and bar in Notting Hill: London-based chef Chris Denney is making his return to the capital’s dining scene by opening a multifaceted restaurant and bar in Notting Hill. Denney will launch Fiend on Friday, 23 July, in the premises previously occupied by Mexican restaurant Santo in Portobello Road. The venue will offer an à la carte and six-course set menu with dishes such as bulgogi sweet bread with kefir cabbage and green onion, and wagyu short rib with smoked tomato and Colston Bassett stilton. Fiend will have a large open kitchen and downstairs lounge, which will offer cocktails, wine and beer. Denney was previously behind Notting Hill restaurants 108 Garage and Southam Street, which he ran with Luca Longobardi, that have since closed. CWM acted for the landlord Enstar Capital, with Adam Bowers, then of Stonebrook London, and now at onepoint2, acting for the buyer.
New bar concept to open in west London next week: A new bar concept will open in west London next week. Neighbourhood Portabello in Ladbroke Grove is the brainchild of a group that has experience working at sector companies including Soho House, The Rum Kitchen and Inception Group. Taking over the ground floor of Portabello House, the venue will offer handcrafted cocktails and South American-inspired sharing plates. Ex-Bodega Negra chef Sebastian Becerra has taken inspiration from the flavours of South America with plates designed to share. Dishes will include small plates of tuna and guacamole; beef tartare and cured egg yolk tostadas; and gluten-free, sticky sesame and coriander Korean-style chicken wings. Neighbourhood Portabello will open on Tuesday (20 July).
Tick Tock Unlock launches crowdfunding campaign for new gaming concept:Leeds-based escape game business Tick Tock Unlock has set up a crowdfunding campaign to help raise £30,000 and launch a new gaming concept in the city. The company has revealed plans to launch “The Library of Broken Books” – a theatrical gaming experience located within a historic setting in the heart of the city, creating up to 30 jobs. The concept combines elements of escape games, immersive theatre and game shows, with “librarians” guiding groups around themed zones including horror, magic, adventure and fantasy – with free-roam immersive art experiences and surprises along the way. Tick Tock Unlock directors Samrien Hussain and Ali Khan are in the process of securing the venue at a secret 9,000 square foot location, and will collaborate with local colleges and artists, engineers and makers for the project. The fundraising is taking place on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Hussain said: “Unlike a traditional escape game, instead of choosing a single game to play, you choose the length of time you’re with us, visiting multiple stories, with a variety of tasks ranging from physical and skill-based to logical and multi-person puzzles, offering something for everyone.” Tick Tock Unlock previously operated six escape game venues across four cities, including Leeds where the business is headquartered, and launched the UK’s first virtual reality-powered game experience at Trinity Leeds in 2017.
Liverpool-based restaurateur opens third site and eyes further expansion:Liverpool-based restaurateur Guven Serce has opened a steakhouse for his third site – and is eyeing further expansion. Bavette, in the suburb of Woolton, offers a menu of premium meat including tomahawk, Dallas and T-bone steaks. The 130-cover restaurant, which has created 30 jobs, features an in-house bar and open kitchen with the menu drawing inspiration from America, Mexico and Cuba. Bavette also serves a variety of wine from South Africa, New Zealand, South America and Europe. Serce said: “Bavette is a project that has been in the making for more than four years now. Despite the challenges, this was a fantastic opportunity to build on my experience in hospitality and bring a new culinary concept.” Serce, who also operates Istanbul in Woolton and Allerton, plans to add to the portfolio in 2021 with further sites across the north west and beyond.
French entrepreneur to launch Mayfair restaurant: French entrepreneur Jean Philippe Kley is set to open a restaurant in London’s Mayfair. Kley, who is part of the team behind Beat members’ club in Margaret Street, is launching Mister Nice later this year. The restaurant will take over the space left by Kallos Gallery in Davies Street. The two-floored restaurant will offer food that takes French cuisine as the starting point, for a broadly European menu, reports Hot Dinners.
Edyn Group signs £62.5m deal to operate Canary Wharf site under new ‘next generation’ aparthotel brand: Aparthotel operator Edyn Group has acquired part of the Landmark Pinnacle development in London’s Canary Wharf for £62.5m. The property will operate under Edyn’s new “next generation” concept, Cove, which launched at the end of June. Arranged over the first ten floors of the newly developed 75-storey residential building, “Cove Landmark Pinnacle” will comprise 162 units – 72 studio and 90 one-bedroom apartments – 54 of which will feature winter terraces. In addition, guests will benefit from unlimited access to the building’s residential gym and members’ lounge, golf simulator and winter garden. Cove Landmark Pinnacle is the second site to operate under the Cove brand following a recent signing with developer Grosvenor of a 60,000 square foot site in the Liverpool ONE development. Cove managing director Steven Haag said: “This ambitious project demonstrates our ability to target different types of real estate in prime city locations, including working with leading developers on forward purchase, turnkey projects such as Landmark Pinnacle.” In June, Edyn announced nine Cove sites would be included in the initial brand rollout, eight of which are refurbishments of the company’s traditional serviced apartment brand, Saco. Edyn’s portfolio also includes lifestyle aparthotel concept Locke, which will open seven new locations in the UK, Ireland and Germany in 2021, with further openings planned across Europe into 2022.
Matcha bar that transforms into cocktail joint at night to open in Spitalfields: A matcha bar that transforms into a cocktail joint at night is opening in Spitalfields, east London. Jenki will launch in Brushfield Street on Friday (16 July). Matcha drinks will include the rose and collagen latte, black tahini and charcoal shake as well as the flat green – a matcha twist on the flat white. Co-owner Claudia Stevenson told Hot Dinners its matcha is single origin and from a family-run farm. The food menu will feature a combination of matcha-infused dishes such as raw matcha cheesecake and the Jenki snicker – a chocolate peanut brittle date caramel matcha cashew cream bar, alongside items such as an egg miso mayo sando. Stevenson said Jenki would transform into “a cool and contemporary cocktail joint” by night.
Derby restaurateur fined after allergy risk ignored: A restaurant in Derby has been fined after a customer with a peanut allergy suffered a severe reaction after eating a takeaway. The customer had advised staff of their allergy at Masala in Curzon Street when they ordered their meal by telephone in July last year. After eating the food, they had to use their emergency EpiPen, and be taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment. At Derby Magistrates Court, New Masala Derby, trading as Masala, admitted supplying food that was unsafe because it contained an allergen, contrary to the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013. Director Abdul Shahid also admitted the same offence. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs. Shahid, as the director, was fined £320 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £34. After receiving a complaint from the customer, a Derby City Council trading standards officer ordered the same meal from the restaurant, requesting it should be made without peanuts. When the meal arrived, the restaurant was made aware the customer was from trading standards and samples were taken from the food. When the samples were analysed, peanuts were found. Following the hearing, Cllr Jonathan Smale, Derby City Council’s cabinet member for place and community development, said: “Food allergies can have potentially fatal consequences for consumers. It is, therefore, vitally important food businesses have robust systems in place to ensure they know what is in the food they serve. This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to protecting consumers when those systems have clearly failed.”