Deliveroo appoints chief marketplace officer: Deliveroo has appointed Eric French as chief marketplace officer, Propel has learned. French will have responsibility for the newly-created Marketplace Org within Deliveroo. He will have responsibility for the rider operations, customer care, restaurants, grocery and Editions functions. He will report directly to chief executive Will Shu, and also sit on the executive team. French joins Deliveroo from Amazon, where he worked for more than 15 years, holding a variety of finance and operating roles. Most recently, he was the vice-president for Amazon’s US Consumables business. In this role, he had responsibility for category leadership, product, technology, and private brands across the household, beauty, baby, and personal care product lines. The appointment comes at a time when Deliveroo is growing rapidly. The company now works with 140,000 restaurants and 110,000 riders across 12 markets. The company is focusing on areas including expanding its Editions delivery-only kitchens globally; working with more restaurants and grocery stores; and investing in new tools to help restaurants grow their business. A Deliveroo spokeswoman said: “We are excited Eric has joined in this new and important role at the company. He brings a huge amount of valuable knowledge and experience. He will work with the team to ensure we continue to improve our proposition for consumers, restaurants and riders. This will help us in our mission to become the definitive food company.”
BrewDog plans new BrewDog & Friends site in London: Scottish brewer and bar operator BrewDog plans to open a new site in London called BrewDog & Friends. Tweeting about the potential new opening with a picture of the inside of the proposed site, BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “Excited to hopefully turn this amazing old building in London into a new amazing BrewDog brewpub. The concept would be called ‘BrewDog & Friends’ and we would invite brilliant breweries from all over the world to do brewing residencies in the facility. Fingers crossed!” Propel understands the location in question is part of an old power station in Wapping, east London, with the site set to include a significant outdoor space.
Timothy Taylor’s appoints new estate operations director: Keighley-based brewer and retailer Timothy Taylor’s has appointed Paul Turner as its new estate operations director. Turner takes over from Steve Robinson who will retire on Friday (29 January)after more than 45 years in the industry. During his two years with Timothy Taylor’s, Robinson has helped with significantly transforming the company’s 19-strong pub estate, including the refurbishment of the Hare and Hounds in Hebden Bridge and modernising other sites such as the Woolly Sheep Inn in Skipton and Lord Rodney in Keighley. During his career, Robinson has worked for companies including Wilsons Brewery in Manchester, Isle of Man-based Heron & Brearley and north west brewer and retailer Robinsons. Turner joins from north west brewer and retailer Daniel Thwaites where his most recent role was as general manager of The Millstone in Mellor but for eight years he was an area manager responsible for looking after 50 tenanted outlets. Turner, who takes up his new role from Monday (1 February), said: “The pubs are in a great position and all looking forward to reopening whenever this becomes possible. My main task will be to build on the excellent work that Steve has done in furthering the development of the small but high-quality Taylor’s estate.” Timothy Taylor’s chief executive Tim Dewey said: “Although Steve has only been with us for two years, he has played a pivotal role in the development of our pub estate during that period and I am grateful for all of his efforts on our behalf.”
Thunderbird to replace Byron in Earl’s Court: Thunderbird Fried Chicken, the wings and fried chicken concept backed by TriSpan, is to further increase its presence in London, with an opening in Earl’s Court. Propel understands the Paul Gilchrist-led brand has secured the former Byron in Earl’s Court Road for an opening later this year. Thunderbird Fried Chicken also operates in Paddington (with Incipio Group), Charing Cross, and The O2, plus three dark kitchen units – in Croydon, Battersea and Shoreditch. Gilchrist told Propel the company hoped to secure a further two bricks and mortar sites before the end of the year. He said: “We will look to do more dark kitchen sites and partnership sites such as the one we have with Incipio in Paddington, but the brand will be built on us growing our bricks and mortar estate. There will be more opportunities to do just that as the year progresses but we will focus on getting the right sites in the right locations and for the right commercials for the business.” Propel revealed earlier this month Thunderbird Fried Chicken had launched a vegan delivery brand based around burgers and wings called Jackfruit Junkie, through the Shoreditch delivery kitchen. The Foodstars kitchen in Croydon will also deliver the plant-based virtual delivery brand.
Ole & Steen secures first new opening for 2021: Danish baker Ole & Steen has lined up its first new opening of 2021, after securing the former Café Rouge site in Hampstead High Street, Propel has learned. The site, which is scheduled to open at the end of March, will mark the company’s first foray into north London. This latest store, the brand’s 13th in total after it opened a site late last year in Notting Hill Gate, will have seating for 45 people inside as well as a lean bar and outside seating. The bakery will be open from 7.30am on weekdays and from 8am at weekends for takeaway, delivery and click and collect. Ole & Steen’s UK managing director Lee Nixon said: “We’re delighted to be adding a Hampstead bakery to our growing collection as we know our bakeries do very well in neighbourhood locations such as Richmond, Kensington, Canary Wharf and, more recently, Notting Hill, which we opened before Christmas. I know many people in Hampstead will already have visited our West End bakeries so I hope they will welcome us when we settle up the hill.”
St Peter’s sold to private individuals: One of the UK’s first craft brewers, St Peter’s, has been bought by a group of private individuals for an undisclosed sum. St Peter’s was founded in Suffolk by John Murphy, who developed and ran the business for 23 years. A spokesman said: “He has now taken the difficult decision to retire and sell the business. He is delighted to have found a team that will continue his legacy and continue to make high quality, traditional beer.” The new owners are friends who have worked together and share a passion for beer. The new team will be led by chief executive Derek Jones, who has more than 20 years of global beer experience, including at Molson Coors and SABMiller. Jones said: “This is an exciting new chapter for St Peter’s. It has strong roots and a very distinctive identity. It is a powerful platform from which to grow the business into the future. John Murphy had a clear vision for the brand, and we want to build on that. We will invest in the brewery in Suffolk from the outset to maintain quality while meeting growing demand. We believe the staff of St Peter’s have contributed enormously to the company’s success and are key to its future. We look forward to working with this excellent team and making some really good British beer.” St Peter’s is located in the grounds of the ancient moated St Peter’s Hall in the Suffolk countryside. It creates ale and alcohol-free beer in its iconic oval bottle, and in casks and kegs. It also owns and runs the historic Jerusalem Tavern in Clerkenwell, London. Janet and John Murphy were advised by Dave McCarthy at DrinksAdviser.
Record-holding Welsh Michelin-starred restaurant will not reopen after lockdown:Welsh restaurant Plas Bodegroes, which held a Michelin star for 14 years, will not reopen after lockdown ends. The restaurant has entertained famous guests such as Demi Moore, Dizzy Rascal and Anthony Hopkins and seen talented chefs including TV chef Bryn Williams, Steve Stephens (Sosban and the Old Butchers) and Mark Threadgill, head chef at Portmeirion, work in its kitchen. Owners Chris and Gunna Chown have had the site up for sale for several years and secured planning to revert back to a private home and turned the commercial kitchen into a domestic one. After 34 years of ownership, the couple have announced they will not reopen after lockdown. Chris Chown told North Wales Live: “It is the end of an era but I feel we have left a very good legacy. The restaurant still holds the record in Wales for holding a Michelin star, at 14 years. We have left a legacy with the chefs that have come through the kitchen and some of the dishes created here. The hardest part has been telling our staff – that has been a real wrench. We have had a very loyal staff with a small staff turnover, one staff member has been here for 34 years. When we came here we turned a private house into a restaurant with rooms and now we are turning it back. We have gone full circle and have been involved from the start to the finish.” The Chowns will remain in the house temporarily and will potentially use it as a holiday let during the peak season. Plas Bodegroes remains on the market.
Jollibee gets green light for fourth UK site: Jollibee, the Philippines fast food group, has been granted permission to open a new site in Nottingham that will create 70 jobs. The branch will open in the city centre’s Clumber Street, which had been earmarked by Metro Bank as a potential new site but it withdrew in 2019. Jollibee Nottingham will be the brand’s fourth UK site and has previously said it will be open by late spring. The business operates about 1,200 sites worldwide, selling fried chicken, spaghetti and burgers. Jollibee opened a restaurant in the former Select unit in Humberstone Gate in Leicester, in November last year, which created 50 jobs. Late last year, the company announced it has openings planned for Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff and a flagship site in London’s Leicester Square.
Hot Stone to open second restaurant next month: Japanese dining concept Hot Stone will open its second restaurant, in Fitzrovia’s Windmill Street on Sunday, 28 February. Following the success of the group’s first site in Islington’s Chapel Market, Hot Stone Fitzrovia will have a 50-cover restaurant and seven seat open sushi bar in the 1,300 square foot space. The menu will feature Ishiyaki food – inspired by the historic Japanese art of cooking on searing hot stones – alongside freshly prepared sushi, sashimi and seasonally changing hot dishes, such as 48-hour marinated black cod, Hamachi cheeks and fresh, home-made tofu will be introduced. Drinks include a curated list of sake by the glass, bottle and tasting flight, alongside old world wine, Japanese spirits and Sapporo and Kirin beer. Hot Stone co-founder and director Shrabaneswor Rai said: “We are delighted to be expanding the Hot Stone brand and to have found a new home in the heart of Fitzrovia. After an unprecedentedly challenging year for our sector, it’s fantastic to be growing, evolving and taking the Hot Stone concept to new audiences in central London.”
Leicester-based Indian restaurant Santhi withdraws from plans for Hinckley site due to pandemic: Leicester-based Indian restaurant Santhi has withdrawn from plans to open a second site, in Hinckley, due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The former home of Italian restaurant Rossini, in The Crescent shopping complex, was to be taken on by the company. Bosses at Santhi had set out to relaunch the venue offering Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine, with an express menu. The unit has been shut since March 2019, after a fire destroyed the bar area and caused smoke damage to much of the building. Terms had been agreed between Santhi and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, which owns the block where the unit is, with ambitions to reopen the space once it had been refurbished. But the difficulties of the past year has forced Santhi to back out of the venture. A Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council spokeswoman told Leicestershire Live: “Unfortunately, given the uncertainty of the last year, Santhi decided it was unable to progress the lease of C6 (the former Rossini unit).”
Soho nightclub launches crowdfunding campaign to reopen as live music venue:London nightclub The Crobar has launched a crowdfunding campaign to reopen its doors as a live music venue. The Soho venue closed in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, but saw punters worldwide raise money to pay its former bar staff. The club has now launched a £95,000 campaign on Crowdfunder as it plans to become a live music venue and bar. The crowdfund has so far reached £40,000, with owners aiming to open back up after pandemic restrictions are lifted. Owner Richard Thomas said “I’ve been here for 20 years and am so overwhelmed by the support. I have to admit, I did a little dance when we hit £40,000, as it gave me hope and more determination to save Soho and reopen the Crobar. I know we meant a lot to our customers, but I didn’t realise just how much!”
Rum distillery’s £10m plans meets Historic England opposition: A rum distillery has vowed to clean and protect a mining heritage site if it gets permission to build on the site in Cornwall. The Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company (CGDC) has plans to create a £10m geothermal rum distillery at United Downs, Gwennap, which is currently being used as a stock car racetrack. However, Historic England has raised concerns about the project. CGDC founder Matt Clifford stressed it has the budget to cleanse and spruce up the contaminated and tatty site and said it spent £100,000 investigating a nearby landfill site as an alternative but that has been deemed unviable. CGDC has applied for outline planning permission for a sustainable scheme, called the Celsius project, to mature and distil rum using heat generated by the UK’s first geothermal power plant at the United Downs site – which also powers up to 10,000 homes. The project recently received £75,000 from the government’s Green Distillery Competition grant scheme for projects that can cut carbon emissions and support new jobs. Historic England, the government’s advisory body on heritage, said to planners at Cornwall Council it believed the proposed development would damage the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Clifford told Business Live: “If we get our outline planning permission, we aim to take over the site and begin the process of decontaminating it and, we very much hope working with Cornwall’s World Heritage team, restoring all the precious features that have been neglected and damaged over decades.”
The Arc Cinema signs lease on Forge Island leisure development: Irish cinema operator Arc has signed on to be the lead leisure anchor at Rotherham’s Forge Island development. The Arc Cinema has exchanged a long-term lease with national urban regenerator, Muse Developments, at Forge Island, which will see a key area in the heart of the town centre repurposed into a mixed-use destination venue. The boutique cinema operator has six sites across the UK and Ireland, with a further two UK sites under construction and due to open this year. It specialises in providing a VIP cinema experience for the price of a standard ticket. There are also plans to include a new hotel, food and drink outlets and a car park at the development. Brian Gilligan, director at Melcorpo, which runs The Arc Cinema, said: “We were delighted to be selected by Rotherham Council and Muse to bring one of our cinemas to the Forge Island site. The large high-specification eight-screen cinema has been specially designed to ensure we become a leisure hub.”