St Austell adds pub on outskirts of Bristol to tenanted portfolio: Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery has acquired The Rising Sun in Pensford, on the outskirts of Bristol. The pub will become part of St Austell Brewery’s tenanted estate and be run by Lisa Faulkner and Becca Fricker. The Rising Sun has a large riverside garden and is nestled at the foot of Pensford Viaduct by the River Chew. It serves fresh home-cooked food as well as local cask ale and cider. Steve Worrall, retail director at St Austell Brewery, said: “The Rising Sun is a wonderful acquisition for the company and a natural fit with the rest of our tenanted pub portfolio in the Bath and Bristol area, which also includes The Albion in Clifton and The Lamplighters in Shirehampton. As a business, we have an ongoing strategy to strengthen our award-winning estate of pubs and hotels across the south west. With more than 160 years’ experience of championing the pub as the focal point of the community, we look forward to developing the Rising Sun’s offering in partnership with Lisa and Becca.” In total, including its managed houses, St Austell Brewery owns more than 175 pubs, inns and hotels across Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and the Isles of Scilly.
Tokyo Industries to launch ‘high-end’ drinking and dining concept next month for sixth Manchester venue: Tokyo Industries will launch its sixth Manchester venue next month. The company is opening BLVD (Boulevard) Manchester on Thursday, 14 November in the former Neighbourhood bar in Spinningfields. BLVD Manchester will bring a “high-end” drinking, dining and entertainment concept to the city, creating 60 jobs. With 36 venues in the UK, Tokyo Industries began in Oldham in 1997 and has seen rapid expansion in recent years, both in Britain and internationally. Chief executive Aaron Mellor said: “We’re excited to launch BLVD Manchester, adding to the ever-changing landscape of this great city. We want to captivate our audience and offer them something exclusive and modern, yet with the comforts of a retained familiarity.” The Neighbourhood site, operated by East Coast Concepts, closed earlier this year after the city council revoked the licence following a second review in a year.
Harrods opens first standalone cafe outside London: Harrods has opened its first standalone cafe outside London. H Cafe has launched in Henley, Oxfordshire, reports Hot Dinners. The two-floor space in Market Place offers a selection of dishes alongside a retail area featuring a range of the department store’s food, drink and home accessories. The kitchen is led by executive head chef Andy Cook, and the food replicates the current food-to-go and deli offering seen in the Harrods food halls and restaurants. There is also an afternoon tea menu.
Leon confirms debut Leeds site: Natural fast food brand Leon has confirmed it will open its first Leeds restaurant. The company is opening the outlet on the concourse of Leeds train station towards the end of the year. It will offer Leon’s classic menu items and some new dishes only available in Leeds. The restaurant will also feature some new concept elements that are being kept under wraps until closer to the opening. Earlier this year, Propel reported the company had up to 20 restaurants planned for its current financial year – more than half of them overseas. In the UK, as well as the Leeds site it plans a number of openings in London, including Bishopsgate, Wimbledon and on the South Bank.
Flying Pig & Lobster closes West Kirby pub: Flying Pig & Lobster, the pub business Mission Mars operates with chef Simon Rimmer, has shut its West Kirby pub The Viking with immediate effect. Based in Black Horse Hill, The Viking opened in 2016 with an aim of “bringing a modern British pub to West Kirby”. The venue was designed with Scandinavia in mind – hence the name. It boasted a mini cinema screen, bar, outdoor play area and photo booth for guests. A spokeswoman told Propel: “During the first two years it proved extremely popular and consistently delivered a high-quality guest experience. More recently, however we have found it more challenging to maintain this level of experience. After a lot of consideration and a period of review, we have concluded closing is the best option with immediate effect. Our priority is our team and we aim to preserve as many jobs as possible and will offer alternative positions within the business where we can.” Flying Pig & Lobster has two outlets in Woolton – The Elephant and The Liberty Tavern. Mission Mars is also behind Albert’s Schloss in Manchester and Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, which operates four sites.
Elmesthorpe Brewery Company reopens former JD Wetherspoon pub in Hinckley for seventh site: Leicester-based brewer and retailer Elmesthorpe Brewery Company has reopened a former JD Wetherspoon pub in Hinckley for its seventh site. Elmesthorpe has taken on The Baron Of Hinckley in Regent Street after Wetherspoon decided against renewing the lease when it expired at the end of September. It marks the largest site to date for Elmesthorpe Brewing Company owners Nirad and Payal Solanki, reports Leicestershire Live. Minor tweaks to the Wetherspoon business model have been made, including food being served for fewer hours and selling Elmesthorpe Brewery Company’s own beer. Elmesthorpe Brewery Company owns the Dog House bar in Leicester and the Bulls Head in Stoney Stanton. It also has pubs in Rugby and Tewkesbury and two bars in the Czech Republic.
Pieminister looks to double up in Manchester: Bristol-based Pieminister is looking to double up in Manchester. The company has applied to the city council to turn a former printing shop in Deansgate into a restaurant. The site would have about 20 covers on the ground floor and a large basement space to prepare for office catering. It would be the second Manchester location for the brand, which has a site in Church Street in the Northern Quarter that opened in 2013. Managing director and co-founder Jon Simon told the Manchester Evening News: “We do great business in the Northern Quarter and it’s gone from strength to strength. Manchester’s been a great city for us.” The new site, which is within the grade II-listed Royal London House, is expected to open in early 2020. Earlier this month, Pieminister was given the go-ahead to open a site in Exeter.
Wisbech-based operator adds King’s Lynn pub to portfolio for seventh site:Wisbech-based operator Gary Haime has added a King’s Lynn pub to his portfolio for his seventh site. Haime has acquired Lattice House, a 15th century former coaching inn in Chapel Street. Manager Mikey Dennis said the property would be going back to its roots as a community-based drinking pub. A food menu will be introduced in about a month’s time, reports the Lynn News. Haime operates five pubs in Wisbech as well as a restaurant. Lattice House was sold by JD Wetherspoon to Hawthorn Leisure in 2016.
BrewDog gears up for arrival of Australian brewery and taproom: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog is gearing up for the arrival of its Australian brewery and taproom. The taproom will launch at the site in Brisbane next month, with the brewery planned to push its first beers off the line in January. The Brisbane taproom will be BrewDog’s 94th bar globally and feature 28 taps of craft beer. The wine list will feature an all-Aussie line-up, alongside spirits and local-only soft drinks. This will sit alongside BrewDog’s menu of burgers, dogs, salads and buffalo wings and bunch dishes. The site is also home to an arcade area, beer cellar made from a shipping container, and a shop selling beer and BrewDog merchandise. BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “DogTap Brisbane is one of the biggest and best bars we’ve created, and we’re excited to open this amazing space. We’ve shipped BrewDog Headliner beer to Australia for almost ten years, but this new brewery will now give us the capacity to reach new corners of the country.” Earlier this month, BrewDog revealed is will issue a new mini-bond that will pay lenders partly in beer. The company will launch the offer on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. It will pay 6% interest per annum, which will be paid 50% in cash and 50% in beer – redeemable in its bars or online shop. The bond will run alongside the company’s Equity for Punks crowdfunding campaign, which has so far raised almost £6.9m from more than 33,500 investors. The latest Equity for Punks campaign, which runs until April, aims to raise £7m and has a stretch goal of £50m. In total, its six fund-raises to date have raised almost £73.9m from circa 125,000 investors.
Family behind Hackney fish and chip venue to open seafood restaurant and wine bar in Bermondsey: The family behind Hackney fish and chip restaurant Cod & Co is to launch a seafood restaurant and wine bar in Bermondsey. It is opening Baccalà in Bermondsey Street next month. The two-floor restaurant will feature a chef’s counter on the ground floor with a raw bar, which will run on alternate days, and communal tables. In the basement, there’ll be a glass floor separating the kitchen from diners, with space for larger groups. Ex-Four Seasons Hotels chef Moreno Polverini is leading the kitchen at the restaurant, which will have a seasonally changing menu. The wine selection will be exclusively Italian from small producers, reports Hot Dinners.
Joël Robuchon International to launch first of two new concepts in London this week: Joël Robuchon International is to launch the first of two new concepts in London this week. Following the death of Michelin-starred chef Joël Robuchon in August 2018, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon closed earlier this year. Now Le Comptoir Robuchon will open at the Clarges Street development in Mayfair on Friday (1 November), focusing on the chef’s original small plates concept. The kitchen will be led by executive chef Jeremy Page, who worked with Robuchon for 13 years at the original L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris. The menu, designed for sharing, will compose two parts – La Saison, featuring seasonal dishes, and Les Eternels, a collection of Robuchon classics. The decor will feature burnt orange and clay tones, with a marble-top counter and banquette seating. Meanwhile, Le Deli Robuchon will launch in Piccadilly in November offering an all-day dining space with eat-in and takeaway options and a patisserie. There will also be a selection of products available to buy, while the off-site boulangerie will offer fresh pastries, sandwiches, salads, afternoon tea, and cheese and charcuterie boards. Le Deli will offer a mixture of high-top and traditional seating surrounded by decorative displays and a central retail hub. Robuchon was the most decorated chef in the history of the Michelin Guide, at one time holding 32 stars.
Yakinori pulls plans for Manchester opening: Japanese restaurant concept Yakinori has pulled its plans to open in Manchester. The concept, which is the brainchild of Ali Karakaya, was due to open a site in the £11m Halle Place food quarter at the Arndale Centre. But the shopping centre’s owner has confirmed Yakinori, which has sites in Birmingham and Bristol, has backed out. A spokeswoman for Manchester Arndale said the unit due to be taken up by Yakinori was under offer and new lettings would be announced for the development soon. She told the Manchester Evening News: “The change in types of restaurants we have seen at shopping centres recently has presented an opportunity to create a unique food and drink hub, full of local and regional independent brands. We believe that creating a mix of diverse restaurant offerings is the key to success. We are talking to several food and drink brands that are keen to be a part of Halle Place and we look forward to announcing more exciting lettings soon.”
Ivy Collection to open debut Welsh site next month: The Ivy Collection, which is backed by Richard Caring, will make its Welsh debut next month. The company will open the venue on Monday, 18 November at the St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff. The Ivy Collection is launching the two-storey, 5,600 square foot brasserie after revamping the former Jamie’s Italian site. It will have space for 260 covers with outdoor seating and a private dining space for 24 people. The Ivy Collection managing director Baton Berisha said: “We are pleased to confirm the opening date for The Ivy Cardiff and look forward to welcoming the first guests.” The Cardiff launch is one of five openings planned by The Ivy Collection by the end of the year, with sites in London’s Victoria, Oxford and Windsor also in the pipeline along with The Ivy Asia in London’s St Paul’s.
Star Pubs & Bars launches new digital marketing support: Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars has launched a new package of digital marketing support for its licensees. The support includes free webinar training on advanced social media skills, a consumer data capture solution, and a website creation service with digital marketing and live booking system options. The package has been developed following feedback from licensees on their need for great digital marketing support. Following a tendering process, Star Pubs & Bars is linking with social media consultancy Avocado Social for webinar training, Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social for data capture, and ToGo, with whom it has negotiated preferential rates, for website production, digital marketing and a complete table reservation system. Paul Gordon, retail marketing manager for Star Pubs & Bars, said: “The standard customer journey no longer begins outside the pub based on its external appearance and kerb appeal. More and more customers are turning to the digital world to inform their decisions about where to spend their hard-earned cash.”
Boston Tea Party to open Taunton site next month: All-day casual dining cafe Boston Tea Party will open a site in Taunton next month. The company is opening the venue on Thursday, 7 November in the former Prezzo restaurant on the corner of Corporation Street and Fore Street, reports This is the West Country. The new site, which will create 30 jobs, will cater for up to 150 customers and include a “secret” garden terrace. It will be Boston Tea Party’s third cafe in Somerset. Boston Tea Party, which last year became the first operator to ban single-use coffee cups, currently operates 23 sites. This summer, as part of its new National Making Things Better Day initiative, the company pledged to remove all single-use plastic milk bottles.
Borough Market launches online delivery: Borough Market has become the first produce market in the UK to offer online delivery. The service allow Londoners to order produce from operators, including doughnuts from independent bakery and baking school Bread Ahead and charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon. Customers can either collect their order or book a delivery slot where their goods will arrive via a zero-emission electric cargo bike. Delivery is currently only available in a 1.5 mile of the market but is set to be expanded in the future. The online move comes as Borough Market prepares to open a food market offering communal dining next month. The Borough Market Kitchen in Jubilee House will feature 25 traders using seasonal produce from the market. Established operators such as pasta concept La Tua Pasta will sit alongside newcomers including Mei Mei by chef Elizabeth Haigh and a new pintxos bar from Mimo London.
Hull-based gin school to open second site, in Leeds: Hull-based gin school Hotham’s has revealed plans to expand into Leeds. Founders Emma Kinton and Simon Pownall will launch Hotham’s Gin School Leeds in Eastgate in November, with customers able to distil their own bottle of gin. Visitors will learn about the history of gin and different methods of distillation, while having a chance to try up to 100 botanicals used in the process. The venue will also offer a range of spirits produced by Hotham’s and feature an upstairs bar. Kinton told Insider Media: “We will be able to offer more choice with two venues offering the same high-end experience we’ve been delivering in Hull for the past 18 months.”
Chinese-inspired pop-up concept to go permanent with Clapton launch: Chinese-inspired pop-up concept Lucky and Joy is to open a permanent site. Following a series of residencies across London, founders Ellen Parr and Pete Kelly are settling down in Clapton. The restaurant, in Lower Clapton Road, will launch next month. The 44-cover restaurant will be inspired by the duo’s trips across south east Asia as well as taking the lead from New York’s Chinatown. The menu will feature the Xi’an lamb burger, which will be served in a freshly baked English muffin-style bun with pickles and chilli; as well as sesame noodles’ tossed in a homemade dressing with a chilli kick, reports Hot Dinners. Bar snacks such as crispy fried kidney beans and homemade pickles will accompany the cocktail menu, which will include Chinese-inspired creations such as the mojito-style Yunnan Flavour, with coconut-washed vodka, ginger, lemongrass and coriander.
Nine Group secures £9m facility for Surrey hotel: Hotel operator Nine Group has secured a £9m property development finance facility from OakNorth for a new site in Surrey. The funds will be used to convert the old Menzies Chequers Hotel in Horley, which is not currently in use, into a four-star Marriott-branded hotel with permission for 131 bedrooms. The hotel will also have its own restaurant, eight event rooms and 200 parking spaces. Nine Group currently has 11 hotels under its portfolio, including the recently constructed Novotel Hotel at Heathrow airport, the Holiday Inn at Watford Junction and the DoubleTree by Hilton in Reading. Vivek Chadha, managing director and founder of Nine Group, said: “The Menzies Chequers building has a long history dating to the 1500s when it was a coaching inn during the Tudor period, so we’re excited to be restoring it to its former glory and bringing the Nine Group approach to the design.”
Edinburgh-based Syrian bakery opens restaurant: Edinburgh-based Syrian bakery Taza Bake has opened a restaurant in the city. Owner Abdullah Razzouk has launched Taza In Town in Bread Street having opened a bakery in Stewartfield in 2015. The restaurant offers cuisine from the Levantine region including dishes from Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Turkey. Razzouk told the Edinburgh News: “We know a lot of people who enjoy Syrian food but not where to get it in Edinburgh. That was the main point – make it authentic for locals and foreign communities to enjoy.” Taza Bake also operates a small shop selling stone-baked Syrian pies.
Meininger Hotels set for UK expansion with Liverpool launch: Budget operator Meininger Hotels has signed a contract to launch in Liverpool with further UK expansion on the horizon. The venue will be located in Union Court and is the company’s second site in the UK on the back of opening in London’s Hyde Park in 2006. Plans for a Meininger Hotel Manchester are also underway and expected to open at the end of 2021. The Liverpool venue will comprise 277 bedrooms across six floors, as well as a lobby, reception, guest kitchen, bar, lounge, game zone and breakfast area. Meininger Hotels chief executive Hannes Spanring said: “Together with openings planned for this year in Paris and Lyon, as well as next year in Washington DC, which will mark the respective market entries in France and the US, Liverpool is an important milestone in Meininger Hotels’ goal to operate about 34,000 bedrooms internationally by 2024.”
Pepe’s Piri Piri Grill opens Reading site: Flame-grilled chicken chain Pepe’s Piri Piri Grill has opened a site in Reading. The company has launched the outlet at the junction of Oxford Road and Zinzan Street, reports Berkshire Live. Pepe’s specialises in piri piri chicken, serving wings, chicken strips, fried chicken and lamb burgers as well as wraps and pitta and vegetarian options. The brand opened its first site in 2007, in Watford.
Cineworld to open York site in December: Cineworld is to open a site in York in December. The cinema, located at York Community Stadium, will feature 13 screens, including an IMAX theatre, 270-degree ScreenX cinema and VIP viewing areas. It is set to open on Friday, 13 December. Cineworld York general manager Nick Bashford told Insider Media: “We have a great variety of screening formats that will offer the most immersive cinema experience in York.”
Caversham-based vegan restaurant goes from pop-up to permanent: Caversham-based vegan restaurant Vegivores has gone from pop-up to permanent. Owner Kevin Farrell first started trading at markets and street food events in 2017 and has also sold food at Reading FC. Now he has opened a bricks and mortar restaurant in St Martin’s Precinct. All food is plant-based and only compostable packaging is used. Farrell set up the business to provide people with a wider variety of vegan food following a change in his own lifestyle, reports The Reading Chronicle.
Whitbread secures operating licence for Scottish village hotel: Whitbread has been granted a provisional operating licence for its planned Premier Inn in the Scottish village of Tweedbank. The company has been given the go ahead by Scottish Borders Council for a bar opening from 11am to 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with midnight closing hours on other days. The 71-bedroom hotel and 66-cover bar restaurant will be part of a £12m development next to Melrose roundabout that will also include a fuel station and drive-thru coffee shop, reports the Border Telegraph.