Michelin-trained chef launches £555,000 crowdfunding campaign to open central London restaurant: Michelin-trained chef Harvey Trollope has launched a £555,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open a restaurant in central London. Trollope is looking to launch a first permanent site for his Harvey’s British Eatery concept following a series of 40-cover pop-ups. Trollope is offering £39.5% equity in return for investment. So far, 54 investors have pledged £137,170 with 30 days remaining. The largest investment has been £50,000. The pledge states: “We will work with the best in-season produce the British Isles has to offer to break the mould of British food on the high street. We want to unearth the recipes of our British heritage. For breakfast, think artisan regional British bread and pastries alongside a range of breakfast specialities. For lunch and in the evening, grilled and roast meat, game, native seafood, vegetables, puddings and, of course, British cheese! We will also adapt forgotten regional recipes to today’s dietary needs, including vegan and gluten-free. We want to properly showcase our fantastic British vegetables and fruit. There will also be a diverse bar menu with British beer, cider, fine liqueurs and classic favourites, as well as a carefully selected wine list of English, continental and new-world wines. The demand for Harvey’s British Eatery was determined through a series of 40-cover pop-ups at Clerkenwell Kitchen and The Jerwood Studios. This enabled us to test the appetite for exciting, affordable new British recipes and identify a gap in the market. We aim to open two further sites within five years.” Trollope has worked at one and two-star Michelin restaurants in France and Italy. He has also been head chef of Wheeler’s of St James’s and premier sous chef at the Ritz Hotel. The Harvey’s British Eatery team also includes consulting director Nigel Sutcliffe, who operates two London restaurants and was co-director of The Fat Duck.
Borg-Neal – rents should ease as over-stretched big-name brands scale back on expansion: Oakman Inns and Restaurants chief executive Peter Borg-Neal has said rents should ease as over-stretched big-name brands scale back on expansion. He said: “I take no pleasure from seeing any business struggle but the over-expansion by big-name brands did impact on prime and even secondary site rentals and in the current market those demands may and should ease. I suspect rent reviews over the next two years are going to be very different. We have already benefited from one such scenario. We have a site that has been trading well for the five years we have owned it and it’s due for a rent review. Six months ago we faced a situation where a well-known and very good restaurant operator was about to take over a similar site near ours but had agreed to pay 60% more rent than us. This would have been a serious double-whammy as not only would we have lost trade to the new entrant, we would also have faced a difficult battle at rent review to resist an increase in our rent to the same, very high level. However, they have now decided to pull out of the deal. We believe the combined benefit of this change is worth well in excess of £100,000 profit a year to us.” Borg-Neal added that despite swingeing increases in business rates having an impact, “our ever-growing purchasing power means we are able to mitigate increases in our cost of goods and thereby maintain our operating margins”. He said: “Most importantly of all, our sales remain strong. Our like-for-likes for the year to date stand at 7.1% for the 49 weeks ending Sunday, 11 March.” Oakman is currently raising £10.2m in debt and equity to fund further growth in 2018/19. It has gained planning permission to develop The Polecat in Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, and has an application in process for the Walter Arms in Sindlesham, Berkshire. Borg-Neal added: “We have signed an agreement to lease a new site in Epsom and are also very close on five others.”
Deliveroo celebrates ten millionth burger delivery in the UK: Deliveroo has celebrated its ten millionth burger delivery in the UK by unveiling a bus-sized billboard in east London. The Brick Lane billboard was made from more than 2,000 burgers, which were handed out to passers-by. Deliveroo revealed the top ten most popular burgers it delivers are currently Taxidriver from Gourmet Burger Kitchen (London), Five Guys’ cheeseburger (London), Smashburger (Brighton), Byron (Oxford), the Mighty Joe Burger from Archies (Liverpool), Cluckwhich from Mother Clucker (London), Atomic Burger (Bristol), Tribute Burger from Honest Burger (London), BC Burger from The Boozy Cow (Edinburgh), and Dirty Burger (London).
Pedler Cru launches £100,000 crowdfunding campaign to open second site: London-based neighbourhood restaurant and cocktail bar Pedler Cru has launched a £100,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open its second site, at the Battersea Power Station development. Taskin Muzaffer, Gareth Crosby and Pru Clarke founded the concept in Peckham Rye in 2014. Having secured premises in Battersea for their second site, the trio are seeking funds to open the 175-seater restaurant. They are offering a 9.09% equity stake in return for the investment. The pitch states: “We have now secured our second location, a prime river-facing, 175-seater site at the Battersea Power Station development and are ready to take the Pedler spirit to London’s newest neighbourhood. Complementing Pedler Peckham Rye, Pedler Cru will focus on smart and relaxed neighbourhood dining with the best seasonal and as local-as-we-can-get-it produce. As well as restaurant, bar and river-terrace dining, the new space will benefit from an open kitchen and dine at counter to showcase produce and encourage interaction with the chefs. Design and inspiration has been drawn from New York, Sydney and Melbourne with a combination of raw, cured and deliciously cooked irresistible plates, Pedler-style.”
Egyptian-born restaurateur opens Mediterranean restaurant and bar concept in Pimlico: Egyptian-born restaurateur Omar Shabaan has launched a Mediterranean restaurant and bar concept in Pimlico, central London. Shabaan, whose family runs the Andrea Mariouteya hospitality group in Egypt, has launched Omar’s Place in Cambridge Street. Presently a 40-cover restaurant, a wine cellar-style space will open downstairs to accommodate a further 30 guests, while there is also a terrace. The decor celebrates the colours of the Mediterranean, with emerald green, terracotta and sky blue complemented by misshapen lighting, marble table tops and curved mirrors. Mallorcan-born Vicente Fortea leads the kitchen, where he has created a menu of contemporary tapas dishes from the Mediterranean coast. They include Carabinero prawn with crispy rice, 45-day-aged Galician beef, and caramelised bread and butter pudding with coffee ice cream. The drinks list features wine and cocktails.
New Caribbean concept Baygo launches in City of London: New Caribbean concept Baygo has launched in Eastcheap in the City of London. The brand’s name derives from the island of Tobago, the homeland of executive chef Hasan De Four and founder Chris Morris. Breakfast items include vegan dish Ackee Ital Pot (ackee, sweet and spicy beans, avocado, spinach and roasted tomatoes). Lunch dishes include Island One Pots, curried goat and chicken, and a pulled-pork burger with homemade sauce. Baygo also offers a chickpea burger, salad, soup and roti wraps. A spokesman said: “This exciting new arrival to the London restaurant scene will revolutionise your opinion of Caribbean food and ensure ‘that trip’ to the West Indies isn’t just a pipe dream.”
Italian investors pass 50% mark in crowdfunding campaign to expand clubhouse concept in London: Matteo and Ioana Cerri, who are behind venture capital company Made by Italians (i2i.london) and social media and events firm #EatDrinkLoveItalian, have passed the 50% mark in their £300,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Seedrs to expand their Italians Clubhouse concept. The venture is offering 15% equity in exchange for investment. So far, 56 investors have pledged £150,584. The concept soft-launched in Mayfair’s Shepherd Market in December operating as a pop-up events space and art gallery after the Cerris secured a 20-year lease. Funds will be used to fully launch the concept by the end of spring featuring a casual dining restaurant, terrace, wine bar, private lounges, a Campari-sponsored bar, members’ room, bed and breakfast, a tailor, barber, gym and concierge services. Another opening is planned for winter 2018/2019 in Shoreditch, where Italians Clubhouse already operates ITS Fashion Street Cafe. The founders said the food and beverage operations would occupy two-thirds of Italians Clubhouse, while memberships, extra services and the B&B operation would accelerate the plan with potential to support the second opening with little or no extra fund-raising. The Cerris added an initial refurbishment of the first location had already increased the commercial value of the property with further refurbishments planned, including a chance to revert the upper floors to residential as a “safety net/exit strategy”. The pledge states: “Funds raised during the campaign will support our growth in the startup phase. Italians Clubhouse intends to invest the proceeds in additional high-quality refurbishment works of the first location; secure top of the trade personnel; launch a marketing campaign targeting the local business community (beyond the existing large network of followers); and secure a larger location in Fashion Street, Shoreditch.” The company said it had an outstanding loan of £500,000 with an interest rate of 7% per annum to be paid off within the next three years. It added: “None of the funds raised will be used to repay this loan.”
Greggs chooses Adestra for first-person marketing: Greggs has selected agency Adestra for its email and marketing automation to foster customer loyalty and create engaging emails as part of a first-person marketing approach. Adestra’s digital design team is refreshing the look and use of Greggs’ email templates, adopting a modular design and using its Email Editor technology to make them accessible regardless of the device they are read on. Last month, Greggs chief executive Roger Whiteside said the company would open a record number of stores in 2018 and extend its overall target beyond the 2,000 it originally projected by pressing the “accelerator on shop openings”. The announcement came the day after Greggs reported like-for-likes up 3.2% in the first eight weeks of 2018. Founded in 2004, Adestra has offices in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Bristol-based brewery led by former BrewDog operations director eyes £1m via crowdfunding campaign: Bristol-based Left Handed Giant Brewing, which is led by former BrewDog operations director Bruce Gray, has set its sights on raising £1m in its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The company hit its £450,000 target within an hour of launch and Gray has now set his sights higher. The company produces about 3,000HL of beer a year but aims to bring that up to almost 5,000HL. Gray, who founded the company three years ago, told Insider Media: “The vast majority of the funding will be used to develop new premises in the city centre at a 7,500 square foot premises with a new brewery behind the bar so customers can drink it brewery fresh. We’re looking at how we can expand to maximise turnover, which we needed to do. Premises seemed a good way to go. The idea is to have that direct feedback with the customer as well as maximising turnover and minimising costs of things like logistics. If we get up to £750,000 we won’t have to take any finance for the fit-out – we’ll be taking out a commercial mortgage for the site. If we raise another £250,000 that can help decrease the mortgage and bring down the overheads.” Gray is offering a 6% stake in return for the investment. So far, 925 investors have pledged £714,910 with 19 days remaining.
MasterChef: The Professionals runner-up to launch Leeds restaurant: MasterChef: The Professionals runner-up Matt Healy is set to launch a restaurant in Leeds. Healy has been revealed as the successful bidder for renowned restaurant The Foundry. The Leeds chef was runner-up in the BBC show in 2016, with two-Michelin-starred judge Marcus Wareing describing one of Healy’s sauces as “one of the best he had ever tasted”. A number of parties made bids for the restaurant after owners Phil Richardson and Shaun Davies revealed they would sell the Round Foundry-based eatery. Healy, who previously worked at El Gato Negro in Manchester, told BDaily: “I’ve been looking for a Leeds venue for a long time and when we heard The Foundry might be available we jumped at it. It will remain open until the middle of next month when our interiors team get their hands on it. We see the handover as a changing of the guard – there’ll be a new look, new name and new menu. We’re looking to take The Foundry to the next level.” The restaurant is expected to reopen in the first week of May.
Webb Hotel Group acquires first pub, in Staffordshire: Webb Hotel Group has acquired its first pub, The Red Lion in the village of Newborough in Staffordshire. The family-owned company acquired the pub from owners Nick Coleman and Roger Punchard. It will continue to be managed by Emma Smith and head chef Adam Bonner, with the other 19 staff also kept on. Webb Hotel Group chairman Michael Webb told the Burton Mail: “We are thrilled to have added The Red Lion to our group of businesses. As a local of the pub for many years, I have experienced the great community atmosphere and look forward to bringing a family touch to the business. The philosophy of Webb Hotel Group is personal service, attention to detail and a real warm welcome – something The Red Lion fits perfectly.” Webb Hotel Group bought Moor Hall Hotel And Spa in Sutton Coldfield more than 50 years ago. Its current portfolio includes The George Hotel and The Cathedral Hotel, both in Lichfield, and The Gables Hotel, near Bristol.
‘Chimaek’ concept Wing Wing opens second London site: “Chimaek” concept Wing Wing has launched its second London site. Originally a Korean phenomenon, “chimaek” was perfected on the streets of New York offering Korean-style chicken and ice-cold beer. Wing Wing has opened in a 5,000 square foot site in Hammersmith Broadway offering double-fried Korean-style chicken with a choice of three glazes – soy garlic, hot or liquorice. Wing Wing also offers Asian-inspired comfort food such as katsu bao, seaweed fries and kimchi coleslaw, while the venue offers ice-cold beer via self-serve Bottoms-Up beer dispensers. The new venue is almost twice the size of Wing Wing’s debut site in Bloomsbury, which opened last May. The split-level restaurant features a dedicated ground-floor takeaway and delivery counter, with a 180-cover dining area downstairs. The venue also features two “coops” – private dining rooms for two with 60-inch television screens, karaoke equipment and their own cocktail bars. Wing Wing has also launched a corporate delivery service at the site for local offices.
Pitch Stratford street food terrace returns to east London this month: Alfresco street food terrace Pitch Stratford will return to east London on Thursday, 29 March. The space near Stratford train station, which made its debut last year, will feature new traders Ticos (gourmet hotdogs and slow-cooked beef ribs), The Gyoza Guys (dumplings), and modern Greek specialists Kalimera. The Pitch Sweet Shack will offer homemade churros and crepes, while the bar will feature Camden Town Brewery draught taps alongside cider, wine and cocktails. The space will also host events such as themed film screenings, evening classes, party nights, Friday networking drinks and Sunday DJ brunches, The Nudge reports. A sister venue across the street – a trampoline park set in a Victorian theatre – will also feature a late-night speakeasy below called The Curious Fox.
Jamie’s Italian closes in Bath: Jamie Oliver has closed his Jamie’s Italian site in Bath. The restaurant in Milsom Place is one of 12 closing following the approval of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) last month. Under the terms of the CVA, Jamie’s Italian will also shut sites in Bristol, Bluewater, Chelmsford, Greenwich, Harrogate, Kingston-upon-Thames, Milton Keynes, Piccadilly Diner, Reading, St Albans and Threadneedle Street in London. It will also be able to secure rent reductions on the remaining estate. Last month, Oliver placed Barby, the parent company that owns his Barbecoa sites in St Paul’s and Piccadilly in London, into administration. The assets and lease of the St Paul’s site were bought by another division of Oliver’s restaurant group, while the Piccadilly site has been closed and remains in administration. Oliver also closed his Jamie’s Deli site in Bath last month.
Yorkshire-based Indian restaurant opens second site, in Leeds: Yorkshire-based Indian restaurant 4 Kitchens has opened its second site, in Leeds. Hemant Ghosh, Tarun Bansal and Sunil Sinha launched the concept, which offers authentic dishes from four areas of the country, in Ilkley in September. Now it has opened a 90-cover venue in Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, at a site formerly occupied by restaurant Siam Oriental. 4 Kitchens’ dishes focus on four states – Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Meals include Tawe Ki Battakh, a classic dish from Mumbai’s oldest community that features duck breast that is pot-roasted with coriander, cumin and garlic with a tangy sauce. Another dish is lamb shank Xacuti, a Goan curry with complex roasted spices, coconut and dried red chillies. Ghosh told the Yorkshire Post: “When I moved to the UK in 2009 there were plenty of places to eat but not food we would eat back home in India. I felt there was a gap in the market for authentic Indian cooking in Yorkshire. As a result, I felt it would be good to provide a regional cuisine restaurant.”
JD Wetherspoon lodges plans for 60-bedroom hotel on Leigh-on-Sea pub car park: JD Wetherspoon has lodged plans for a 60-bedroom hotel on the car park of its pub in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. The company has submitted an application to Southend Council to build the hotel in The Elms car park in London Road. Wetherspoon said the car park was “underused”, with 1,200 pay-to-park spaces available “within a 30-minute walk of the site” as well as considerable on-street parking in the area. The hotel would be linked to The Elms through a new walkway, reports the Echo. The application stated: “The applicant can see an opportunity to develop the site of the car park as a new hotel providing 60 bedrooms. JD Wetherspoon has become very successful at making good commercial use of underused land and buildings in its estate to create hotel bedrooms.”
Hull-based Gadgie Burger to open debut sit-down restaurant for third site: Hull-based Gadgie Burger is to open a debut sit-down restaurant for its third site in the city. The 30-cover restaurant will launch in Holderness Road with a menu extended to include breakfast, coffee and protein shakes. Gadgie Burger was founded by Mike Holiday and Tom Mainprize in July 2016. They started out as a small takeaway joint in Anlaby Road before opening a second site in Beverley Road. General manager Rachel Thompson told the Hull Daily Mail: “We wanted an atmosphere where we could get to meet customers and get to know regulars. Our other restaurants are takeaways but this one will be the first where you can eat in. You’ve got to set targets and dreams and when we started out as a business we always knew we wanted to expand. People love what we offer and we want to keep our customers happy.”
Signature Living outlines plans to transform former Belfast entertainment venue: Aparthotel developer and operator Signature Living has outlined plans to acquire and transform Floral Hall in Belfast. The company aims to spend £5m to transform the building in the grounds of Belfast Zoo and restore it for use as a “leading entertainment, conference and wedding venue”. Built in the mid-1930s, Floral Hall was one of Belfast’s foremost entertainment venues for more than 35 years as a dance hall and later as a venue for bands such as Pink Floyd. Now owned by Belfast City Council, the venue has been closed since the 1970s, reports the Irish Times. Belfast City Council said no discussions had taken place with Signature Living about the site but it was keen to see the landmark “restored to its former glory”. Signature Living is behind plans for five hotels in Belfast, including the George Best Hotel at the Scottish Mutual Building, the £25m redevelopment of Crumlin Road Court House to create the 150-bedroom Lanyon Hotel, and the Waring Hotel at the old War Memorial Building. All of them are scheduled to open this year.
G1 Group launches chef-training programme: Scotland’s biggest managed operator G1 Group has launched a training programme for its aspiring chefs. The company has launched Serving Up Success, which aims to provide new and existing kitchen staff with the opportunity to obtain qualifications that can be used throughout their careers. Certificated qualifications chefs can achieve include health and safety level 2, food safety level 2, allergens, and first aid. Candidates, who will work with the company’s head chefs, will also learn skills such as fishmongery, butchery and bread-making. The programme encompasses a range of activities from foraging in woodland and by the sea to visiting wholesalers and suppliers. Head of talent and development Rachel James said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our staff this opportunity to gain qualifications while developing their practical skills and earning at the same time through our latest scheme. We hope this will kick-start many of our employees’ career aspirations and set the tone for further learning and development within the company.”
Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor to plant vineyard next month: Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor hotel and restaurant will plant a vineyard next month on its 28-acre estate in east Devon. Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines launched the venue a year ago and his team will plant about 18,000 vines to produce “classic champagne-method sparkling wine”. Caines said: “From the first time I viewed the property in July 2014, my intention was to establish a vineyard on the site. Our climate is mild and the success of other local vineyards has convinced me it will be possible to produce outstanding wine here. Wine is a huge passion of mine and an integral part of what we offer at the hotel.” The first batch of Lympstone Manor Cuvee is set for October 2023. Caines also runs the Coach House Restaurant at Kentisbury Grange Hotel, near Barnstaple, and Palé Hall Hotel and Restaurant in Llandderfel, W