Wrapchic to open Birmingham airport site as it looks to add at least ten more outlets in 2018: Fusion fast food business Wrapchic is returning to its Birmingham roots with a site at the city’s airport as it aims to add at least ten more venues by the end of the year. Mahesh Raikar, who founded the concept in Birmingham in 2012, is opening the kiosk in departures following a deal brokered by agents Harris Lamb. Raikar tasked Harris Lamb in 2015 with acquiring premises in key locations across the UK to aid the business’ expansion. It now has 15 stores across the UK, and aims to have more than 25 by the end of 2018. Wrapchic has also launched its first international store in Dubai. Head of retail David Walton told The Business Desk: “Transport locations are a pivotal part of the business’ next growth phase, and this is a superb site at an important UK airport.” Raikar said the location was a “landmark achievement” for the business. He added: “With a number of further outlets planned for 2018 and more transport locations already in solicitors’ hands, we’re confident the next 12 months will see the chain expand further with the ongoing support of the Harris Lamb team.”
Beronmoor opens eighth site as it takes on fifth Star Pubs & Bars venue, in Kilburn: London-based multi-site operator Beronmoor has opened his eighth site after taking on its fifth venue with Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. Beronmoor has relaunched the former Prince of Wales in Willesden Lane, Kilburn, as the Kilburn Arms following a £750,000 joint refurbishment designed to broaden the pub’s appeal. The refurbished gastro-pub now also has an artisan fish and chip shop and 12 new double en-suite letting rooms – Beronmoor’s first site with accommodation. A large new kitchen has been installed allowing the Kilburn Arms to offer food for the first time with an area partitioned off to cater for the fish and chip takeaway service. The whole interior of the pub has been redecorated and upgraded. A mix of banquette and freestanding seating has increased the covers by 20 to 93. The menu features pub classics including homemade burgers, risottos and Sunday roasts. Fish and seafood are a speciality. Drinks feature a selection of premium gin and rum, wine and champagne, cocktails, craft ale, bottled beers and ciders. Beronmoor managing director Costa Tofan said: “We were attracted to The Kilburn Arms because of its great location, size and character. It meant we could run three distinct but interconnected businesses from the same location – a traditional English pub, a small hotel and an artisan fish and chip shop. It’s our biggest site to date.” Star Pubs & Bars operations director Tim Galligan added: “We’re delighted Beronmoor has taken on the Kilburn Arms and is creating a unique business in the area, allowing the pub to realise its potential. The joint investment together with its local knowledge and extensive experience will ensure the pub is sustainable in the long term.”
Real Food Festival launches weekly market at King’s Cross: Real Food Festival is launching Canopy Market – a weekly market at King’s Cross. The market, which is located under the restored West Handyside Canopy, which used to be the site of a potato and Sunday fish market in the 1800s, will play host to independent food operators, artists and designers every Friday to Sunday, with live music each Friday evening, from this week. The line-up include the recently launched Love Farina, which makes fresh pasta on-site using authentic, organic ingredients, and Luminary Bakery, a bakery and social enterprise based in east London providing training, community and employment opportunities for disadvantaged women. Regular artisan producers include London-based baker Bread Ahead, Oak & Smoke, World of Zing and The Charcuterie Board and guests will also be able to grab dishes from a range of street food favourites such as the Growlers, Arancini Brothers, Bap Korean and the Big Melt. A guest spot will also be reserved for a revolving line-up of street food traders, including Le Bao, Slingin’ Po Boys and Mei Mei’s Street Cart. Every Friday evening, Canopy Market will stage “Canopy Sessions”, staying open late as a night market and hosting musicians and DJs. Beers will be poured at the resident Craft Beer Rising bar, offering a range of changing taps, while Redhill Farm Estate will be serving its English wine and Brevevita of natural, limited-production Italian wines. Real Food Festival director Fabio Diu said: “King’s Cross is an exciting, emerging creative quarter and as a regular, weekly market we’re looking forward to becoming part of the fabric of the local community, providing an important platform for creative, top-quality small businesses we believe in and creating a great space where people can come together to shop, eat and drink from some amazing independent traders.”
Papa John’s franchisees open seventh site with Bridgwater launch, plan total of 15: Papa John’s franchisees John O’Brien and Clif Roberson have opened their seventh site, in Bridgwater, Somerset, and plan a total of about 15 venues. O’Brien and Roberson have opened the outlet in Taunton Road. The school friends from Merthyr Tydfil joined Papa John’s in 2015 and now run stores throughout the Welsh Valleys including Cwmbran, Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil, plus several near Bristol, employing a total of more than 120 people. Roberson said: “Papa John’s enthusiasm and passion for the pizza business has been instrumental in helping us focus on our own growth. Now, our ultimate goal is to open about 15 stores. We are still in ‘expansion’ mode so we are careful to analyse customer feedback so we can see how to improve our service further.” Roberson and O’Brien were named as Papa John’s UK franchisees of the year in 2016. Papa John’s was founded in the US in 1984 and operates more than 350 stores across the UK and more than 5,000 stores in more than 40 international markets and territories.
Chucs to open fourth London site, in Kensington Gardens: Italian restaurant and cafe Chucs Bar & Grill is to open its fourth London site, in Kensington Gardens this week. The new venue, which launches on Saturday (7 April), is set within The Magazine, the extension to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. The 86-cover restaurant will feature distinctive contemporary furniture and striking colours reflecting the 1950s Italian attitude of the Chucs brand. Rich oak and banquette seating will juxtapose the glass walls. The venue will includes a number of dishes exclusive to the restaurant such as Pastarelle fritti, macadamia and dried fruit salsa; pea and mint risotto with Reggiano and micro watercress; and green harissa lamb rump, mint gel and cucumber. The menu is complemented by an ever-changing, carefully selected wine list with a focus on seasonal old world and new world wines, cocktail menu, juices and milkshakes. Exclusive to Chucs Serpentine will be a takeaway menu for those who wish to enjoy their meal outside in the Royal Park, including a selection of paninis, homemade ice creams, and tiramisu. Serpentine Galleries London chief executive Yana Peel said: “I am a great fan of Chucs both in Mayfair and Notting Hill. The food always hits the spot with friends and family; we felt the timeless style of the brand would perfectly enhance this extraordinary building.” Chucs Restaurant & Cafe is the sister concept to the 1950s swimwear and men’s fashion label. Its other sites are in Dover Street, Westbourne Grove and inside Harrods department store in Knightsbridge.
Heartstone Inns buys Hampshire freehold for 16th site: Heartstone Inns has bought the freehold of The Hunter’s Inn in Swanmore, Hampshire, from a private buyer through agent Savills. The pub offers a lounge bar and two restaurant areas seating up to 205 customers, with exposed beams, open fireplaces and traditional decor throughout. There are also extensive gardens, car parking and separate four-bedroom owner’s accommodation. Located in Cott Street, the site has been home to an ale house of some form for 300 years and the original building is still standing albeit extended many times. Adam Bullas, licensed leisure director at Savills, said: “The Hunter’s Inn combines an attractive property with an established business and strong net sales, generating significant market interest as a result. We are pleased to have concluded the sale to a reputable operator that will look to continue trading this successful pub in a similar vain.” Heartstone Inns has16 sites.
Elle R Leisure reveals plans for fourth Albert’s site, in Wigan: Hospitality company Elle R Leisure has revealed plans for the fourth site for its Albert’s concept, in Wigan. The company, which runs Albert’s in Manchester city centre, Worsley and Didsbury, has applied to transform the former Beeches Hotel in Standish. The Victorian villa, built in 1903, was part of the Standish Hall estate and used as a military hospital during World War One. The plans are to create a restaurant for about 180 covers with a private dining room for up to 40 people plus two function rooms for 80 and 150 people for events. According to documents submitted to Wigan Council, “poor quality additions” to the original villa will be demolished and it will be refurbished to “match the exciting Albert’s model”. There will also be a new single storey building. Elle R Leisure managing director Jim Ramsbottom told the Manchester Evening News: “The Beeches was obviously a much loved venue in Standish. We set out to design a scheme that retains the magnificent main house as events and wedding space and compliment it with a high-quality new building that will become the next Albert’s restaurant.” Ramsbottom said, subject to permission, work could start as early as this summer, ready for opening late-summer 2019. Elle R Leisure also owns Dukes 92 bar in Castlefield and three hotels in Leeds, Chester and Manchester.
Dublin-based Four Star Pizza hits 50-site milestone as Belfast franchisee opens fifth outlet: Dublin-based Four Star Pizza has opened its 50th site in total as franchisee Scott Higginson launched his fifth store. The company reached the landmark with its site in Dundonald in Northern Ireland and at least six more are being targeted across the country over the next two years. A total of £150,000 has been invested in the site in Hanwood Business Park, creating 20 jobs. Higginson operates four other Four Star Pizza sites – in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus. He told the Irish News: “We opened our first store in east Belfast in May 1999, and although it has been a massive success, given the area’s growth we’ve been unable to properly service a large portion of the Dundonald area.” Four Star Pizza is a wholly Irish-owned pizza chain established in 1988, and it has 13 stores in the north at locations in Belfast as well as Bangor, Coleraine, Carrickfergus, Newry, Drumahoe, Derry, Armagh and Newtownabbey.
Yorkshire-based Brazilian restaurant Estabulo Rodizio Bar and Grill opens fourth site, in Beverley: Yorkshire-based Brazilian restaurant Estabulo Rodizio Bar and Grill has opened its fourth site in the county, in Beverley. The company has launched the 3,500 square foot, 120-cover, venue at the Flemingate shopping centre, creating 35 jobs. The concept specialises in cuts of meat that are skewered and cooked over an open flame. Customers pay a fixed price and use a two-sided disc to control the pace of their meal. The green side indicates to the waiter to serve more meat, while the red side indicates a pause. Estabulo Group operations director Peter Roberts told Insider Media: “Flemingate has a great mix of retail and leisure uses, including a cinema, and has on-site parking, and those are all very positive factors behind our decision to choose this site for our latest restaurant.” Flemingate centre manager Graham Tait added: “Rodizio-style dining is becoming very popular and the theatrical way of serving the food makes it a really entertaining and lively experience.” Estabulo Rodizio Bar and Grill, which was launched in 2016, has two sites in Leeds and another in Wakefield.
The Ivy Collection gets go-ahead for brasserie in Norwich: The Ivy Collection has been given the go-ahead to open a brasserie site in Norwich. The company has been granted permission by the city council to convert the former Gap clothes shop in London Street and offices behind it in Castle Meadow, which are both grade-II listed, into the new venue. The restaurant, which will be open from 8am until 12.30am daily, would have 147 internal covers, with a further 20 outside, creating up to 150 jobs. The bar and restaurant would be on the ground and first floor level, accessed from the front entrance off London Street. The application stated: “The Ivy Collection restaurants bring the inimitable service and vibrant surroundings for which The Ivy is loved and revered to a select group of upmarket brasseries and neighbourhood cafes.” A spokeswoman for The Ivy Collection told the Eastern Daily Press the restaurant was due to open in the summer. The Ivy Collection recently opened brasseries in Cheltenham, York and King’s Cross, with further launches lined up this year in Birmingham, Brighton, Dublin, Guildford, Leeds and Winchester.
Krispy Kreme signs deal with hospitality chat app Yapster: Krispy Kreme has agreed a deal with Yapster, the chat app for hospitality and retail teams, to provide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant messaging for all employees in the UK and Ireland. The three-year licence commenced on Sunday (1 April). Yapster co-founder Robert Liddiard said: “As with all Yapster customers, is on a ‘pre pay’ basis, which gives us significant cash flow and capital efficiency advantages as we scale.” Yapster is currently embarking on a £650,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to fuel its growth. The company, which includes Caffe Nero among its customers, is offering a 6.5% equity stake in return for the investment. So far, 33 investors have pledged £139,530 with 22 days remaining. The pitch states: “Retail and hospitality managers believe the key benefits of using Yapster include streamlined internal communication, allowing genuine two-way conversations between head office and regions/individual locations, as well as within certain hierarchy level. Employees are more engaged in the business, reflected by lower staff turnover rates, higher productivity, and fewer unplanned absences. The app evolves with their business – we work with our customers to constantly improve the user experience and add new features. Integration with existing HR software and a dedicated admin console make the platform easy to manage.”
London-based macaron ice cream sandwich pop-up Yolkin to go permanent: London-based macaron ice cream sandwich pop-up Yolkin is to open a permanent site. Founder Sammie Le first started selling her ice cream macarons at Rupert Street’s Street Food Union market in 2015. Now she is returning to the same street to open her first bricks and mortar site after agreeing a deal with landlord Shaftesbury. The 450 square foot site, which will have seating for 18, will open on Saturday, 14 April. It will feature vintage reclaimed wood with counter seating and tables, biodegradable cutlery and an “Ice Cream Dreams” sign emblazoned in neon. The macaron ice cream sandwiches are inspired by south east Asia flavours with a western twist. These include matcha and oreo, pandan and coconut, lychee, black sesame, purple yam and Hong Kong milk tea. Le said: “Returning to Rupert Street for our first permanent Yolkin store feels incredible. We’re proud to continue our brand’s journey in Chinatown London with its diverse mix of tastes and flavours – we hope many more people can discover and enjoy our macaron ice cream sandwiches inspired by the flavours of my childhood.” Julia Wilkinson, head of group restaurant strategy at Shaftesbury, added: “Yolkin’s ice cream creations are a wonderful addition to Rupert Street. The popularity of its street food stalls and pop-ups, coupled with the social media buzz generated, makes it an incredibly exciting brand that blends Far East traditions with modern trends.”
Dunkin’ Donuts takes page out of McDonald’s book with launch of national value menu in US: Dunkin’ Donuts is rolling out a national value menu in the US of egg wraps and two different egg sandwiches priced at $2, $3 and $5 for two. The company is calling the menu, which will be available all day, Dunkin’ Go2s. It includes two of its egg and cheese Wake-up Wrap for $2, two of their egg and cheese sandwich on an English muffin for $3 and two of their egg, cheese and bacon sandwich on a croissant for $5. Dunkin’ Donuts US chief marketing officer Tony Weisman told Nation’s Restaurant News: “Dunkin’ Donuts is committed to offering our guests quality products at compelling prices, and we are excited to introduce a new national value menu. Dunkin’ Go2s is focused on delivering more choices and great value for our most popular go-to breakfast sandwiches. Now guests can enjoy not one but two of their favorite breakfast sandwiches priced at $2, $3 or $5.” In December, McDonald’s unveiled a similar three-tiered value menu offering customers three to four items at $1, $2 and $3. Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 12,500 restaurants in 46 countries worldwide.
Former Barrafina head chef opens tapas restaurant in Elephant and Castle: Former Barrafina head chef Javier Duarte Campos’ has opened his own tapas restaurant in Elephant and Castle, south east London. Campos, who worked at the Drury Lane branch of Barrafina, has launched Abel in Mercado Metropolitano – the Italian “street food” market in Newington Causeway. He is in the first room of the main eating in section, with a set up similar to that of a market in Spain or Italy with a small kitchen surrounded by counter dining. Duarte said his food is Mediterranean – “inspired by an amazing clash between coastal cuisine dominated by fish seafood or inland cuisine with fresh meat, hams, vegetables, fruits and freshwater fish”. Dishes include tortilla with confit onions, and pork ribs glazed with Oporto wine and pistachios. A short wine list covers Spain, France and Italy, reports Hot Dinners.
JW Lees goes green with vehicle electrical charging points: North west brewer and retailer JW Lees has installed 36 Tesla electrical car charging points at its hotels’ and inns’ car parks as well as at the brewery site in Middleton, Manchester. Guests can reserve charging spaces in advance and all JW Lees sites are now live on in-car Tesla satellite-navigation systems as well as the Tesla website. JW Lees now operates 11 hotels with a total of 291 bedrooms under company management. Managing director William Lees-Jones said: “Not only have we installed three electrical car charging points at every one of our hotels and inns but we are also giving our guests free electricity to charge their vehicles. Electrical car drivers are peer group leaders are we think that this is a great way of rewarding their choice of staying in a JW Lees hotel or inn. And, before you ask, no I do not drive an electric car!”
Six by Nico opens second site, in Edinburgh: Glasgow-based Scots-Italian chef Nico Simeone has opened his second Six by Nico site, in Edinburgh. Simeone launched the concept, which changes the theme of its six-course tasting menu every six weeks, in the Finnieston district of Glasgow last March. Now he has taken the restaurant to Edinburgh’s New Town, where Six by Nico has replaced the Passorn Thai Brasserie in Hanover Street, creating 30 jobs. The restaurant features a modern design open kitchen on view to diners with a live camera feed to big screens projecting images of the chefs at work. Simeone said the new venue was a similar “revolving culinary hub” based on “different places, memories and ideas”. Each new chapter will be kept a surprise and new menus will remain secret and published two weeks prior to the next theme. The first theme is The Chippie: Salt and Sauce Edition, which was also used to launch the Glasgow venue, reports Herald Scotland. Simeone also owns 111 by Nico in Glasgow.
Greek-inspired venue Meli Patisserie opens first permanent site, at Trinity Leeds: Greek-inspired venue Meli Patisserie has opened its first permanent site at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre. The company, which operated a residency at the centre’s Trinity Kitchen, has opened a kiosk on the ground floor of the complex, outside H&M and Carphone Warehouse. Meli Patisserie offers cakes, savoury pastries, mini ices and ice cream. There is also a selection of fine coffee and a variety of teas. Trinity Leeds marketing manager Dan Wharton told BDaily: “We are delighted to see Meli Patisserie returning following its success at Trinity Kitchen and the opening will continue to improve our food offering at the centre.”
BrewDog launches beer club Fanzine: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has launched Fanzine, a beer club that will deliver three, new BrewDog beers to subscribers every fortnight. The exact three beers contained in each release will not be revealed until the delivery date. The Fanzine beer club costs £11 including delivery (£15 for subscribers outside the UK). With no annual subscription fee, beer fans will have the flexibility to opt in or out without a long-term commitment. The beers will also appear in BrewDog bars, and will be available to buy on their own or as a flight with a third of each poured. The first beers will be shipping to subscribers from Monday, 16 April. BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “Fanzine is our gift to the passionate beer fans that have supported and spearheaded the craft beer revolution for more than a decade. We are rewarding their devotion and inviting those on the sidelines to join the amazing, mind-blowing world of craft beer. A beer club like this has never been done before and that’s exactly what compelled us to do it. Our brewers are constantly experimenting and pushing beer forward – it’s time our fans got a first-hand taste of the fruits of their labour. We’re looking forward to sharing the future of beer with all those who choose to join. We’re excited to receive the people’s feedback and suggestions for new beers. The fun has only just begun.”
Ei Group welcomes 3,500 visitors to annual trade shows: Ei Publican Partnerships, the leased and tenanted business of Ei Group, welcomed some 3,500 visitors to EiLive – its annual series of nationwide trade shows. Designed to support and update publicans on the latest trends, developments and offers in the sector, this year’s shows took place across five locations during February and March – Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, London and Bristol. Despite the inclement weather affecting large parts of the country, the visitor number was an increase overall on the previous year. Publicans visiting the shows benefited from exclusive deals and vouchers, alongside a dedicated EiZone offering expert advice on a range of topics including digital marketing services, online ordering, property services, recruitment and training, and the Beacon managed tenancy model. The shows also saw the launch of Ei Group’s Barrel Top pizza concept, a new offer specifically designed to help publicans get a slice of the pizza market. New features for the 2018 shows included the Molson Coors Food and Beer Theatre, a World Cup entertainment area courtesy of Anheuser-Busch InBev, and premium whisky tasting with Chivas Regal. Ei Publican Partnerships managing director Nick Light said: “We’re delighted with how well received this year’s EiLive shows were by both our publicans and suppliers. We continue to work hard to increase the support and business-building tools we provide our publicans and EiLive enables us to showcase some of the latest innovations and products that will help them run thriving and profitable businesses.”
Extra MSA has £60m M1 service station plans approved: Extra MSA Group has had plans to build a £60m service station at Junction 45 of the M1 approved. Leeds Skelton Lake Services will include a food court, shops, a business centre and 100-bedroom hotel. It is due to open in summer 2019, with the main building featuring a “living green roof” alongside a visitors’ centre, community space and a viewing deck overlooking Skelton lake and gardens. Extra MSA Group chief executive Andrew Long told Leeds Live: “We are committed to this £60m investment in the region’s motorway network, which will improve road safety, create 300 permanent jobs and provide a strategic gateway to Leeds.”