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Sun 24th Nov 2013 - Sunday Breaking News
Lucky Voice signs deal with Luminar: Karaoke business Lucky Voice has signed a deal with nightclub operator Luminar to install the first Lucky Voice pod within its estate – at its Kingston nightclub Pryzm as part of a £1m re-launch of the site. The brand’s custom-built touch-screen karaoke software has been installed in the private VIP room at the refurbished Pryzm, turning the space into a private karaoke booth available for hire by the hour. The Luminar Group’s chief executive Peter Marks said: “As we create a new, high quality clubbing experience under the Pryzm banner, we want our customers to experience the very best in cutting edge design, technology and entertainment. Lucky Voice is widely recognised in the industry as the original and best karaoke solution for entertainment providers and we are delighted to introduce the concept of private booth karaoke to our customers in Kingston.” Nick Thistleton, managing director, Lucky Voice, said: “Demand for our ‘powered by’ karaoke platform continues to flourish across all sectors of the entertainment industry and now extends to a wide range of leisure businesses including bars, clubs, restaurants, bowling alleys and entertainment parks both in the UK and overseas. Our clients report that Lucky Voice Enterprise is proven to be both popular with customers and a lucrative means of generating engagement and interest. We are extremely excited to partner with The Luminar Group as they look to appeal to a wider audience with its new Pryzm nightclub concept.” Co-founded by lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and Nick Thistleton, the Lucky Voice business started with a premium private room karaoke venue in Soho, London, and has expanded to three owner-operated venues and five franchised operations across the UK.

Fuller’s expects to launch stand-alone coffee shop in 2014: London brewer and pub operator Fuller’s expects to launch a stand-alone coffee shop, bearing its Brewer Street coffee offer branding, in 2014. The company has identified an empty property next to its Plough pub in Ealing that will be converted to a branded coffee shop offer. Earlier this year, Emeny told Propel: “We are really pleased with the course we took on coffee. The branded route wasn’t right for us – we decided we’d try to be different and have found a fantastic coffee blend.” Fuller’s serves its Brewer Street brand in eye-catching crockery with a menu offering all the popular variants and indulgent snacks, such as “delicious chocolate brownie”.

Searcys placed on the market: Bar and restaurant operator Searcys has been put up wit a price-tag of £25 to £30m. The company was bought by its management in 2010 with backing from serial investor Harish Patel. Underlying earnings are £2.4m on turnover of £46m. The Sunday Times argued that the business could be split with a number of individual sites sold to restaurateurs. This week, Searcys opened a “fashionably British” bar and brasserie on the fourth floor of the Selfridges store in Birmingham. The new restaurant, to be called The Balcony, is billed as serving food and drinks with a “playful twist” in a “stylish and contemporary environment”. Earlier this year, Searcys was appointed to manage Birmingham’s new Rep Bar. Its other outlets include the St Pancras Grand Brasserie and a private members’ club at the top of the Gherkin, the skyscraper in St Mary Axe, in the City of London.

Castle Rock buys Gedling club: Nottingham-based Castle Rock Brewery has bought the long-established Willowbrook Club on Main Road, Gedling, in the north east of the city. No details of the price have been released, but Castle Rock is to invest £200,000 to update the dining, food preparation, bar and toilet areas of the club. As a pub, open to all, it will follow the established Castle Rock style. Castle Rock Brewery operates Nottingham’s largest real ale brewery and over 20 pubs in Nottingham, the East Midlands and Yorkshire. Managing director, Colin Wilde, said: “For some years, we’ve been asked if we’d consider opening a Castle Rock pub in the Gedling area and the Willowbrook stood out as an opportunity that we’ve been able to grab.” Last month, Propel reported that Ever So Sensible Restaurants, the company formed by the former Mitchells & Butlers executive Chris Bulaitis, had partnered Castle Rock to turn Nottingham’s Castle pub into the city’s premier fish and chip venue. In addition, an innovative Castle Rock Taproom and Kitchen is scheduled to open at East Midlands Airport as part of the £12 million redevelopment. The move to open a Castle Rock Taproom and Kitchen stems from a desire by Autogrill Catering UK to showcase regional operators.

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