Grand Union to add 20 sites in three years: Grand Union, the London bar company led by Adam Marshall, is to add 20 sites in the next three years. Backed by industry investor Luke Johnson, who owns a 50% share in the cocktail and burger concept, Grand Union currently operates eight sites throughout London, and is now looking for new venues throughout the capital and nationwide. Grand Union will focus on high footfall, high density, commercial locations, concentrating on sites between 4,000 sq ft and 10,000 sq ft. Highly visible prime sites are preferred close to leisure, office and residential areas and sites with alfresco spaces are strongly desired. London locations under consideration include Central London and Soho, Balham, Battersea and Ealing in the south and the City, Dalston, Shoreditch and Hackney to the east. Grand Union is also considering expanding nationwide to sites in Brighton, Cambridge, Bath, Cardiff, Oxford, Canterbury, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Guildford and Leeds. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, post-work, dinner and late night cocktails, private parties and events with a great value offer and quirky old English vintage design, Grand Union has quickly established itself as a strong brand in a very competitive market. Adam Marshall, chief executive of Grand Union, said: “Despite challenging trading conditions, we have grown steadily since the launch of our first site in Camden in 2006. We look forward to building on our success to date and accelerating the growth of the company in London and beyond.”
Heron & Brearley to begin Market Town Taverns expansion this year: Isle of Man-based Heron & Brearley is to begin an expansion drive at its UK arm, Yorkshire-based Market Town Taverns, which it acquired in 2012 and is currently led by Simon Midgley. In Companies House documents, the company stated: “New site acquisitions are planned for the back half of the forthcoming year. We are currently working on a detailed document brief for local and national agents to help identify suitable sites. We hope to identify and secure at least a couple of sites a year.” The company reported turnover of £7,251,980 in the year to 1 February 2014 and pre-tax profit of £334,089. Like-for-like sales rose 3.8% compared to the previous financial period, which covered 16 months. The company has developed a concept called PubCraft, which was applied a refurbishment of the Cooper in Guiseley. The brand will be the “backbone of the company ethos going forward”. The company reported a 2.1% increase in labour costs at tavern level.