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Fri 1st May 2015 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

More than 1,000 prospective MPs sign Camra’s election pledge: More than 1,000 candidates in the coming general election, including the two top contenders for Prime Minister, have expressed support for the Campaign for Real Ale’s election pledges on pubs, breweries and beer drinkers. Less than a week before polling day, the Labour Party has the largest number of would-be MPs who have signed up to Camra's pledges, with 292 election candidates pledging to "support well-run community pubs", "promote Britain's 1,300 breweries" and "represent pub goers and beer drinkers". Labour is followed closely by the Green Party (264), with Liberal Democrats in third place (225), Conservatives in fourth (160), and UKIP in fifth (118), although the famously pro-pub UKIP leader Nigel Farage is among those pledging support. Tim Page, Camra's chief executive, said: “With more than 170,000 members, Camra is the largest beer consumer group in Europe and we are uniquely placed to represent the views of beer drinkers and pub-goers in the UK. While Camra remains strictly non-party political, we are pleased that in recent years Parliament has listened to our concerns and made some positive steps towards growing the British beer industry. It is extremely heartening to see over 1,000 prospective MPs now pledging their support for our campaigns should they be elected. With 29 pubs closing per week it is clear that much more needs to be done to help this industry not just survive, but thrive. We want to see the next government grant planning protection to all pubs in England, freeze beer duty for the whole Parliament and support small cider producers. We are delighted that the 10,000 emails Camra members have sent to candidates have delivered strong cross-party support for community pubs and real ale. Whatever the election result next Thursday, we can be assured there will be MPs fighting our corner.” Conservative Party leader David Cameron, in a letter to Camra, committed a future Conservative government to “extending the length of time communities have to purchase these assets [pubs] and require owners to set a clear ‘reserve’ price for the community to aim for when bidding. We will also set up a pub loan fund to enable community groups to obtain small loans.” Cameron said: “Conservatives believe strongly that pubs are at the heart of communities, supporting local jobs and boosting the local economy. They play a crucial role in the social and economic life of our nation.”

Industry News:

Technomic’s Darren Tristano to present at Propel summer conference: Darren Tristano of the research and insights company Technomic is to present at the Propel conference at the Oxford Belfry on Thursday 2 July, which is followed by Propel’s summer party. Tristano, vice-president of Technomic, will provide an overview of the most interesting and innovative new concept launches in the United States in the past year. Operators can book as many as two free places by emailing
McDonald’s supplier in China receives biggest ever pollution fine: Beijing has given its biggest ever pollution fine to a company which supplies French fries to McDonald's in China, state media report. Beijing Simplot Food Processing will have to pay 3.9 million yuan (£408,000) after its waste water was found to have levels of impurities above legal limits. The company said it had paid the fine and would take steps to avoid a recurrence. McDonald's said in a statement that it took the issue "very seriously" and would be monitoring Beijing Simplot's compliance. It said it suppliers "must comply with all relevant local laws and regulations."
Luke Johnson – we’ve got to re-balance the economy away from London: Northern counties must push for the creation of a northern powerhouse if we are to revive the UK economy outside London, delegates were told at the Summit: The Future of Growth conference in London. Sector investor Luke Johnson said: “One of the biggest challenges we face is over-dependence on London. The problem is not London. We somehow need to revive the rest of the country. We’ve got to rebalance the economy away from London.” Johnson said that job creation via large scale public sector start-ups is not the answer, and the North is dependent on entrepreneurs to create the next “titans” of business.

CGA’s Phil Tate – the next five years will see increasingly intense competition: Bar and restaurant operators will face increasingly intense competition over the coming five years, Phil Tate, European chief executive of CGA Strategy, told 300 delegates at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers Spring Conference. While 21,000 drinking outlets have left the market in the past decade, “we are starting to see this bottom out,” he said. “There are green shoots. Some 8,600 food-focused venues have opened offering higher quality and innovation.” This was reflected in the 25% of business leaders surveyed by CGA who said they were "very optimistic" about the future, rising to 47% among start-ups. “But it’s competitive," Tate said. "Just 30% of consumers account for 70% of branded eating occasions, and 40% of that is split between five brands. Young people are fewer in number but eating out more, and they’re fickle and promiscuous, discerning and demanding. They are always looking for something new.” Operators have a difficult task in ensuring they continue to be perceived as "cool", with street food, craft beer and "whole experience" concepts such as Turtle Bay among the signposts for the future, he said. “Premium products quickly become mainstream, and now we are seeing super-premiumisation. It never stands still and that all increases the challenge. Operators are constantly having to revisit their range.” Competition is also growing fiercer in the property market, Tate said. “You should start asking yourselves what acceptable compromises you can make when choosing a new site.” He concluded: “The last five years have been a fight for survival. The next five years will be a fight to stand out.”
Generation Y wants employers to be more daring: Generation Y – people born after 1982 – want the firm they work for to be more daring and less profiteering, according to new research presented at the ALMR Spring Conference. The HR consultancy Futurestep interviewed more than 1,000 people working for 15 UK hospitality companies who were born after 1982, and discovered their employers were failing to meet their aspirations. Futurestep’s Neil Griffiths said: “They feel the brands they work for are being more conservative, more traditional, than they’d like. They are not being daring enough, not motivating them. And Generation Y don’t want to be hounded for profits the whole time, they don’t want their company to take over the world. What they want are innovators, employers who stand out from the pack, and have a people focus.” The research also suggested younger employees do not feel fully rewarded or developed. But they are happy with their company’s focus on customer service, their fast-paced working environments and the security of a large organisation. To recruit and retain young talent, employers must “be radical and think differently” Griffiths said. “You also need to grow responsibly. Corporate social responsibility is a big issue for Generation Y.” Companies should be giving people a chance to move around different roles, too, he said, and offer more rewards for excellence in customer service.
ALMR members warned they must get everything right: With growth and confidence returning to the sector, and along with it fierce competition, operators “can’t afford to get a single element wrong,” the chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, Kate Nicholls, told the organisation’s Spring Conference. Nichols said: “You have to have the right offer in the right location at the right price, and with the right people delivering it.” She promised the ALMR would continue to be strong voice in the interests of the industry, influencing as much as possible the debates before and after the coming election. “We will also be a conduit for positive news to make sure we have the best regulatory environment,” Nicholls said. A "state of the nation" report will follow later in the year, along with the launch of a "future leaders" programme and a new advertising campaign in conjunction with the Perceptions initiative “to convince young people that this is a great sector to work in.”

Company News:

Starbucks opens first-ever express format store in New York trial: Starbucks is opening its first express format store at 14 Wall Street in Manhattan, New York. The pilot project, in a 538 sq ft location, is tailored for "customers on the go", the company describes it as an “espresso shot” version of the Starbucks store experience . Bill Sleeth, Starbucks' vice-president for store design, said: “This location on Wall Street was intentionally designed to take what’s at the heart of our cafes and distil that for a smaller space.” Customers are greeted by a Starbucks employee who will be able to take orders with a handheld device. To the right of the entry, customers see a digital menu board displayed on four low-glare monitors. A set of menu options, tailored for New York customers, rotates on the screens. Starbucks' senior architectural designer, John Park, said: “It was a small space so it was important that we keep it as open as possible. The bar is low and the kitchen framed wide, like a show kitchen, so our partners are able to interact with customers from every point in the space.” Starbucks plans to open four more express format stores in New York this year as part of this pilot project. Earlier this week, Propel reported that Starbucks is to add 500 coffee-immersive Reserve bars worldwide serving rare, small-lot coffees, and will open another Roastery, in Asia, in 2016.

Mitchells & Butlers to start serving breakfast at Heartlands estate: Mitchells & Butlers is to start serving breakfast n its Heartlands estate of pubs, which includes the O’Neill’s, Oak Tree and Sizzling Pubs brands, from 12 May. The company has also launched a new spring and summer menu across the estate. Sizzling skillets with 21-day aged prime steaks can now be topped with one of six steak toppers, and taco salads have been added. A spokesman said: “Our new menus also offer great deals every day of the week – whether it’s our lunch deal, our burger and dog deal or one of our alternating daily deals. From 12 May all of our sites will be opening their doors for breakfast, where we offer unlimited tea or coffee, grilled breakfasts, pancakes, omelettes and US-inspired dishes.”
Carluccio’s launches new website with ‘Honestly Italian’ tagline: Carluccio’s has introduced a new website with an online wine shop and a strapline declaring the chain to be "Honestly Italian", The Drum has reported. The fully responsive site allows customers to find and book restaurants, explore menus and purchase items from the online store. Damon Mangos, executive creative director of the website development agency Deleter, told Drum: “Carluccio’s is a great restaurant brand with big ambitions to be better. Our goal, working with their internal marketing team, was to help Carluccio’s to become a better digital business. We were able to encourage Carluccio’s to make a bolder statement of who they are. 'Honestly Italian' is the expression of a philosophy that Carluccio’s is already living and breathing – they just needed a better way to present it. By re-establishing this point of authenticity and differentiation, we hope to reposition Carluccio’s in the ‘digital’ high street and present an emotive and compelling expression of their brand to both new and established customers. Ultimately it’s a site that should make you feel hungry, compel you to book a table and give you a sense of who Carluccio’s are – Honestly Italian.”

Hakkasan to open second Omnia nightclub this evening in San Diego: The British hospitality operator Hakkasan will open its second Omnia mega-club this evening, this time in San Diego, California. Last year the Hakkasan Group bought the former Stingaree club on Sixth Avenue in San Diego, and it has spent the past six months overhauling the 22,000 sq ft space and transforming it into its second Omnia. The first Omnia opened in Las Vegas earlier this year inside Caesars Palace. Hakkasan opened its first club in 2013, its namesake Hakkasan Nightclub in the MGM Grand, and in January opened Omnia, which is more than three times the size of the San Diego club. Omnia in San Diego will have a 7,000 sq ft rooftop terrace designed to have the feel of a garden and is furnished with a variety of seating types, including tiered cabanas and sofas along the perimeter. Nick McCabe, president of Hakkasan, said: “There has been a complete sea change in the level of investment in clubs being built in Las Vegas. Clubs like XS, Hakkasan and Omnia raised the bar completely. We’re talking about a very luxurious product in keeping with the best hotels in Las Vegas."
Spirit integrates 22 Orchid pubs into brand portfolio: Spirit Pub Company has reported that it has integrated 22 former Orchid pubs, acquired last year, into its brands portfolio with investment in the first half of its 2015 financial year. Four have become Fayre and Square outlets, four sites have joined the Flaming Grill estate, a dozen have joined the company’s latest brand, Golden Oak Inns, one has been converted to Taylor Walker and one is being operated by a local brand. The company said that Golden Oak has grown to 39 sites from the seven operated in August 2014. Its Flaming Grill brand saw the second largest growth in the six months, up to 133 sites from 109. The John Barras community local brand saw the most shrinkage, reducing from 230 sites to 175. The 137-strong Chef & Brewer brand saw the largest maintenance investment, with 27 schemes across the estate.
McDonald’s trials scaled-back customisation programme: McDonald’s is testing a scaled-back version of its “Create Your Taste” customisation platform in the United States that could be rolled out more quickly and for a lower investment. TasteCrafted is being tested in a limited number of restaurants near Atlanta, Portland, Oregon and Southern California. McDonald’s launched Create Your Taste, which would only be available inside restaurants, last year. Customers could create customised burgers and chicken sandwiches on kiosks. The Create Your Taste test is currently taking place at restaurants in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri and Pennsylvania, The company said, and would continue to be expanded into additional restaurants. TasteCrafted could be implemented more quickly. It “creates a more immediate opportunity for a broader base of restaurants to provide customers with the variety and choices they enjoy today,” McDonald's said. According, customers can choose a burger or grilled or crispy chicken sandwich. There is a choice of three buns and four flavours: Bacon Clubhouse, Pico Guacamole, Hot Jalapeno and Deluxe. The investment to implement Taste Crafted would be small. By contrast, Create Your Taste is estimated to cost $100,000 to $150,000 per restaurant, McDonald’s has said. TasteCrafted burgers could also be available in the drive-through menu, which accounts for more than 60% of McDonald’s customers.
Restaurant Group gets go-ahead for first Coast to Coast in Scotland: The Restaurant Group has won planning consent to open its first Coast To Coast in Scotland at an Aberdeen shopping centre. The brand has been granted permission by Aberdeen Council's licensing board to build a restaurant in Union Square. The company is hoping to start serving food and drink by late July. A spokesman for Restaurant Group said: “We are hoping that around 30 to 40 jobs will be created at the Coast to Coast restaurant in Union Square.” The restaurant, on the first floor of the shopping centre, the restaurant will be open from 11am to 11pm.

David Colcombe quits Opus: David Colcombe, chef-director at the Birmingham restaurant group Opus, has quit the company in a surprise sudden departure. Colcombe founded Opus, which currently has three outlets, a decade ago with fellow directors Ann Tonks and Irene Allen. He told the Birmingham Mail: “I have left Opus in mutual agreement and I will go on to pursue other interests," words repeated almost exactly by a spokesman for Opus, who said: “David has moved on to do other things. He has left by mutual agreement.” Opus runs an eponymous restaurant in Cornwall Street, Birmingham which has held two AA Rosettes since 2006, the informal Cafe Opus at Brindleyplace and the recently opened Bar Opus at Snow Hill. Colcombe was appointed an honorary fellow and visiting Professor of Culinary Arts at University College Birmingham in 2009. Earlier this month, two staffers at Opus in Cornwall Street, Gabriella Murea, a waitress, and Kevin Steele, a sous chef , were announced as semi-finalists in this year’s Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence, alongside candidates from restaurants such as Belmond, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Claridges.

Jamie Oliver to present new documentaries: The chef-entrepreneur Jamie Oliver is to present a healthy eating documentary project focusing on sugar in food on Channel 4. Jamie’s Sugar Rush will be a one-off documentary that examines current levels of sugar consumption and investigates its potentially harmful effects on health. Oliver will travel to countries including Mexico to investigate how young children and parents are being affected by advertising for sugary products, and how many healthy foods are actually sugar-laden, as well as meeting Type 2 diabetes sufferers. Separately, Channel 4 has commissioned a travel series, Jamie’s Super Food, in which Oliver will travel to some of the healthiest places on the planet. He will return with the knowledge he has discovered and use it as the basis for recipes that can be cooked at home.

Street food and crazy golf concept to return in central London: The street food and crazy golf concept Swingers is returning to London, taking over a previously unused Second World War bunker in central London, which could be a permanent home. Swingers launched as a pop-up last September in Shoreditch, East London and ran for three months before closing. It was fully booked for most of that time. It was started by Josh Ford, founder of the Winterwell festival, and offered cocktails, street food and DJs along with a high quality crazy golf course. The new venue will be double the size of the original, with two nine-hole courses, a two-storey clubhouse and four street food stalls all part of the package. The exact location of the bunker where Swingers will be based is being kept secret for now.

Prezzo closes Bath Chimichanga after two years, opens in Fleet:
Prezzo has closed its Bath Chimichanga site after the premises were acquired by Giggling Squid. Chimichanga spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "We can confirm that the restaurant is now closed. We wish to thank all our guests for visiting Chimichanga. Staff employed at the restaurant will continue to be employed by the company." The restaurant opened in January 2013 ahead of a £14m casino scheme. Meanwhile, Prezzo opens in Fleet, Hampshire today (1 May), join La Casa, El Castello, Pizza Express and Ask in Fleet Road. It has seating for 114 diners, 104 in the restaurant itself and a further ten in a dining area at the front of the restaurant. A total of 20 new jobs are being created at the site, which cost £600,000 to develop.

TGI Fridays plans November opening in Newport: TGI Fridays will be creating 70 jobs when it opens its fourth Welsh branch at Friars Walk, Newport in November. David Carroll, property director for TGI Fridays, said: “We’re looking forward to introducing new team members to the Fridays’ family in Newport and can’t wait to open our doors in the city. We are thrilled to be a part of the Friars Walk scheme and we think that TGI Fridays will be the perfect fit for locals looking to let their hair down and enjoy our famous food and drink.” Friars Walk is due to open to the public on 12 November. Other restaurants will include Nando's, Cosmo and Las Iguanas. There will also be a Cineworld eight-screen cinema. The £90m scheme is being developed by Queensberry Real Estate and constructed by Bowmer and Kirkland.

Cloverleaf founders to open fourth site in partnership with Hydes: John Winder and Gary Douglas, the founders of the Cloverleaf business acquired by Greene King in 2011, will open their fourth site in partnership with the Joseph Holt Brewery of Manchester next Tuesday, under their new vehicle, Foresight Restaurants. The venture is a £3m pub restaurant, the Water’s Edge, on the Heyhouses development in St Anne. It will bring more than 70 new jobs. The Water's Edge will have a  280-seat restaurant along with a wide range of ales, and will be managed by Mark and Debbie McHugh. Foresight spokesman Pat Breslin said: “Our operations look to exploit the changing demographic and lifestyle trends which are significantly increasing customer expectations in relation to food, drink, service quality and value above that usually delivered in large managed chain houses.”
Red’s True Barbecue launches new specials menu with election: Red’s True Barbecue has launched six new specials, and is giving its "believers" the chance to elect their favourite to the permanent menu. The new dishes are all inspired by the restaurant chain's annual research pilgrimage to the United States, which sees the company take road trips for weeks at a time to discover authentic menu ideas. Plates include a Fred Flintstone-sized smoked turkey leg found at the Houston Rodeo, a bacon-wrapped smoked frankfurter discovered in New York, and Miss Lilly’s BBQ spaghetti, inspired by a chance meeting with an 83-year-old lady from St Louis. All items will be up for nomination on Instagram  from 5 May to 31 May. Online content, filmed while on the road trip, will be used across the brand’s social media channels to help customers decide, and an eight-page editorial feature, documenting the research tour, will run in FHM magazine and on James Douglas, co-founder of Red’s, said: “This yearly road trip not only sets us apart from our competitors making us truly authentic, but it provides a huge, rich pool of stories which helps us to bring to life our proposition and the world of American low and slow barbecue. We’ve always sought feedback from our customers, so given the news agenda it made sense to wrap this up as an election.” Red’s is due to open its fifth restaurant in Shoreditch, East London later this July.
Wetherspoon apologises after Huntingdon pub name-change: JD Wetherspoon has apologised to Hunts Post readers after making a U-turn on the name of its planned pub in Huntingdon. Despite The Harlequin coming top in a vote run by this paper to name the planned £2.3m development at the old Post Office, just off the ring road, the company has opted for Sandford House, which attracted very few votes in the poll. Eddie Gershon, spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, said: “We apologise to any Hunts Post readers who are disappointed, as we asked them to choose from a long list of names, including The Harlequin.” In response to an objection raised in a letter from the Huntingdon and Godmanchester Civic Society, the company has ditched The Harlequin name readers voted for. The society felt The Harlequin, which commemorates a theatre of the same name on the site of the old chapel in the 1800s, had “little or no resonance with the people of Huntingdon”. Gershon said: “Following a letter from the Society, we have now decided to name the pub Sandford House. The society pointed out that it has a more historical association with the town. Our aim is for Sandford House to be an important aspect of Huntingdon’s social and economic scene for many, many years and we believe it to be the right name for the pub.” Richard Meredith, vice-chairman and secretary of the society, said: “Local people I spoke to didn’t know there had even been a theatre there.” The Grade II-listed building next to the old chapel was originally called Sandford House, a substantial private residence. Built in 1850, it went on to house the Post Office.

Whitbread chief executive to become chairman of Dunelm: The chief executive of Whitbread is to become chairman of the homeware chain Dunelm. Andy Harrison will take over the role at the company on 7 July when Geoff Cooper retires after 11 years. Harrison is a non-executive director of Dunelm, having joined the board in September 2014. He has previously been chief executive of easyJet and of the RAC. The appointment comes after Will Adderley's return as chief executive in September. He had previously held the role between 1996 and 2011. Harrison said: "I am delighted to have been asked to take on the role of chairman. Under Will Adderley's renewed leadership as chief executive, there is a clear and ambitious focus on growth being created throughout the organisation."

Clink charity opens fourth prison restaurant, first in a women’s prison: The Clink Charity has opened its fourth prison restaurant, at Styal prison in Manchester. The venue, inside a converted chapel, has proved so popular it is fully booked for lunchtime sittings until June. The charity trains prisoners, who work towards gaining nationally recognised City & Guilds NVQs in food preparation and food service. It is the first restaurant to operate at a women’s prison and comes six years after Alberto Crisci, then catering manager at High Down prison in Surrey, masterminded the idea. The scheme is designed to help reduce the risk of re-offending and the charity mentors each graduate weekly for a further six to 12 months, once training is completed and prisoners are released, supporting them in finding full time employment. Chris Moore, chief executive of the Clink Charity, said: “I’d like to think we will challenge the public’s perception of a prison restaurant. These women are very passionate about the training and studying in the classroom to work for their qualifications and they have only been on the course since last month. The prison population is just a cross-section of society, just like you or I and we want to give them a second chance. In a period of nine to 12 months they will move round the five sections of the kitchen.”

New sustainable Nottingham dining concept becomes Champion of Sherwood: Nottingham’s newest restaurant has become the first eatery to be named a Champion of Sherwood. The Oaks restaurant and bar, on Bromley Place, is due to open this spring, serving handmade sausages and chicken, steaks and burgers, with homemade marinades and sauces. The team of 30 will be working with suppliers from across Nottinghamshire to deliver locally sourced food cooked on a custom-built, cast-iron grill which uses wood sustainably coppiced by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. To celebrate the partnership with the Wildlife Trust, Oaks has become the first restaurant to be named by the trust as a Champion of Sherwood. Oaks has also made a donation to join the trust's Champion of Sherwood scheme, which aims to restore and protect Sherwood Forest.
Former Marston’s site re-opens as community pub: A former Marston’s pub saved by 145 residents who clubbed together to buy it has now been re-opened. Families in Rushton Spencer, Stoke, invested in the Royal Oak pub after getting it registered by Staffordshire Moorlands Council as a community asset under the new Localism Bill. A newly formed co-operative society, Rushton Oak Community Pub, made up of local residents, then agreed a purchase price with Marston's to buy the premises. Within weeks 145 people applied for shares in the venture, raising £111,000. The group initially aimed to raise £250,000 which would cover the purchase and refurbishment work. After the share offer the group was accepted for a loan by the Co-op, which has a special fund set up for co-operative groups.

Fourth to exhibit at NRA show for the first time: Fourth, the leading software partner to the hospitality and leisure industries, will be presenting its chief cloud computing technologies at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show in the United States. The show, one of the top global foodservice tradeshows, includes more than 2,000 exhibitions, more than 80 education sessions, equipment innovations and emerging technologies, and draws more than 63,000 foodservice professionals from around the world. Ben Hood, chief executive of Fourth, said: “We are really looking forward to exhibiting at this year’s NRA show in Chicago. It’s great to meet such a diverse audience of senior decision makers from the restaurant sector, and to have the chance to demo our systems live to them.” The NRA Show 2015 will be held in Chicago from 16 to 19 May.
Union Hanover Securities wins backing for £35m Edinburgh boutique hotel:
Union Hanover Securities has been given "minded to grant" planning permission for a £35m Urban Villa boutique hotel by the Union canal basin in Edinburgh. The 180-room hotel on Freer Street has been designed by the award-winning New York-based architect Grzywinski & Pons with the Edinburgh-based Michael Laird Architects. Urban Villa is a boutique all-suites hotel concept. As well as a bedroom and bathroom, suites include a kitchen and living room that can be transformed to accommodate either business travellers or families. The Edinburgh hotel will contain 179 "executive villas" (studios), 11 "master villas" (one bed) and four "rock star villas (two-bed penthouses overlooking the union canal basin with views over the castle), lounge and restaurant facilities, a  gym and other guest amenities. It will also have al fresco dining. Union Hanover's managing director, Eric Jafari, said: “This hotel is a benchmark asset for us. Edinburgh is second only to London in potential for our Urban Villa brand with its mix of corporate and leisure travel. Coupled with its myriad of excellent universities it lends itself to our millennial appeal of our concept. We anticipate that this hotel will be the Urban Villa that defines the brand and sets the standard for all future urban villas. Work is expected to commence by October. We look forward to its positive impact on the area in helping to create a new destination for Edinburgh by serving as a vibrant social and cultural hub for the local corporate and residential community.”
Developer to be given unprecedented order to re-build demolished pub: The owner of a historic London pub that was demolished without permission is to be ordered to rebuild it brick by brick. Westminster Council is to issue an unprecedented enforcement notice to the company that owns the Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale, West London, requiring it to “recreate in facsimile the building as it stood immediately prior to its demolition”. The owner, the Tel Aviv-based developer CLTX, ordered bulldozers in to reduce the early 1920s building to rubble last month after staff were told to stay at home for an inventory. Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster council, said he was “absolutely horrified” at the “scandalous” destruction. The enforcement notice is scheduled to be approved by the council’s planning committee next Tuesday. It will stop the owner from selling the site until the building has been restored. It is thought this is the first instance of a local council ordering a building be reconstructed from the ground up.

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