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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 11th Apr 2016 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day: 

Starbucks to roll-out Teavana brand across UK: Starbucks will introduce its Teavana tea brand across the UK as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as the company looks to exploit a “massive opportunity” to revitalise the tea category in a “youthful way”. Starbucks will introduce the first of three Teavana ranges, shaken iced tea, across the UK in the summer. Starbucks vice-president of marketing EMEA Ian Cranna said Teavana would open up the tea category to a younger audience. He told The Drum: “We feel there is a massive opportunity not only to up-level that out-of-home tea experience but to revitalise it in a youthful way. You’ll see from the brand and the way it is represented in the bright and light, colourful imagery this is a brand that is very much positioned at turning around what is a fantastic experience and bringing it to a younger audience.” The shaken iced tea range includes flavours such as blackberry mojito as Starbucks looks to extend the appetite for cocktails to tea. The company will introduce two further Teavana categories – hot tea and tea lattes, including matcha and rooibos – at a later date. Starbucks acquired Teavana in December 2012 and, in its last financial year, its teas generated almost $1bn in sales through Starbucks’ US stores, a rise of 12% over the previous financial year. 

Industry News:

Last few places available for Advanced Social Media Masterclass: There are just a handful of places left for next week’s Advanced Social Media Masterclass. A host of sector companies have already signed up for the event. They include YO! Sushi, Apartment Group, TLC Inns, Thai Leisure Group, Enterprise Inns, Be At One, FrogPubs, The Deltic Group, The Big Chill, Camino, MyLahore, ETM Group, Coaching Inn Group, Maxwell’s, Ignite Group, JW Lees, Pebble Hotels, Everards, Novus, Snug Bars, Anglian Country Inns, McMullen, Gaucho, Wright Brothers, Star Pubs & Bars, Burning Night Group, Charles Wells, Pug Pubs, Stable Pizza, Whiting & Hammond, Noble Inns, Brakspear, Eclectic Bar Group, Meatailer, and Signature Pub Group. Propel is partnering with digital marketing company Digital Blonde for the Advanced Social Media Masterclass, building on last year’s Social Media Masterclass with all-new content. The event takes place on Wednesday, 20 April at One Moorgate Place in London and will provide a comprehensive overview of how to make the best use of social media. Digital Blonde founder Karen Fewell will share research into the importance of social media in customers’ lives as well as insight into the psychology of food and drink marketing in order to produce persuasive social media activity. The day will also include advice on using storytelling techniques to achieve stronger results in marketing and social media campaigns as well as how to use analytics to develop a social media strategy. There will also be a first-look at Digital Blonde’s “Love, Lust and Trust” research, which will unveil the best loved pub and bar brands and what can be learned from their social strategies. Tickets are £295 for Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers members and £345 for non-members. To book email
Tim Martin revises JD Wetherspoon portfolio target down to ‘1,000 to 1,200’ sites: Founder and chairman Tim Martin has revised ambitions for the eventual size of JD Wetherspoon’s portfolio, telling the Evening Standard his former estimate of 1,500 pubs now felt “more like 1,000 to 1,200”. In an interview, Martin said having taken over his first pub – The Marley in Muswell Hill – and suffering from “ill-disguised egomania”, he decided that, having taken over one pub, he could “take over the world”. However, he admitted it was some time before he found his feet and got the next two or three. Then he turned to outside backers, some of whom are still shareholders, who felt he was worth a punt. By the time the company floated in 1992, it had grown to 44 pubs; today it has 955. He said: “It could still get to 1,500, but it feels more like 1,000 to 1,200.” Martin also told the Standard about the time, some years ago, when an investment banker rang to ask if he would like to buy Spirit Pub Company, recently taken over by Greene King. Martin said that when he asked how much, the banker replied £2bn, at which point Martin told him he didn’t have any money. Quick as a flash, the banker told him £2bn of debt was already lined up for him. Martin said he gave the banker a “short, negative response”.
Caffe Nero cuts free food perk to pay for National Living Wage: Caffe Nero will no longer give its staff a free lunch when they are on shift, as part of a “pay review” introduced in response to the new National Living Wage. Employees were informed by letter the perk would end today (Monday, 11 April). The food allowance meant staff were entitled to get a panini. A Caffe Nero spokesperson said a “big majority” of staff got a rise and received a “substantial discount” on food bought on shift. In the letter sent to staff by management and reproduced in part by Buzzfeed News, employees were told the new National Living Wage has had a “significant financial impact on the business”. Employees will still receive unlimited drinks such as tea and coffee while they are on shift. They will also get 65% off food they purchase.
Birmingham fine-dining restaurant Nomad to change name following legal threats, will reopen as The Wilderness: Birmingham fine-dining restaurant Nomad will close and reopen as The Wilderness following legal threats over its name. Owner and chef Alex Claridge told the Birmingham Mail he is planning an ambitious refurbishment. Nomad, which started out as a pop-up restaurant before moving into permanent premises in November, has been forced to change its name by New York hotel NoMad. As a result, the city centre restaurant in Dudley Street will close on Saturday, 7 May and reopen as The Wilderness on Wednesday, 25 May. Claridge said: “Within weeks of successfully opening our permanent venue, the Michelin-starred NoMad hotel in New York contacted us and asked that we change our name. Not having the money, time, nor appetite for solicitors, we took the difficult decision to close Nomad – come mid-May we’re done, that chapter closes. We’re reopening as The Wilderness with a newly fitted dining room, expanded kitchen team and new bar, where we will continue to serve our guests the most distinctive adventure in British food and drink.” Claridge said The Wilderness would open all day Wednesday to Saturday and be the “first of a trio of venues”.
Whole Foods Market to debut new 365 by Whole Foods Market format in the US in May: Whole Foods Market, which has nine sites in the UK, is to debut a brand new format, 365 by Whole Foods Market, on Wednesday, 25 May in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles. It’s a smaller format offering 30,000 square feet of space, compared with the 40,000 to 50,000 square feet offered by traditional stores. Other key differences include an emphasis on prepared food bars that the company describes as “a little more get-it-yourself, self-serve” than those in a standard Whole Foods. The Silver Lake store will include a 1,245 square foot vegan fast-casual restaurant called By Chloe and a 396 square foot Allegro Coffee Company bar that will serve craft coffee and beer. There will also be a kiosk called TeaBot, built by a company of the same name, which allows shoppers to create customised tea blends that are served up hot to the user in less than 30 seconds.

Company News: 

Wagamama refused permission to open restaurant in Reigate: Wagamama has been refused permission to open a site in Reigate, Surrey. The company wanted to convert the former Edward Dean store in Bell Street into a restaurant, creating 40 jobs. But Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s planning committee has turned down the application, citing the loss of retail space in the town centre, reports the Surrey Mirror. Planning officer Andrew Benson said the proposal would reduce the retail provision in the town to 73%, below the 80% threshold. He added the town already had a “strong night-time economy” with the existing cinema, restaurants and cafes. He added there was “no evidence” to support continued retail use would be unviable and a new restaurant would be “harmful to the overall vitality and viability of the town”. In all, ten councillors voted to refuse permission and five to approve. The Edward Dean kitchen and bathroom showroom closed in October last year. Aside from airside outlets at Gatwick, the nearest Wagamama is currently in Croydon or Kingston.
Hickory’s Smokehouse plans second opening in the Midlands, fifth site in total: Hickory’s Smokehouse, backed by Piper Private Equity, is planning a second opening in the Midlands, housed on the site of the former Peeping Tom pub, in Burton Green. The new restaurant will include a children’s cinema room and dedicated play area, covered veranda and enhanced outdoor seating options. The new, the fifth Hickory’s, will provide a large bar area. The Burton Green restaurant follows sites in Wall Heath, just outside Wolverhampton, Chester, Wirral, and North Wales. Hickory’s Smokehouse spokesman Mark Rogers said: “We are absolutely delighted to be launching our latest restaurant in Burton Green. We have been meeting with local people and getting to know the local community to help us find out just what it is they would like their new neighbourhood bar and restaurant to offer. Our Wall Heath site, which is in the heart of the Black Country, has been embraced wholeheartedly by the local community. We are really excited about opening a second site here in the Midlands.”
Hakkasan chairman resigns: Khadem Al Qubaisi, the Emirati-born chairman of the Hakkasan Group, which is now the foremost nightclub operator in Las Vegas, has resigned. The news comes as the US Justice Department’s kleptocracy asset recovery initiative programme continues its probe into the 44-year-old businessman, sources said. United Arab Emirates authorities have frozen Al Qubaisi’s personal assets and issued a travel ban, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. Al Qubaisi’s Tasameem Real Estate is the controlling shareholder of the Hakkasan Group. Ronald Richards, a lawyer for Hakkasan chief executive Neil Moffitt, said Al Qubaisi resigned “in the past few weeks” but declined to say why he left.
Baker & Spice opens on site of former Dermot O’Leary restaurant in Brighton, first outside London and first under Patisserie Holdings ownership: Patisserie Holdings, which is chaired by sector investor Luke Johnson, has opened a Baker & Spice site in Brighton – its first outside London. The site is the first to open since the brand was acquired by Patisserie Holdings in 2009. The company has opened the cafe in East Street on the site of the former Fishy Fishy restaurant, which was owned by television presenter Dermot O’Leary and closed in January after seven years. Baker & Spice “prides itself on offering a selection of cakes, pastries, breads and cookies served in a unique atmosphere”. Its other sites are all in the capital in Belgravia, Chelsea and Maida Vale, and at Selfridges in Oxford Street. Patisserie Holdings said the brand generates the largest revenue per store in the group. In its latest accounts, revenue for the four stores in the year to 30 September 2015 was £4.4m. 
Vagabond opens third site in Spitalfields: London-based independent wine bar Vagabond has opened its third site in Spitalfields. The company, founded in 2010 by Stephen Finch, has opened the venue in Brushfield Street. The company said: “Our new shop in the beautiful and historic Old Spitalfields Market is now open – and we’re very proud of it indeed! As elsewhere, we have 100 wines on tap, lovely cheese and charcuterie platters, and a pretty fun selection of craft beers too. We also have comfy seating under the Spitalfields’ covered market as well as a cosy basement with a couple of our wine-dispensing machines down there too.” Vagabond’s other two sites are in Charlotte Street and Fulham.
BrewDog to open Norwich city centre pub on Friday, first site in East Anglia, wins court battle in York: BrewDog will launch its venue in Norwich – the Scottish brewer and retailer’s first site in East Anglia – on Friday, 15 April. BrewDog Norwich will feature 25 taps of craft beer, with growler fills to take away. Food offerings range from a “simple snack to a full-on meal” including BrewDog melts, as well as “wings, hopped-up fries and other tempting delights”. The company said: “We can’t wait to make what is already a fantastic city for beer even better, with an amazing location in a grade II-listed building plumb in the centre of Norwich. The large, open-plan bar will be located at 1 Queen Street, at the mid-point of the curving River Wensum a few hundred yards from the iconic Norman cathedral. We have stripped back to the original timber and brick features and the size of the bar means we will be rocking a fully-stocked BottleDog from opening as well.” Meanwhile, BrewDog has won a court battle over its plans to open a new bar in York’. The company wants to open in 130-134 Micklegate, in the old Portfolio Studios site, and is now free to do so. City of York Council had granted planning permission and granted a licence, but local resident and restaurant owner Clarissa O’Callaghan had taken the case to magistrates. On Friday afternoon, after a second day in court, magistrates dismissed O’Callaghan’s appeal, meaning a victory for BrewDog.

Casual Dining Group to launch two Las Iguanas sites this month: Casual Dining Group will open two Las Iguanas sites this month – Harrogate today (Monday, 11 April) and Basingstoke exactly two weeks later – both conversions of former La Tasca sites. The Harrogate restaurant in John Street will feature an outdoor dining area beneath a cast-iron canopy, while inside the decor will feature leather banquettes and curvy booths. The Basingstoke site is at the Festival Place shopping centre and will feature tropical fans, retro metalwork chandeliers, and banquette seating across two floors. The restaurant also has a piazza for al-fresco dining. Casual Dining Group is currently converting a number of its La Tasca branches, the brand it acquired last year, to Las Iguanas. The company also plans major expansion into Ireland, with chief executive Steve Richards telling Propel it is looking to open as many as 20 sites in the next two years. Diners at both sites can choose from Las Iguanas’ new spring menu, with the venues open from midday to 11pm. Las Iguanas, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has more than 40 sites across the UK.
Restaurant and cafe units brought to market at Maidenhead mixed-use development: Two retail units at the new Chapel Arches development in Maidenhead, Berkshire, have been brought to market by Kempton Carr Croft on behalf of Sorbon Estates. The Picturehouse and Chapel Wharf form part of the three-phase mixed-use development, which also includes more than 200 apartments. The Picturehouse incorporates a 3,910 square foot ground-floor restaurant with an 839 square foot covered outdoor terrace overlooking the waterways. Chapel Wharf is a 1,690 square foot ground-floor cafe unit with an 850 square foot terrace. Kempton Carr Croft said several national chains had already expressed interest in the units. Chris Naylor, head of asset management at Sorbon Estates, told Insider Media: “At the heart of Maidenhead’s regeneration, Chapel Arches provides a significant opportunity for retail and restaurant businesses. When complete, the new waterside community of 240 homes will offer a vibrant atmosphere, opening up a new part of town for locals to enjoy. We’re working closely with our agents to ensure the new tenant is a right fit for the town, while bringing something new to excite residents and visitors.” 

Elle R Leisure reopens Manchester bar and restaurant following £1m refurbishment: Elle R Leisure has reopened its Manchester venue Dukes 92 following a £1m refurbishment. The company has completed the project at the 6,000 square foot site in Castlefield following a three-month closure. The bar and restaurant has been stripped back to reflect its industrial heritage with the use of bricks, wood and black metalwork as a nod to its original use as a stable block for horses that pulled barges along the Rochdale Canal. The focal point of the new space, designed by SpaceInvader, is a 50-foot long brushed brass bar with a full-height diamond-form bottle display above. The wooden floorboards have been replaced with a cream concrete floor. Oak tables with spalted tops, mink-coloured leather booths, antique-glass mirrors and midnight blue seating complete the look. Converted into a bar in 1991, the reopening of Dukes 92 marks the 25th anniversary. James Ramsbottom, managing director of Dukes 92 and Albert’s Restaurants, told The Business Desk: “To retain the character of the old building yet bring it into the 21st century was always going to be a challenge but with SpaceInvader’s help I think we’ve pulled it off and I’m really pleased with the result.” As well as Duke’s 92, Elle R Leisure operates Albert’s Restaurants, which has three sites in Castlefield, Didsbury and Worsley, two of which have large cocktails bars and event spaces within. It also owns three hotels in Leeds, Chester and Manchester.
PizzaExpress gets go-ahead to open in Moseley: PizzaExpress has been given the go-ahead to open a restaurant in the Moseley suburb of Birmingham. The company has had its application to change the use of 93a and 93b Alcester Road and to add a single-storey extension approved by Birmingham City Council. The new restaurant will provide space for up to 102 diners. A similar scheme was given planning permission in September 2015, but no end user was identified. Two letters of objection were lodged in relation to the project, including one from the Moseley Society, which raised concerns regarding deliveries. However, council planning officers said the new restaurant would “have no adverse impact on the amenity of surrounding residents or on the vitality or viability of Moseley”.

Last-minute restaurant deals app Wriggle raises nearly £450,000 as it completes crowdfunding campaign: Last-minute restaurant deals app Wriggle has closed its fund-raising campaign on crowdfunding platform Seedrs having raised nearly £450,000 for a scalable launch across the UK. The company, which was launched in Bristol in 2014 by Rob Hall, acts as a restaurant discovery tool and offers users same-day discounts to fill excess capacity. It was looking to raise £350,000 in return for an 18.97% equity stake – a target it hit in February – and has now closed the campaign having raised £448,267. The pitch stated: “Wriggle is monetising a huge and largely untapped market within the restaurant, bar and cafe sector – with a revolutionary approach to efficiency and discounting – by repackaging empty tables and surplus stock from quality businesses as exciting, time-sensitive opportunities for thousands of potential local customers. It’s simple – local businesses reduce the price of their products to reach Wriggle customers, who make cut-price last-moment purchases over Wriggle in a couple of taps. These customers are provided with location and time-relevant offers from businesses tailored to their preferences – through a variety of channels. Having proved our market with 440 local businesses signed up across Bristol and London (with Brighton now launched), and 35,000 downloads, this investment is about preparing our technology for scalable growth, and turning our user-figures into revenue.” Wriggle previously crowdfunded on Seedrs in 2014 when it raised £160,000 from 200 investors.
Home Grown Hotels to open new Pig hotel near Honiton, first site in Devon: Home Grown Hotels, the destination restaurant and boutique hotel operator led by Robin Hutson, has added another venue to its Pig chain after purchasing The Combe House Devon, near Honiton, its first venue in the county. The grade I-listed Elizabethan manor hotel and restaurant will be rebranded as The Pig-at Combe’s and is set to open in the next few months. The hotel sits in 3,500 acres of countryside, adjoining the village of Gittisham in Otter Valley. For almost 20 years the hotel was independently operated by Ken and Ruth Hunt on a lease from the Combe Estate. A spokesman for The Pig told the Exeter Express & Echo: “As with our other Pigs, the kitchen garden and restaurant will be the beating heart of the new addition, growing and supplying most of the produce for the kitchen team. From garden to plate, what cannot be grown in The Pig’s kitchen garden will be sourced within a 25-mile radius. Thanks to The Pig-at Combe’s location being eight miles from the coast, the menu will consist of fresh fish as well as the very best Devonshire cheese and locally reared meat.” Home Grown Hotels operates four other The Pig hotels – in the New Forest, Bath, Studland, and Southampton.
M&B reopens ‘haunted’ pub as Miller & Carter steakhouse: Mitchells & Butlers has reopened the “haunted” Three Nuns pub in Mirfield, near Huddersfield, as a Miller & Carter steakhouse. The former Orchid site closed for refurbishment in February and has been transformed into the restaurant, creating 28 jobs, reports the Batley & Birtstall News. The building dates to the 1900s although it is reputed there had been an inn on the site since the 15th century. When the pub was refurbished in 1985, workmen reported a series of supernatural goings-on, including doors opening and closing on their own, footsteps on the cellar steps and ghostly figures appearing and disappearing. An exorcism was carried out at the pub in 1991 and in recent years several ghost hunts have taken place. There are two Miller & Carter steakhouses in nearby Leeds and 40 in total in the UK.
JD Wetherspoon granted licence for £1.6m Southampton pub: JD Wetherspoon has been granted a licence for the Red Lion pub in Southampton, which will be its fourth venue in the city. The company will spend £1.6m to redevelop the independent pub in Bitterne Precinct, although it has yet to announce when it will reopen and whether it will have a new name, the Daily Echo reports. JD Wetherspoon’s bid was approved after conditions were agreed with police, including reducing planned opening times by an hour, installation of CCTV and maintaining an incident book, refusals register, and Challenge 21 policy. JD Wetherspoon purchased the pub last summer. In August, a company spokesman said: “The redevelopment will take at least three months and it will look completely different to how it does now, a whole new design.” The company’s other pubs in the Hampshire city are The Standing Order in High Street, The Giddy Bridge in London Road and The Admiral St Lucius Curtis in Ocean Village.
Cote lodges plans for Godalming town centre site: French brasserie Cote has submitted plans to open a restaurant at The Square in Godalming town centre. The two-storey, grade II-listed property in the High Street was formerly a doctors’ surgery, Get Surrey reports. The planning statement submitted by the Pegasus Group on behalf of Cote said a new Cote restaurant would “contribute to the vitality and viability of the central shopping area”, comprise a “mixture of dwell-times” to encourage pedestrian movements and contribute to the “vitality and viability of the town centre” while bringing a vacant building back into use. If approved, the new restaurant would have about 122 covers inside with another 54 seats within a new outdoor courtyard. The application is due to be decided by Friday,13 May. Cote currently has 74 sites in the UK, including five in Surrey. Last week it was given the go-ahead to open a site in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Pull’d struggles with crowdfunding drive to open second site in London: Pull’d, the new slow-cooked fast casual brand, has struggled with its return to crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to raise £350,000 to open its second site in London. Earlier yesterday (Sunday, 10 April), its final day, it had raised just £30,450, about 8%, of its target. The company, led by a former adviser to Prezzo and Tasty, Sam Plumptre, and the corporate financier Chris Clarke, was offering a 36.42% equity stake in return for the investment. Having opened its inaugural site in Cannon Street in September 2014, it is now looking to build on its presence in the City by adding a second venue. The company forecasts a pre-tax loss of £105,931 in the 12 months prior to the crowdfund, which would reduce to £31,981 by 2018. It anticipates sales rising from £230,548 to £552,963 over the same period.
Pod launches new ‘colourful’ menu: Healthy eating chain Pod, which has 22 sites, is launching a new spring menu that emphasises “colourful healthy food”. After customer research through panel debates and tasting sessions, the development team has opted to focus on “colourful, convenient, uncomplicated healthy dishes that allow the brilliance of Pod’s fresh produce to shine”. The emphasis is on colour as eating a bright mix of colourful fresh ingredients offers the richest nutritional fix, the company said. Chef Sean Burlinson said: “We pride ourselves on being ahead of food movements and this spring menu was very much about bringing emerging food trends to Londoner’s daily lives, before they even realised they liked them. Examples include Syrian, Mediterranean and Korean dishes, Turmeric, and ancient grains and ethnic heritage to name a few boxes we’ve ticked. Also interesting is how American Deep South dishes spread to London, challenging us to create something healthy without losing those rich flavours. We’re excited for our customers to try the Texan meatballs and chicken gumbo as part of our Hot Pod rotator plan. Another priority for us was to extend the hot vegetarian offering to cater for the growing number of meat-free Londoners.”
Restaurateurs start expansion with second Italian venue in Greater Manchester: Restaurateurs Joanne and Antonello Riu, who operate Italian restaurant Antonello’s in Edgworth, have opened a second venue in Greater Manchester. The new restaurant, Casalingo, which means “home” in Italian, has opened in Church Street, Ainsworth. Antonello’s won the best family restaurant award at the inaugural English Italian Awards in Manchester in October, less than a year after opening. The husband-and-wife team told The Bolton News they hoped to “bring something a little different to the area” with their authentic Italian cuisine.
Chinese restaurateur to launch second site in Lincolnshire within village community pub: The owner of the Rose Orchard Chinese restaurant opposite Lincoln’s Theatre Royal has leased the King’s Head in nearby Collingham to run it as a pub restaurant. Fang plans to open the new venue before the end of April, creating ten jobs. She told the Lincolnshire Echo: “We plan to create a 65-seat restaurant area and to initially serve Chinese food, but it is possible we will expand to include English cuisine, including Sunday lunch.” David Bower, who owns the King’s Head with wife Hilary, said: “We have owned the pub for 19 years. After six months of marketing, we received no offers for the lease or freehold of the building so we decided to explore other options. The only viable choice was a change of use to residential accommodation. However, some villagers decided to mount a campaign and applied to Newark and Sherwood District Council to get the pub listed as a community asset. They succeeded. We are really pleased we have managed to relet the pub to a suitable tenant for the next five years. That was our prime target, because from the outset we didn’t really want to sell the premises.”
Coffee shop operators must differentiate coffee and customer experience to succeed – new report: Brita Professional’s new report into the coffee shop market has found operators must differentiate their coffee and customer experience if they’re to succeed, with two-thirds of consumers seeking a comfortable environment. The “Killer Concepts” report also found three key types of coffee consumer – “shoppers”, “take-a-breakers”, and “socialisers”. “Shoppers” are looking for a quiet, comfortable experience and are less inclined to build relationships with staff. “Take-a-breakers” visit throughout the day and are looking for a break in the daily routine and friendly interaction. “Socialisers”, meanwhile, want to meet other people and put the most value on friendly staff. For all groups, atmosphere, ambience and interaction were the top factors to encourage repeat visits, with more than half (58%) using the space to people-watch and one in five using the space to relax. The report features commissioned research by Allegra Insight and analysis by Dr Eric Laurier of the University of Edinburgh. Brita Professional sales director Miles Dawson said: “Consumer loyalty is wavering, with even the most established chains at risk of brand fatigue. More than ever, operators must differentiate their coffee and their customer experience if they’re to succeed.” 
Marston’s to open new-build pub in Boston, Lincolnshire, in July: Marston’s will open a new-build pub restaurant in Boston, Lincolnshire, in Swineshead Road, near Tesco and Old MacDonalds Farm, in July. Clinton Cooper, area manager of the new pub, which will be named The Chain Bridge, said: “We’re extremely excited about The Chain Bridge and hope when opened it will build a great reputation locally offering top quality, value for money, pub food and an unrivalled selection of drinks, including cask ales from across the country.” The company said the new pub would have a pizza kitchen where people can watch their pizzas being baked as well as offering two for one on meals.
Long-awaited Damon’s £1.2m Japanese steakhouse to be named after cancer sufferer: The long-awaited £1.2m Japanese steakhouse to be built by the owners of Damon’s steakhouse in Lincoln will be called “Ethan’s” in honour of courageous ten-year-old Ethan Maull, who died of bone cancer in May 2014. The popular youngster from Torksey set up The Ethan Maull “Up Yours To Cancer” Foundation before he died to support families that have to travel long distances for treatment. Stuart Carey, who owns Damon’s, is the uncle of Sam Maull, Ethan Maull’s mother. The Ethan Maull “Up Yours To Cancer” Foundation has raised nearly £200,000 since it was established in 2013. It provides toys and gifts for children on E39 Ward at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, at the Queen’s Medical Centre where Ethan Maull received care. About 40 jobs will be created at the restaurant, which is due to open at the start of May within Damon’s. Diners will sit facing specially trained chefs, who will cook up fresh food using griddles at each table. There will also be a sushi bar along with a bar serving drinks.
Derwent London appoints Davis Coffer Lyons to advise on Old Street development: Derwent London has appointed agents Davis Coffer Lyons to advise on its White Collar Factory scheme in Old Street. The 293,000 square foot White Collar Factory development, scheduled to complete later this year, includes three restaurant units alongside its urban office campus. The highly sustainable scheme also includes a 150-metre rooftop running track, a landscaped public courtyard, and residential apartments to create a “destinational” hub. Camilla Topham, director of development and London estate leasing at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “Old Street roundabout is becoming an increasingly interesting foodie location and we are incredibly excited to be working with Derwent London to deliver a unique and diverse restaurant offer in one of the most exciting developments happening at present in central London.”
New healthy restaurant and juice bar concept set to open in St Helens: A new healthy restaurant and juice bar concept is set to open in St Helens, Merseyside. Scott Anderson, owner of the Gentlemans Social barbers in Earlestown, is joining forces with friends Anthony Georgiou and Chris Heyes to launch the venture in Bridge Street. They are planning to open the Vigour Kitchen and Juice Bar in mid-July, which they envisage will encourage “customers to have a healthy mind, body and positive lifestyle”. Anderson told the St Helens Star: “The idea came from our own experience that there isn’t a healthy alternative to fast food anywhere in St Helens which can support a healthy and positive lifestyle. Especially whilst you are on the go, healthy eating can be tedious and inconvenient and also bland so our main goal is to make it convenient for people and to make healthy eating enjoyable once again with tasty freshly made to order food, juices and desserts that still hold their macro and nutritional values and work alongside various diets.”
Everyman to open first site in north east of England after signing for Durham mixed-use scheme: Boutique cinema operator The Everyman Group has signed a contract to open its first cinema in the north east of England in Durham. The company will anchor the proposed Milburngate scheme on the banks of the River Wear, which will feature a mix of homes, offices, bars, and restaurants. The three-screen 384-seat venue will be part of the 5.3-acre site for which a planning application will be submitted to Durham County Council this month, and is expected to open in 2019. In addition to the 13,242 square foot cinema, Milburngate will include 11 leisure units ranging from 2,120 square feet to 7,189 square feet. The development consortium behind the project, which includes Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP, is in advanced discussions with premium restaurant and bar operators. Everyman chief executive Crispin Lilly told Chronicle Live: “We’re delighted to announce our plans for the arrival of a new Everyman at Milburngate. We’re excited to become a destination for the local community to indulge in a great night out.” Carillion development director Neil McMillan added: “Everyman Cinema’s high quality boutique offering will attract visitors to Durham from across the north east and enhance the city’s position as a key destination in the region.” Everyman runs 16 sites across the UK and has plans to open a further six within the next two years.

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