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Mon 3rd Apr 2017 - Bar and nightclub operator Aaron Mellor expands into Croatia and Los Angeles
Bar and nightclub operator Aaron Mellor expands into Croatia and Los Angeles: Tokyo Industries, the UK’s largest privately owned bar and nightclub operator with 36 venues and owned by Aaron Mellor, has expanded its international operations with new businesses in Croatia and Los Angeles. Mellor has also confirmed a new season this summer at Heart Ibiza (www.HeartIbiza.com), as part of a joint venture between Cirque du Soleil and Michelin-starred chef Ferran Adria (formerly of El Bulli). He will operate the Boogie Wonderland evening in Ibiza, which follows a 15-course meal served by Adria at Heart, the island’s only five star hotel. Mellor has acquired a new downtown Los Angeles nightclub project code-named Dis(order), with design by the Haçienda designer Ben Kelly. He has also invested in a Croatian private island called Obonjan (www.Obonjan-island.com), which stages a summer long private island festival of arts, well-being and creative music that guests are invited to drop in and out of. Tokyo Industries current UK sites include Digital Newcastle, Church Leeds, Fibbers York, Factory, Manchester – it also operates a number of and Bier Keller sites around the UK. This year also sees the third year of Mellor’s Lost Village Festival (www.LostVillageFestival.co) which is held in a forest in Lincolnshire. The event has been moved to the August Bank Holiday weekend from last year’s May Bank Holiday slot – ticket sales are understood to be substantially up on last year.

Fulham Shore plans Italian Franco Manca pop-up, ends year with 45 sites: Fulham Shore has reported it expects to achieve full year results in line with market expectations for the financial year to 26 March 2017. It stated: “Franco Manca continues to source its ingredients from the best UK and Italian producers. These are organic where possible. The business is further strengthening its ties with Italy by joining its founder, Giuseppe Mascoli, in opening a seasonal Franco Manca pizzeria by the sea, located on the island of Salina, north of Sicily. This will be operated as a franchise and Franco Manca will invest approximately £100,000 alongside local and international investors. We have ended the financial year with 45 restaurants, comprising 32 Franco Manca, 12 The Real Greek and 1 Bukowski Grill franchise. We opened 13 new Franco Manca pizzeria and three The Real Greek during the year, including our first smaller Greek on the Street concept. Towards the end of the financial year in March 2017 we opened two Franco Manca pizzeria, at Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf and next to Russell Square underground station in Bloomsbury, London. These pizzeria were intended to be part of our 2017/18 opening programme but due to the efforts of the Franco Manca opening team and our building contractors we have opened them earlier than planned. As a result of this and a four-month delay to the Franco Manca Victoria opening, our pre-opening costs for the year were higher than we anticipated. Our 33rd Franco Manca in Putney opened last week. We are currently building 3 Franco Manca in Richmond, Brighton Marina and Bournemouth plus a 13th The Real Greek, also in Bournemouth, all for Spring/Summer 2017 openings. Subject to site availability we expect to end our 2018 financial year with 60 restaurants, comprising 45 Franco Manca, 14 The Real Greek and one Bukowski Grill franchise. To aid both our increased expansion plans and the strengthening of our central team we have agreed increased facilities with our bank, HSBC, from £6.5m to £15.0m. These new bank facilities have been negotiated at our previously agreed terms and rates. These bank facilites will enable Fulham Shore to gradually accelerate its opening programme and push for a nationwide presence throughout the UK.”

Elegant Hotels buys Treasure Beach site in Barbados: Elegant Hotels Group, the owner and operator of six upscale freehold hotels and a beachfront restaurant on the island of Barbados in which sector investor Luke Johnson holds a sizeable stake, has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of Treasure Beach Limited, which holds the business, freehold property, and assets of Treasure Beach Hotel in Barbados. The consideration and renovation costs are expected to be approximately US $10.5 million in aggregate. Treasure Beach is a four-star, 35-room hotel in Paynes Bay, in the parish of St. James in Barbados. It is the adjoining property to Elegant Hotels’ Tamarind hotel, which in turn is situated next to Daphne’s and The House, which are also owned by the group. As a result, the acquisition will mean that four of Elegant Hotels’ properties will account for a continuous 300 metre stretch of the prestigious west coast, or “Platinum Coast”, of Barbados. Treasure Beach occupies around 1.18 acres of land, and its amenities include a swimming pool, spa, and restaurant. The agreement to acquire Treasure Beach is conditional upon completion of a credit agreement with the group’s bankers, The Bank of Nova Scotia. The condition is expected to be satisfied before the end of April 2017. The hotel will be operated under the existing brand until the end of July 2017 whereupon it will be closed. It will be refurbished, repositioned and ultimately re-priced before being rebranded as ‘Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels’, and it is expected to re-open for business at the start of November 2017. The group plans to operate Treasure Beach as an adults-only European Plan hotel with an emphasis on a high-quality food offering. Guests of Treasure Beach will also be able to make use of the facilities of the neighbouring Tamarind hotel. The consideration and renovation costs will be funded by a combination of operating cashflow and US$8.0 million from the group’s existing credit agreement with The Bank of Nova Scotia. The acquisition agreement contains customary warranties and indemnities. The group expects Treasure Beach to be earnings enhancing for the 2017/18 financial year. Sunil Chatrani, chief executive of Elegant Hotels, said: “Treasure Beach is a resort that we know very well, given its close proximity to a number of our other sites, and it is an extremely attractive property that has been a long-term target for the group. We are therefore delighted to be acquiring it, given the clear potential for operational and financial synergies, and look forward to integrating it into our portfolio. More broadly, this should be taken as a clear sign that Elegant Hotels is more committed than ever to executing its long-term expansion strategy.”

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