Story of the Day:
Healthy recipe box startup Mindful Chef reports record sales: Healthy recipe box startup Mindful Chef, which has raised more than £1.2m on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, has reported record sales in September. The “farm to fork” business, founded by Robert Grieg-Gran, Giles Humphries and Myles Hopper in 2015, reported revenue of £396,236, of which £364,864 was recurring revenue (customers who have purchased at least one box prior). Mindful Chef is offering a 15.34% equity stake as it looked to raise £1m. So far, it has raised £1,271,320 from 441 investors with 26 days remaining. The pitch states: “We started the business to help people eat healthily – our belief was the easiest way to maintain a healthy diet is to have all the ingredients, together with a recipe card, delivered to your door. We focus on the healthy and premium end of the recipe box market and ship all the ingredients you need to make two-to-five evening meals, all with fresh British produce (when available) and no refined carbs (no pasta, no white rice, no bread). We have shipped more than 500,000 meals and in the past 12 months have grown from £20,000 per week to £80,000 per week in sales. Our average customer spends more than £40 per week with us (buying three meals for two people). Within the first 12 weeks we have typically paid back our marketing spend. After that, the average active customer makes seven purchases per quarter. We plan to spend about £2m on marketing in the next 12 months. We also intend to spend an additional £250,000 on technology.” Last year, Mindful Chef raised more than £1m on crowdfunding platform Seedrs, when its investors included Tossed founder Vincent McKevitt and tennis star Andy Murray.
Last chance to book for Bar and Nightclub Conference:
This is the last chance to book for this year’s Bar and Nightclub Conference, organised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and Propel. It takes place on Monday, 9 October at Bafta, Piccadilly. It will be followed by the Dusk ’til Dawn Awards for bar and nightclub operators at Cafe de Paris in the evening. Speakers at the conference will be Peter Stringfellow
, who will talk about his career operating late-night venues; Aaron Mellor, founder and chief executive of Tokyo Industries; Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls; CG Restaurants chief executive Scott Matthews; Deltic Group chief executive Peter Marks; Jamie Campbell, who heads up the retail business at CGA; Philip Kolvin QC, head of Cornerstone Barristers and chairman of the London Night Time Commission;
and Stephen Thomas, godfather of the UK nightclub and bar scene
. There will also be a panel session with John Gaunt, of John Gaunt Solicitors; Toby Smith, of Novus Leisure; Nick Griffin, chief executive of Pleisure; Terry Pullen, chief executive of Sugar Hut; Robert Humphreys, vice-chairman of Best Bar None;
and Rommel Moseley, director of business development and partnerships at Drinkaware;
about the current trading and regulatory regime. Tickets for the Bar and Nightclub Conference are £89 plus VAT for operators who are ALMR members and £129 plus VAT for non-ALMR members. Supplier tickets are £165 plus VAT for ALMR members and £225 plus VAT for non-ALMR members. For the Dusk ’til Dawn Awards, tickets are £150 plus VAT for ALMR members and £195 plus VAT for non-ALMR members. Tickets for both events can be booked by emailing Jo Charity at firstname.lastname@example.org
Goodbody – Asda Income Tracker latest evidence to suggest material top-line growth in UK eating and drinking out sector unlikely in near term: Goodbody leisure analyst Brian Devitt has said the Asda Income Tracker is the latest piece of evidence to suggest material top-line growth in the UK eating and drinking out sector is unlikely in the near term. He said: “According to the tracker, weekly family disposable income in August decreased by 0.6% year-on-year to £198. This compares with +0.5% in July marking a return to the negative growth that was seen previously. While the gross income components of the tracker (GDP, earnings growth, unemployment) are broadly unchanged since July, many of the cost inflation components (Consumer Price Index, essential item, fuel) have deteriorated. The Asda Income Tracker is just the latest piece of evidence that would suggest material top-line growth in the UK eating and drinking out sector is unlikely in the near term. With cost headwinds and competition intensifying, we retain our cautious outlook on the sector overall. Among our coverage, JD Wetherspoon is likely to outperform in a tougher environment.” Meanwhile, Devitt said the increase in foodservice price inflation to 9.3% in August would put further pressure on operators. He added: “The CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index represented yet another month of high-single-digit, year-on-year input cost growth for the sector (sixth consecutive month of more than 5%). In addition, the commentary around an increasingly difficult labour procurement environment should be of particular concern. We retain our near-term cautious view of the UK pubco sector.”
Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards open for entries: The Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2018, organised by Diversified Communications UK, is now open for entries. The awards recognise and celebrate the stand-out restaurant and pub operators of the year across the growing multibillion-pound casual dining sector. There are 17 categories in total, encompassing everything from new concepts and openings to menu innovation, employee engagement, marketing and design, as well as recognising the outstanding brands of the year. The judging panel will include Mitchells & Butlers chairman Bob Ivell, TGI Friday’s UK chief executive Karen Forrester, Bill’s chief executive Mark Fox, Gourmet Burger Kitchen chief operating officer Keith Bird, and Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers. Casual dining operators have until Monday, 30 October to submit their entries online at www.cdawards.co.uk. The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 21 February at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, following the first day of the Casual Dining trade show. Wagamama chief executive Jane Holbrook said: “It’s vital we reward and recognise the leaders of our industry and showcase the talent and innovation within the casual dining sector.”
Freehold of east London pub let to multi-site operator goes on market for offers in excess of £3.4m: The freehold of a pub in Leytonstone, east London, let to multi-site operator Genius Star has gone on the market for offers in excess of £3.4m. The 12,127 square foot site in Grove Green Road is being marketed by agents Allsop, is arranged over basement, ground and two upper floors, and includes a large garden. The whole property is home to Genius Star’s Heathcote Arms pub. Genius Star pays rent of £155,000 per annum, increasing to £185,000 over the first five years. There are Retail Price Index uplifts from the sixth year to the tenth year of the lease. A new 25-year lease term was agreed in August. An offer of £3.4m would show a purchaser a net initial yield of 5.1% after purchaser’s costs of 6.50% and is based on the topped-up rent of £185,000 per annum.
Butcombe acquires first Dorset pub: Butcombe Brewery, part of Liberation Group, has acquired the Castle Inn in West Lulworth for its first site in Dorset. The 16th century thatched pub and boutique hotel is close to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door on the Jurassic coastline. The pub was named National Cider and Perry Pub of the Year by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in 2014 and was also East Dorset CAMRA’s Rural Pub of the Year in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Butcombe bought the pub from the Halliday family for an undisclosed sum and is the 35th pub in the company’s south west estate. Butcombe pubs and inns managing director Jayson Perfect said: “The Castle Inn will be a flagship pub for us in Dorset as we expand further into the south west. We’re delighted to have bought such a high-quality pub to strengthen our estate and look forward to welcoming the strong following this outlet has into the Butcombe fold.”
Gino D’Acampo opens My Restaurant and prosecco bar in Camden for sixth site: Italian chef Gino D’Acampo and Manchester-based Individual Restaurants have launched a My Restaurant and prosecco bar in Camden for the brand’s sixth site. The 150-cover venue has opened in Chalk Farm Road spanning two floors and featuring an open kitchen, deli bar, private dining space, and outside seating. The decor features white marble, washed wood and green leather, taking inspiration from Italian yacht-maker Riva. The prosecco bar offers more than 40 proseccos, sparkling wine and regional wine by the glass, alongside Italian cocktails, Neapolitan coffee and cicchetti. D’Acampo said: “It’s not just about food these days it’s about lifestyle. I’ve added powerful free Wi-Fi, charging points at the eat bar, a posh pool table and, of course, a huge TV.” Individual Restaurants, founded by Steven Walker, operates more than 40 venues. Its first venture with D’Acampo was the launch of Gino D’Acampo My Pasta Bar in 2013, which has three central London locations. The first Gino D’Acampo My Restaurant opened in Manchester in 2015, followed by openings in Euston Station, Leeds, Harrogate and Liverpool. In July, D’Acampo and Individual Restaurants signed a joint venture with Next to open restaurants at the retailer’s sites in Manchester. That site will open next month, followed by another in Hull in early 2018. The restaurants will feature an open kitchen, deli bar, book and grocery stores, and a prosecco bar.
Pret A Manger reveals location of third Veggie Pret, first ‘new’ site: Pret A Manger is to launch its third Veggie Pret, in Exmouth Market next week. The venue will open on Wednesday, 11 October and will be the first “new” Veggie Pret rather than the conversion of an existing Pret A Manger store. Ahead of the opening, the company has launched a new menu at its other Veggie Prets, in Soho and Shoreditch. Additions include a vegan beans and avocado power pot; a sweet potato, coconut and cashew flatbread; and a halloumi, red pepper and basil toastie. There is also an Italian Veggie Baguette that includes slices of mozzarella, red pepper, Kalamata olives, fresh whole-leaf basil, and a vegetable and lentil sauce. The Veggie Pret concept began life as a poll on Pret A Manger chief executive Clive Schlee’s blog in 2015 after he spotted the growth of vegetarian products at the company’s stores. A pop-up site launched in Soho in June 2016, which became permanent a few months later with sales at the store in Broadwick Street jumping 70% year-on-year. A second Veggie Pret opened in Shoreditch in April this year. Earlier this summer, Pret A Manger launched a “green fridge” trial at its stores across the UK, with fridges containing only vegan and vegetarian food.
US diner chain Denny’s to open first UK site, in Swansea: US 24-hour diner chain Denny’s is to open its first site in the UK, in Swansea. A second diner is believed to be opening in Cardiff, according to Wales Online. Denny’s claims to be the “world’s largest full-service family restaurant chain”, operating more than 2,100 restaurants in the US. It offers all-day big American breakfasts, which include stacked pancakes and grilled breakfast sandwiches. It also offers burgers, omelettes, sandwiches, soup, salads, appetisers, desserts and beverages. Denny’s was founded by Harold Butler and Richard Jezak in 1953 with the promise to “serve the best cup of coffee, make the best doughnuts, give the best service, offer the best value, and stay open 24 hours a day”.
Harwood Capital, Ten Entertainment Group chairman sell 25% stake: Private equity firm Harwood Capital has sold part of its stake in Ten Entertainment Group, the UK’s second-largest ten-pin bowling operator. Harwood Capital, together with Ten Entertainment Group chairman Nick Basing and chief commercial officer Graham Blackwell, have sold 16 million ordinary shares in Ten Entertainment Group, representing 25% of Ten Entertainment Group’s existing issued share capital, at a price of 180 pence per share by way of a placing. The company stated: “At the time of the initial public offering of Ten Entertainment Group, each of the sellers entered into 365-day lock-up arrangements with Numis. Due to demand from investors, Numis has consented to the placing and in doing so has agreed to waive the lock-up provisions with respect to the placing shares proposed to be sold by the sellers pursuant to this placing only.”
Lancashire-based pub operator Fayre Inns to reopen Tarleton pub this month after £1m joint venture with Daniel Thwaites: Lancashire-based pub operator Fayre Inns is to reopen The Cock & Bottle in Tarleton this month following a £1m joint venture with north west brewer and retailer Daniel Thwaites. The pub in Church Road is undergoing a transformation to turn the function suite into an open plan family dining space, with the lobby turned into a glazed seating area. There will also be an open-beam ceiling, log-burning stove and booth-style seating, with added features including a patisserie-cum-coffee station, a beer garden at the front and a breakfast menu. It is one of the biggest pub investment projects for Thwaites this year, and the pub is scheduled for a “mid-October” relaunch. Fayre Inns managing director Steven Greenhalf told the Visiter: “I’m so excited about this refurbishment. We want the pub to be at the heart of the community and with this development we think people are going to really enjoy visiting it.” Daniel Thwaites director of pubs and brewing Andrew Buchanan added: “It’s great working with Fayre Inns on this investment project. We’ve already developed a number of very successful pubs with them, including The Hunters in Lostock Hall. The refurbishment will breathe new life into the pub. It’s going to look fantastic.”
Salvation In Noodles founder launches Vietnamese concept MAM in Notting Hill: Colin Tu, who operates two London restaurants under his Salvation In Noodles brand, has launched Vietnamese concept MAM in Notting Hill. MAM, which is pronounced “mum” and means “fermentation” in Vietnamese, has opened in All Saints Road with a focus on Tu’s mother’s homemade fermented dipping sauce, which is made with shrimp paste and pineapple. The concept takes inspiration from Tu’s travels in south east Asia and Vietnamese barbecue street food stalls, Hot Dinners reports. MAM also focuses on skewers cooked on a robata grill, with mostly chicken dishes but also rare-breed beef, seafood and weekly specials. Other dishes include Hanoi-style pho – rice bowls topped with braised short rib or pork belly and egg – as well as classic Vietnamese starters and fish sauce chicken wings. Tu’s Salvation in Noodles restaurants are in Dalston and Finsbury Park.
Papa John’s franchisee opens third site, plans two more venues next year: Papa John’s franchisee Dave Foster has opened his third site, in Macclesfield, with two more lined up to launch in 2018. Foster, who joined Papa John’s as a franchisee last year and also runs venues in Ellesmere Port and Chester, has opened his latest venue in Park Green. Foster said: “My brother Sam has a Papa John’s in Dundee and my dad was also in the pizza business. Myself and my wife Rachael worked for a rival firm for 12 years and so we are certainly keeping pizza in the family! We chose Macclesfield as, being close to Manchester, it is a great area. Many families live in the region and there is also a big college attracting a sizeable student population. We have signed a development deal to open a further two Papa John’s next year.” Papa John’s, which was founded in the US in 1984, has more than 350 sites across the UK and more than 5,000 stores in more than 40 international markets and territories.
JD Wetherspoon to launch fresh application in long-running Welwyn Garden City pub saga, Liverpool bid rejected: JD Wetherspoon is set to launch a fresh application to open a pub in Welwyn Garden City (population: 43,252) in a long-running saga that goes back to the company’s acquisition of a site in April 2015. The company has put up a sign at its Parkway site advertising its proposed Cherry Tree pub development. A spokesman told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Our aim is to submit another planning application soon.” Wetherspoon has had two plans to develop the site rejected, with the Welwyn Garden City Society vehemently opposing the proposals. Society member Dennis Lewis said: “We have no objection to Wetherspoon as such. The objection we have is not based on the fact we do not want a pub, it is based on the fact it’s in the wrong place.” A second planning application for 22 Parkway was rejected in August 2016, following an initial unsuccessful attempt in November 2015. The building is a three-storey 1920s house that once housed the Maynard Gallery and a clinic for mental health services. The building has been empty since late 2014. Meanwhile, Wetherspoon has had its plans turned down for a pub in Liverpool city centre after planners said it would “conflict with the proposed residential development above”. JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said the company would appeal the decision.
Mahiki and Neville open Manchester club for brand’s first UK regional site: Nightclub brand Mahiki has opened its first UK site outside London after teaming up with former Manchester United and England footballer Gary Neville and his company GG Hospitality. The club has opened at One Central Street featuring two rooms – Mahiki Manchester, which opens at 11pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with exotic dancers, music and cocktails, and a cocktail lounge that opens daily at 5pm. Neville said: “We are excited to bring Mahiki to Manchester. It has long been known in London and overseas for offering a unique, fun experience and now Manchester can offer that too.” Mahiki co-founder Piers Adam added: “This is a city with community at its core and we are thrilled to partner with one of Manchester’s own, Gary Neville.” Adam, David Phelps and Nick House launched Mahiki in London in 2005, followed by a Dubai venue in 2011 and recent openings in Marbella and Sardinia. Mahiki will also launch a site in Kensington this month in partnership with Jake Parkinson Smith, Fraser Carruthers and Carlo Carello, the men behind private members’ club Albert’s.
La Fromagerie launches third London site, in Bloomsbury: Cafe and cheese shop concept La Fromagerie has launched its third site in London, this time in Bloomsbury. The new two-storey venue has opened in Lambs Conduit Street offering cheese, charcuterie, artisan bread, seafood and wine. The upstairs space houses a seafood bar, while there is a tasting room downstairs with adjoining glass-covered courtyard that is available for hire. There is also a “walk-in cheese room” with charcuterie, artisan bread, fruit and vegetables also available to purchase. The venue will also offer a breakfast menu, plus seasonal dishes throughout the day and a hefty wine list, Hot Dinners reports. La Fromagerie was founded by Patricia Michelson, who opened a debut site in Highbury in 1992, following by a second venue in Marylebone ten years later.
Filmore & Union launches evening ‘neighbourhood dining’ concept to attract new audiences, especially men: Healthy eating cafe and restaurant company Filmore & Union, which last month secured £3.5m funding from the Business Growth Fund to aid its expansion across the UK, has launched a “neighbourhood dining” concept at its Harrogate, Wetherby, Skipton, Ilkley and Beverley sites. The concept is aimed at turning the company’s sites into more of an evening destination aimed at new audiences, “especially men”. The company closed its York restaurant on Sunday (1 October) ahead of a £100,000 refurbishment. The Petergate restaurant, which opened in 2012 as the first Filmore & Union venue of the now 14-strong chain, will reopen in November with a new “eclectic” evening menu and a bar offering high-quality wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. The York and Harrogate restaurants will also launch an even more premium “health-inspired” evening experience soon, the company said. Filmore & Union founder Adele Ashley said: “We always aim to surprise our customers and bring them something they can’t find elsewhere so now feels like the right time to introduce the new evening menus and give the original York restaurant a makeover, adding something extra special to our offer, especially as an evening destination. We’re keen to attract new customers into our evening restaurants, especially men, who may have previously thought of us as a daytime health food cafe.” Filmore & Union launched its debut concession at a John Lewis store in York in June, marking the start of a long-term partnership that will include further openings soon, the company said.
Greene King to open new-build Farmhouse Inns site on outskirts of Nottingham in December: Greene King is to open a new-build Farmhouse Inns site on the outskirts of Nottingham. The company is launching Holly Tree Farm at Nottingham Business Park, creating 100 jobs. The pub restaurant, which will have capacity for 320 diners, is due to open on Monday, 11 December. The restaurant will feature a “double decker” carvery, with two separate but identical vegetable serving stations. There will also be a non-carvery menu featuring lasagne, burgers and crispy chicken as well as a salad bar. The restaurant will be divided into two sections, one for families with younger children and one for adults. There will also be a kid’s zone featuring soft play toys and games consoles, reports the Nottingham Post.
Portsmouth-based Red Lounge Group lodges plans for third Hampshire site: Portsmouth-based Red Lounge Group has lodged plans to open its third Hampshire site, in the village of Denmead. The company has applied to Winchester City Council to turn a building in Hambledon Road it already owns into a bar and restaurant. The property is leased by florist Fleurtations, which plans to move to new premises. Red Lounge Group owner Fasu Miah said there was demand for a restaurant in the village centre as staff at his Shalimar and Pasha branches in Waterlooville and Cowplain often get requests to open a venue in Denmead. He told the Horndean Post: “In our opinion, a cocktail lounge and tapas restaurant will enhance the area and provide a much-needed service the majority of residents demand.”
Buffalo chicken wings street food concept to open first bricks and mortar site: Buffalo chicken wings street food concept The Orange Buffalo is to open its first bricks and mortar site next week. Founders Mike So and Nick White are setting up shop in east London’s Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on Wednesday, 11 October. The Orange Buffalo started life as a food truck in The Old Truman Brewery in Ely’s Yard, just off Brick Lane, and now also runs the kitchen in Brighton pub The Joker. The new site will offer The Orange Buffalo’s wings with its range of six sauces in varying degrees of spice. All wings can be ordered with a selection of sides such as curly fries, onion rings and deep-fried pickles. The menu will have some new additions, especially made for Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen such as The Bloody Veggie burger made with roasted beetroot, chestnut mushroom, brown rice, adzuki beans and almond patty. All will be available alongside Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen’s cocktails. The Orange Buffalo said it is set to open its first London-based franchisee soon in collaboration with management consultants Franchise Growth & Development, which will help to grow the franchise organisation.
Creams Cafe opens Canterbury site: Dessert cafe operator Creams Cafe has opened a site in Canterbury, Kent. The company has opened the dessert parlour in Palace Street on the site of the former Mrs Jones Kitchen store, creating more than 20 jobs. The new venue offers Italian gelato, waffles, crepes, milkshakes, smoothies and sundaes. The decor features copper pipes, Edison bulbs, and metal cages alongside a chocolate fountain centrepiece. Franchisee Farouk Sadiq told Kent Live: “It has taken almost a year’s continuous work to fit the building so it looks as beautiful as it does today. It was in a state but we have given the place new life.” The company, which was founded in London in 2008, currently operates more than 50 cafes in the UK. Venues listed on its website as “opening soon” include Enfield and Edgware.
Revolution Bars Group offers customers chance to exchange old £1 coin for flavoured shots: Revolution Bars Group is offering customers the opportunity to exchange their old £1 coins for one of its handcrafted flavour shots. The company is now staging a £1 Coin Amnesty, with the old coins ceasing to be legal tender from Sunday, 15 October. Across all 52 nationwide Revolution bars, instead of taking their old money into banks and post offices, customers can receive a single handcrafted flavour shot in exchange for an old £1 coin, with a maximum of three per person. There are more than 30 handcrafted flavours to choose from, made using premium triple-distilled vodka. Revolution Bars Group commercial director Myles Doran said: “We understand there’s nearly £500m worth of old coins stored in piggy banks or saving jars around the UK. With the old pound coin fast running out of circulation, we’re asking guests to exchange their old change for one of our handcrafted flavours range. It’s time to check the sofa.”
Former L’Enclume chef launches pre-paid booking system at Stockport restaurant: Former L’Enclume chef Samuel Buckley is changing the booking system at his Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In so all reservations will be made in the form of pre-paid tickets. The 50-cover restaurant, which opened last year, charges £75 per head for a menu that changes daily depending on what ingredients come in from the day’s catch, slaughter or foraging. Wine-pairing and cheese cost extra. Following huge demand and because of the size of the venue and team, Buckley said the new system would create a “better waiting list system”. He told the Manchester Evening News: “Currently our waiting list is managed in-house by a small team during admittedly limited office hours and is a hugely demanding and difficult thing to look after. We have long outgrown it. We are confident that when the system is in place the benefits for us and our guests will massively outweigh any misgivings.” As well as working at two Michelin-starred L’Enclume in Cumbria, Buckley has also worked for Gary Rhodes. He launched his first solo venture, Where The Light Gets In, on the site of a former Victorian coffee warehouse in Rostron Brow.
Team behind Middlesbrough-based cocktail bar One59 launches gourmet burger concept: The team behind upmarket gin and cocktail bar One59 Bar And Social in Middlesbrough has launched a gourmet burger concept in the Teesside town. The Cow Shed has opened in Linthorpe Road offering 20 burgers, including chicken, pork and vegetarian options. The 56-cover restaurant is set over two floors. A spokesperson told Gazette Live: “The burgers are freshly prepared on-site to a specific Cow Shed recipe. We also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options, alongside weekly specials. The interior of both venues was designed in collaboration with our interior designer Sarah Jacobs. The bar is contemporary with lots of wall art, whereas the restaurant is more earthy with lots of wood and a yellow-and-blue palette. The kitchen is open plan so our guests can not only see the food being prepared, they can smell it cooking.” One59 Bar And Social opened earlier this year and is licensed to 1am at weekends. Companies House lists Matthew Salvin and Neil Winterbottom as managers in the business.
Manchester-based The Laundrette starts expansion outside city as it opens third site, in Newcastle: Manchester-based cocktails and carbohydrates concept The Laundrette has started expansion outside the city by opening a site in Newcastle, its third venue in total. Owners Patrick Hall and Jon Charles have opened the venue beneath the Vita Student building in Westgate Road, creating 50 jobs. The venue consists of a 90-cover restaurant with large outdoor terrace and, as in the other Laundrette sites, offers breakfast, cocktails, pizza and grill specialities. Hall and Charles launched Laundrette in the Manchester suburb of Chorlton in 2013 before expanding into the city centre last year. Hall told Chronicle Live: “The people of Newcastle know how to party so there is nowhere better for us to open outside Manchester. It’s amazing to see it take shape and we can’t wait to hear what people think.” The Laundrette website states: “Eating is treating. We believe restaurants need a dollop of fun and, as two of our three favourite things are cocktails and carbs, we’ve stuffed our menu full of them.”
Derby-based Premier Bars acquires city centre pub and restaurant for debut site: Derby-based businessman Sam Wright has acquired a city centre bar and restaurant for the first site of his new pub company Premier Bars. Wright has bought the leasehold to the Blacksmith’s Lounge and Loft in Sadler Gate in a five-figure deal from previous owners Greg Hutchby and Victoria Harrison. Wright has a wealth of experience in the hospitality trade having worked and run pubs and restaurants in Derbyshire, London, Nottingham and York. Blacksmith’s Lounge opened in 2013 with the Blacksmith’s Loft restaurant launching a year later. Wright told The Business Desk: “I started in the industry as a 16-year-old washing pots and have probably done every job within it since then, so I’ve seen it from the bottom up.”
New concept East Pizzas to launch in Leith this week: New concept East Pizzas is to launch in Leith on Saturday (7 October). The restaurant will use local suppliers to showcase the best produce the east coast of Scotland offers. Where possible, food will be sourced within 30 miles of the restaurant with all meat and vegetables organic. The concept is the brainchild of Roly Simpson, who owns catering business Toasted Radish. Pizza dough will be made in-house daily, while the menu will change seasonally. Simpson said: “We love being able to choose from the best Scottish produce. It means we create pizzas with fresh high-quality ingredients. It is great to be able to tell our customers which farm the mozzarella on their pizza comes from or that their salad was picked a few hours ago.” The restaurant will open from Tuesday to Friday, from 4pm to 11pm, and from midday to 11pm on Saturdays and Sundays.