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Fri 15th Dec 2017 - Update: SSP, White Brasserie, Conviviality et al
SSP launches new concept Factory Bar & Kitchen at Birmingham airport: Transport hub foodservice specialist SSP has launched new concept Factory Bar & Kitchen at Birmingham airport. The bar and restaurant has been inspired by Birmingham’s heritage and pays tribute to the pivotal role the city played in the industrial revolution. Factory Bar & Kitchen serves an array of British classics alongside local favourites. The menu includes pizza as well as a selection of dishes with a nod to the Indian flavours at the heart of Birmingham’s food culture. The restaurant also has a breakfast menu and a selection of artisan coffees. The bar offers 13 premium draught beers, bottled beer and a selection of wine and spirits. SSP UK and Ireland chief executive Simon Smith said: “The Factory Bar & Kitchen has been designed in partnership with our clients at Birmingham airport to offer all our customers a fantastic experience. We are delighted to provide local favourites to create a sense of place, all served in a warm and inviting environment.” Birmingham airport commercial director Jo Lloyd added: “We are delighted to be opening another fantastic catering outlet with SSP UK. This new concept will be a welcome addition to the departure lounge.”

White Brasserie Company to relaunch ‘run-down’ village pub for first Cambridgeshire site: The White Brasserie Company is set to relaunch a “run-down” village pub in February for its first site in Cambridgeshire. The Boot Inn in Histon has been closed for nine months but will reopen under the stewardship of general manager David Harrison, who formerly worked at Cambscuisine’s Cambridge Chop House. A three-month restoration includes a new floor and fireplace, while a former barn has been converted into a kitchen and a restaurant has been built connected to the pub. Harrison told the Cambridge News: “There’s a lot of work to do but we hope to open by February. We’ve had a fantastic reaction from the village. It’s a run-down old pub that needed some love and I think people appreciate what’s being done. We still want to remain part of the community.” On Monday (18 December), The White Brasserie Company is due to open its first pub in Oxfordshire. The 140-cover Black Horse Hotel in Thame will be its 16th site in total and feature brasserie-style dining area The Coach House. The White Brasserie Company and Brasserie Blanc are part of Brasserie Bar Co, of which chef Raymond Blanc is a director.

Conviviality completes £25m deal for Central Convenience: Conviviality, the UK alcohol wholesaler serving consumers through the on-trade and its franchise retail estate, has acquired Central Convenience for £25m through its wholly-owned subsidiary Bargain Booze. The deal sees the business and assets of 109 convenience stores transfer from WS Retail, along with the rights as franchisor of a further 18 franchisee-operated stores trading under Central Convenience. WS Retail is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Palmer & Harvey McLane, which entered administration on 28 November. Conviviality stated: “The company can confirm Matthew Boyd Callaghan, Ian David Green and Zelf Hussain, insolvency practitioners of PricewaterhouseCoopers, have been appointed as joint administrators of WS Retail and have accepted the offer and entered into the acquisition agreement with Bargain Booze, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, to effect the sale of the business and assets of the Central Convenience business formerly carried on by WS Retail to Bargain Booze. Accordingly, Bargain Booze has completed the acquisition of the entire business, assets and goodwill of WS Retail, including the assignment of the agreements with franchisees, for an aggregate cash consideration of £25.0m. Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for 8,000,000 placing shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected admission will occur and dealings will commence at 8am on Tuesday (19 December).” Conviviality chief executive Diana Hunter said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition, and to have the Central Convenience business join the Conviviality Group. We now welcome our new colleagues and franchisees to the group. Conviviality Retail now comprises 836 stores, serving more customers in the south and south west of England.”

BBPA calls for extra pub hours during royal wedding weekend: The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called for pubs to be allowed to extend opening hours on the weekend of the royal wedding, which would give a £10m boost to the trade. With the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced for Saturday, 19 May, the BBPA wants to see extended hours on the Friday and Saturday night. Past national celebrations where the government has used the “special occasions order” have included the royal wedding in 2011, the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012, the 2014 World Cup and the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “A royal wedding is a great national celebration and a wonderful opportunity for us all to get together in the pub. I know an extension would be warmly welcomed by pub-goers and the pub trade. It would put pubs at the heart of the celebrations, something that has been a great success for previous major royal events. I hope the government will embrace this idea.”

London-based Jamaican restaurant concept Rudie’s to launch grab and go version at Boxpark Shoreditch: London-based Jamaican restaurant concept Rudie’s, which made its debut in Dalston in 2015, is to launch a grab and go site next month, in Boxpark Shoreditch. The 30-cover venue will open in two units at the park on Monday, 15 January and showcase a range of Jamaican tapas-style dishes alongside Rudie’s regulars such as jerk chicken, curried goat and the Boss Burger. Grab and go options such as the Jerk-It-Up box (signature real jerk chicken with sweet potato and rice ‘n’ peas or chow chow slaw), Hellshire Beach (king prawns sautéed in pepper sauce with avocado salsa and fried bammy), and the vegan Ital Vital (plantain with Appleton rum sauce, sweet potatoes and chow chow slaw) will be available to take away or for delivery. Rudie’s renowned roti wraps will remain on the menu with curried goat, jerk chicken, jerk pork, and callaloo and mushroom fillings. Beverages will include Jamaican soft drinks alongside fresh juice and a range of rum and punch to match the food.

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