Story of the Day:
Market Halls founder – we want to bring ‘new lease of life’ to shopping centre food environment, at least 15 similar opportunities: Market Halls founder Andy Lewis-Pratt has told Propel the company aims to bring a “new lease of life” to the shopping centre food environment through its The Hall concept. The company, which has so far launched two central London food halls, in Fulham and Victoria, will open its debut The Hall site outside the capital at Intu Lakeside in Essex this spring. It will cover 14,500 square feet and include seven kitchens, a coffee shop, pop-up areas for food trucks, two bars and seating for 680 people. Former property developer Lewis-Pratt, who founded the business last year with Simon Anderson, the restaurateur behind London’s Pitt Cue Co, said Lakeside was the ideal opportunity to take their vision out of town, while there were at least 15 similar opportunities “in theory”. He said: “My background is in shopping centres and that seemed a logical route for us to take the business outside major cities. We want to bring a new lease of life to the shopping centre food environment by creating something different that makes people go ‘wow’. There are almost 25 million people a year going to Lakeside. Of those, 65% eat and drink as well as shop. The average dwell time is more than two hours so people are going there for a day out, while 70% go there every two weeks. That’s even before the new leisure extension opens and Nickelodeon arrives.” Lewis-Pratt said Market Halls was looking at taking some of its London traders to Lakeside with the remainder being local, ethical independents. During 2019, Market Halls will add to its London footprint with a site in the West End, which will become the largest food hall in the country when it opens this autumn, while it hopes to open a site in York by late summer. Looking beyond that, Lewis-Pratt said the company was looking to open five venues in 2020 across its traditional Market Halls – where it gives old buildings a new lease of life – and The Hall concepts. He said: “Looking at the shopping centre scene, there are at least another 15 opportunities similar to Lakeside. We’re looking at areas with a large catchment population so places such as Birmingham, Cardiff and Liverpool are on our radar. The thought of Europe and other formats, such as train stations, has crossed our mind but we think these two formats will keep us busy enough for the next two to three years and then we’ll see where we go from there.” Lewis-Pratt said trade at Market Halls’ Victoria site continued to “exceed expectations” with the site consistently full, while Fulham, which was a “very different environment”, was “trading well”.
Social Strategy In A Day open for bookings:
Social Strategy In A Day, an event aimed at allowing companies to develop and hone their social media strategy, has launched and is open for bookings. The event features all-new content and insights to allow companies to increase brand exposure, broaden their reach and ensure their digital marketing really delivers. Propel has partnered with digital marketing company Digital Blonde for the one-day advanced workshop, which will cover everything a marketing department should be thinking about when it comes to social strategy. The event takes place on Thursday, 4 April at One Moorgate Place in London. Insights will include how to drive business via social media; which social media activity works best for each generation; the key to successful storytelling; and the latest findings in consumer psychology and how they can benefit your social media communications. There will also be tips on how to boost your food and drink photography and rebuild trust on social media in the wake of fake news alongside insights on key apps, how to make the most of Instagram and Facebook, and how to make your social spend count. Those who book tickets can submit questions ahead of the event for the Digital Blonde team to answer in special “20 questions in 20 minutes” sessions. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Propel Premium members and £345 plus VAT for non-members and can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Marston’s to open 15th Revere site, in Chesham next month: Revere Pub Company, the premium arm of Marston’s, will launch The Lazy Pig In The Pantry in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, next month. The company is investing £500,000 in the venue, which will be Revere’s 15th in total with the creation of 35 jobs. The bar and restaurant will span more than 4,100 square feet, accommodate 346 covers and is on the site of Marston’s pub The Bellcote in Chesham Road. It will feature a mix of contemporary and traditional decor complemented by an Instagrammable orangery and terrace. The seasonally changing menu will offer pub classics, wood-fired pizza, Josper-grilled steak, Sunday roast, wine and cocktails. Revere Pub Company managing director Colin Sadler said: “We are delighted to be adding another site to the Revere portfolio, taking us to a total of 15. This opening demonstrates the commitment to our continued growth as a brand and its premium offering. We want The Lazy Pig In The Pantry to be at the heart and hub of the Chesham community and we can’t wait to welcome our guests.”
Basque cookery school and experiential dining concept to launch debut UK site, in Borough Market: Basque cookery school and experiential dining concept Mimo, which operates three sites in Spain, is to make its UK debut, in London’s Borough Market. Mimo offers classes in mastering pintxos, paella and other Mediterranean classics at its schools in San Sebastian, Mallorca and the Algarve as well as wine tastings and dining experiences. The UK base will launch in Cathedral Street on Thursday, 4 April offering cookery classes themed on London areas including Pintxos Of The Old Town, which will feature dishes such as prawn skewers and slow-cooked beef cheek. Other courses will include Paella & More, featuring recipes for Galician octopus and gazpacho, and Traditional Portuguese. Four-hour classes will include welcome drinks, while many ingredients will be sourced from Borough Market. Mimo founder Jon Warren said: “Mimo is a Spanish word that means love and care, which you’d typically give a baby or a pot of something you are cooking. Our cookery schools are much more than places to get your hands dirty – they are places to connect with new and old friends over great food and wine. We think Borough Market is the perfect place to explore local cuisine and bring the best of Spain and Portugal to the table.” The venue will be led by Joseba Lasa, former executive chef of luxury events caterer Urban Caprice.
Champagne & Fromage to launch second Liverpool site, seventh in total: French bistro and deli concept Champagne & Fromage is to launch its second site in Liverpool and seventh in total. Champagne & Fromage will be one of four brands to open at the Ashcroft Building, which previously housed Vietnamese restaurant Mr Ho’s in Victoria Street. Champagne & Fromage is set to open next month offering its signature French farmhouse cheese, charcuterie and grower champagne. The brand also offers sharing boards, baked cheese and fondue, afternoon tea, tartines and macaroons. Champagne & Fromage offshoot Coucou Canard will also launch at the site next month. Both brands operate at Grand Central Hall food bazaar in Liverpool city centre. Coucou Canard offers French bistro-style sharing dishes with a focus on simple cooking and locally sourced produce. The other operators set to launch in the Ashcroft Building will be Restaurant 37, which will open in May, and live jazz and blues cocktail bar Victoria Street Jazz, which is due to launch in the autumn, the Liverpool Echo reports. Champagne & Fromage operates four London sites, in Brixton, Covent Garden, Greenwich and at Mercato Metropolitano, and one in Bath.
Hydes to open gin emporium at Manchester pub: North west brewer and retailer Hydes is to open a gin emporium on the first floor of a Manchester pub. The company will launch Miss Jessie Heywood’s Remarkable Gin and Food Emporium on Friday, 8 March, with more than 70 gins on the menu, alongside cocktails and masterclasses. The new venture, which will be housed in the Abel Heywood pub in Turner Street, will also offer a menu of contemporary small and large plates alongside sharing platters. While the pub continues to operate as normal on the ground floor and the boutique hotel above, the first floor is being fully refurbished and transformed. The emporium is inspired by Miss Jessie Heywood, the daughter of former Manchester publisher and mayor Abel Heywood, who the pub was named after. Jessie Heywood travelled the world and lived for a while in New Zealand, from where she regularly shipped seeds and botanicals back to Manchester. Hydes managing director Chris Hopkins told the Manchester Evening News: “The Abel Heywood is a very successful site and we are enhancing it further to provide customers with an even greater experience by introducing Miss Jessie Heywood’s Remarkable Gin and Food Emporium. This has been a significant investment and provides us with the opportunity to have two outstanding venues and a top-rated boutique hotel under one roof.”
Livelyhood launches Perky Nel in Clapham for sixth south London site: Livelyhood, the independent south London pub group, has reopened the former Gigalum cocktail bar in Clapham for its sixth site. The Cavendish Parade venue has relaunched as The Perky Nel following a major refurbishment. Overlooking Clapham Common, The Perky Nel features a 100-cover bar and dining space with a front terrace and serves food and drink from local suppliers and producers. Live entertainment is part of the package, with Livelyhood’s dedicated sports area featuring giant screens. The Perky Nel is a second Clapham location for Livelyhood, joining sister venue The Clapham North, which underwent a major refurbishment last year. Livelyhood’s other sites are The Regent in Balham, The Old Frizzle in Wimbledon, The Mere Scribbler in Streatham and The Faber Fox in Crystal Palace. Chief executive and owner Sarah Wall said: “We’re really excited to be opening in such a prime spot beside the common and are very proud to have such an iconic site as part of our portfolio.” Last month, Livelyhood told Propel there was potential for further openings in 2019.
Northcote Leisure sells luxury Lancashire hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant to Britannia Hospitality: Northcote Leisure Group has sold the Northcote hotel in Langho, near Blackburn, to Britannia Hospitality for an undisclosed sum. The luxury 26-bedroom hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant in Lancashire will join Britannia’s portfolio as it looks to expand its presence in the UK. Britannia Hospitality acquired The Stafford London for a reported £77.5m from brewer and retailer Daniel Thwaites in 2009, Boutique Hotelier reports. In May 2018 Brunning & Price, The Restaurant Group’s gastro-pub arm, bought Ribble Valley Inns, the food-led pub brand of Northcote Leisure Group. The deal consisted of The Highwayman in Kirkby Lonsdale; The Clog & Billycock in Blackburn; The Three Fishes in Mitton; and The Bull in Broughton. A fifth Ribble Valley Inns pub, the Nag’s Head in Tarporley, didn’t form part of the deal and was sold separately. Chef patron Nigel Haworth stepped down as managing director of Northcote Leisure in December 2017, remaining a shareholder, ambassador and consultant to the group, which now comprises Northcote At The Rovers and Café Northcote, both in Blackburn.
Arc Inspirations to make Newcastle debut next month with Banyan launch, first site in north east: Arc Inspirations, the Leeds-based operator of a number of fast-growing brands, is to make its debut in the north east next month when it launches Banyan Bar & Kitchen in Newcastle. The venue will open on Saturday, 30 March following the £1.5m transformation of a former Jamie’s Italian site in Monument Mall. Banyan Bar & Kitchen will span more than 5,000 square feet across two floors, with the opening creating 70 jobs. The venue will be the ninth Banyan Bar & Kitchen and take Arc Inspirations’ portfolio to 19 sites. The company’s strategy is to open sites in clusters, although it withdrew a licence application for a Manahatta venue in Newcastle in December. Chief executive Martin Wolstencroft said: “We are delighted to have branched out into a new city. For us, creating memorable customer experiences in a fun and vibrant environment is at the core of what we do.” Earlier this month, Arc Inspirations sold its site housing The Pit in Leeds to Jones Bar Group, which will launch a karaoke concept at the site. Wolstencroft told Propel the strategic decision would enable the company to focus on the investment and expansion of its core brands as it continued “branching out into different cities”. The company reported a record performance in December, with like-for-likes increasing 6.5%.
200 Degrees to open Lincoln site next month: Nottingham-based coffee roaster and retailer 200 Degrees will open its eighth site, in Lincoln next month. The company will open the outlet on Monday, 4 March in Sincil Street as part of the £12m Cornhill Quarter retail and leisure scheme, reports The Lincolnite. The 90-seater site, which will also feature the company’s first courtyard, will host 200 Degrees’ fifth barista school, which will overlook the coffee shop below. 200 Degrees operates two outlets in Nottingham and one each in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester and Sheffield. In December 2017, 200 Degrees received £3m investment from Foresight Group. Rob Darby, co-founder of 200 Degrees, told Propel at the time the funds would allow the company to expand to between 20 and 25 sites during the next three to five years as well as develop the wholesale side of the business.
Cornwall-based burger restaurant secures former Prezzo in Falmouth for second site: Cornwall-based burger restaurant Boo Koos has secured a former Prezzo site in Falmouth for its second outlet. Owners David and Lisa Lemon have acquired a unit in The Old Post Office in The Moor on the back of the success of their debut venue in Helston. The restaurant in Meneage Street, which employs 30 people, is known for its Texan-style burgers and shakes. David Lemon told Cornwall Live: “The only complaint we seem to get is from people saying we’re too small and they can’t get a table. It’s very flattering how popular we’ve become but that has led to a huge demand for tables, particularly in the evenings and weekends.” The Falmouth restaurant will take Boo Koos to the next level, with 150 covers and 50 full-time staff. David Lemon added: “Prezzo had the building fitted out but it’s not our style so we will be ‘distressing’ it and making it more like our Helston restaurant.” The Lemons said they hoped to open the site within three months.
West Yorkshire-based cafe operators to open second site, in Queensbury: West Yorkshire-based cafe operators Karl and Lexie Barraclough are to open a second site in the county, in the village of Queensbury, near Bradford. The Barracloughs, who operate Tiny’s Coffee & Sandwich Bar in Brighouse, will transform Queensbury’s former post office into Tiny’s Coffee Shop, which will reopen in mid-April focusing on local produce. Karl Barraclough told the Telegraph & Argus: “I know Queensbury inside out. I’ve lived there all my life and we are looking to help the local community.”
Former England World Cup winner to open vegan cafe and yoga studio in Northampton: Soo Yoga, a company controlled by former England Rugby World Cup winner Ben Cohen and professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff, has agreed a lease at a site in Northampton to open a yoga studio and wellness facility that will also feature a vegan cafe. Property investment company Palace Capital has completed a 15-year lease for a 12,800 square foot space with Soo Yoga Group at its 200,000 square foot Sol Northampton leisure scheme. It is a first letting agreement for Soo Yoga, which has signed at a headline rent of £85,000 per annum, with Retail Price Index-linked uplifts and a minimum uplift at first review to £100,000 per annum. The lease terms include a nine-month, rent-free period and a break at ten years. Current occupiers at Sol Northampton include Vue, which has a ten-screen cinema at the scheme, Accor Hotels and Fitness for Less. Richard Starr, executive property director at Palace Capital, told Insider Media: “While the leisure sector has gone through a difficult period of late we are pleased with our latest signing, which is fully in line with our strategy. There has been encouraging interest in the remaining space, which gives us confidence for the future of the asset.”
New Soho members’ club opens with menu created by Tom Sellers: Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers has developed the menu at new Soho members’ club The Court. The club has opened in Kingly Street at the site of former iconic music club Bag O’Nails. Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as award-winning mixologist Mr Lyan, has compiled the drinks list, while former Mahiki general manager Richard Haddon runs front of house. The head chef is Aaron Harris. Sellers reopened Michelin-starred Restaurant Story last May following a five-week refurbishment – the first since its launch in 2013. In 2017, Chetiyawardana opened Cub restaurant above his basement bar Super Lyan in Hoxton Street.
Surrey-based Hop Stop to start expansion with Reigate launch: Surrey-based Hop Stop is to start expansion by opening a second site in the county, in Reigate. Its beer bar and shop will launch in Bell Street in late spring at a site formerly occupied by Italian restaurant La Lanterna, which closed four years ago. Hop Stop owners Mike Ladyman and Ruth Rushforth used to work for Surrey Hills Brewery near Dorking. Hop Stop’s other bar is in Oxted. Ladyman told Surrey Live: “We offer a mixture of beer – we like it all and like to share it with everyone. The focus is on drinking in, with an element of takeaway. There will be a range of beer on keg and cask.” Hop Stop will be the third specialist beer operation to open in Reigate in two years, joining Pilgrim Brewery’s taproom and Four Hops, another shop-cum-bar in West Street. Ladyman said: “Reigate has got a good scene. Everyone is offering something different and I think that attracts more people in.”
London meadery Gosnells to launch debut bar in Peckham partnership: London meadery Gosnells is to launch its debut bar next month, through a partnership with Peckham restaurant Coal Rooms. Gosnells Upstairs At Coal Rooms will open on Friday, 8 March offering small plates from the restaurant below, which is in the former ticket office of Peckham Rye station. The 40-cover bar will feature Peckham-based Gosnells’ mead, served singly or as a flight of four or five, alongside honey-focused cocktails. Coal Rooms’ small plates will include smoked pigs’ head blood pudding with apple ketchup, and bone marrow and marmite bread and butter pudding. Gosnells founder Tom Gosnell will also use the space to host mead and honey master classes, mead-paired suppers and cocktail evenings. He said: “This is an exciting moment for us, the chance to demonstrate our mead in the heart of Peckham alongside great British dishes. We want to show mead’s amazing range of flavours, textures and alcoholic strengths made possible by beautiful and ecologically significant bees.”
Independent cinema group Scott signs agreement for south Bristol site: Independent cinema group Scott Cinemas is planning to open a three-screen venue in south Bristol. The operator has signed an agreement with Bristol-based developer Firmstone Consortia One to run a cinema at St Catherine’s Place shopping centre in Bedminster. Subject to planning permission Firmstone will invest £5m to refurbish the shopping centre, including £1.5m into the new cinema, as part of its proposed £50m redevelopment of the site. Scott Cinemas is set to invest an additional £1.5m in the cinema. Director Dan Harris said: “We jumped at the chance to be involved. It’s fantastic to see plans to regenerate this part of Bedminster and I have no doubt our cinema will be vital in the area’s renaissance.”
Cubitt House makes Bibendum sole wine supplier as it looks to expand: Five-strong London gastro-pub operator Cubitt House, whose sites include The Alfred Tennyson and Thomas Cubitt, has appointed Bibendum as its sole wine supplier as the group looks to expand. The companies have created a wine list focusing on producers with a “story and passion to mirror the Cubitt House farm to fork philosophy”. Producers include Prophets Rock, Creation, La Dama and Jean Perrier, with exclusive parcels secured for Cubitt House. Bibendum will also run specially curated training programmes on the wine list for Cubitt House staff. Cubitt House managing director Tony Gualtieri said: “With food, we invite our suppliers to tell our teams and guests what makes the product so great. I felt Bibendum would be able to do the same.” James Stoddart, business channel director for premium groups at Bibendum, added: “Cubitt House is a hugely respected group in the hospitality industry and working together to support the premiumisation of its wine list is an amazing opportunity for us and our producers.”
Staycity submits plans to bring Wilde brand to York: Aparthotel operator Staycity has submitted plans for a site in York for its Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity brand. The company has applied to the city council to open a site in Micklegate. The proposed development would replace a building that houses Jinnah Restaurant, Minster Car Hire Garage and The Micklegate at 127. North Star Investment Management would develop the 152-apartment scheme, with the project representing a total investment of £35m. Staycity group development director Barry Hickey told Insider Media: “York has already been a fantastic location for our Staycity aparthotel brand and we’re excited about the prospect of bringing our design-led brand Wilde to this impressive and popular city.” Staycity opened its first property in York in July 2016 – a 197-apartment development on an unused site in Paragon Street. Its Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity brand is themed around Oscar Wilde.
Galgorm Collection agrees deal for County Antrim hotel: Belfast-based hospitality group Galgorm Collection has agreed to buy a County Antrim hotel. The company, previously known as Tullymore House, will invest £7m into the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick, creating an additional 50 jobs. Stephen and David McCombe built the hotel in 1990. Galgorm Collection managing director Colin Johnston told Insider Media: “Our multimillion-pound investment in Templepatrick will strengthen the local community and economy and cement Northern Ireland’s reputation as a world-class tourism destination.” Galgorm Collection, which is behind the Italian restaurant brand Fratelli, also operates the Galgorm Resort and Spa and a property development company.
Scottish craft brewer Speyside lines up first bar: Scottish craft brewer Speyside is lining up its first bar. Owner Seb Jones wants to transform Stuarts Cycle Shop in Forres into Yellow Bar. Jones has been working closely with the bike shop’s owners Reg and Heather Stuart, who retired on Christmas Eve. The venue will boast a clay pizza oven and modern decor along with a bar. There will also be a dedicated space for pop-up displays, events and music. Jones told the Press & Journal: “Everything has come together nicely. Reg and Heather wanted to retire and I had been searching for suitable premises to create a new and different space for a bar.” Jones is looking at a campaign on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to help fund the venture. He launched Speyside in 2012, which was the first commercial brewery in the Moray district for a decade.
Dalata lodges plans for 17-storey Manchester hotel: Irish hotel operator Dalata has lodged plans for a 17-storey property in Manchester under its Maldron brand. The four-star venue, off Oxford Road, would comprise 278 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, a business centre, and meeting rooms, reports Insider Media. A planning statement submitted to Manchester City Council read: “The proposals will serve to make a positive contribution to the ongoing regeneration of Manchester city centre by improving the built environment, optimising the use of an underutilised city centre site, creating new accessible employment opportunities, and supporting Manchester’s growing visitor economy. The proposed development would deliver a four-star hotel that would complement existing hotel provisions in the area. It would also support some of the city’s most important cultural and conferencing facilities.” The Maldron Hotel brand was launched in 2008 and recently opened a venue in Newcastle.
Eco-brand Bumble to launch crowdfunding campaign to start production of ‘bee-saving beer’: New eco-brand Bumble Beer is to launch a £50,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to launch a “bee-saving beer”. The campaign will go live on Friday, 1 March with the brand’s first product a 5% ABV premium pilsner brewed with ingredients sourced from organic suppliers to ensure no “bee-killing pesticides” are used. The ethically conscious brand aims to offer sustainability at “every stage of the brewing and product process”. Bumble Beer founder Jason Winter said: “Having been passionate about craft beer and the environment for more than a decade, I’m incredibly excited to finally get our first Bumble Beer product off the ground!”