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Fri 25th Oct 2019 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Comptoir Libanais founder – high rents still hampering opening opportunities: Comptoir Libanais founder Tony Kitous has told Propel that despite there being plenty of empty units in prime locations he finds attractive for his Lebanese canteen concept, landlords are still seeking the same high rents that led them to close. Speaking during an interview for Propel Quarterly magazine, Kitous said: “It is sad to see Carluccio’s, Giraffe, Jamie’s and Byron’s problems but it hasn’t really created opportunities for us as their failures have been partly down to high rent – and these haven’t reduced.” The situation has seen the group turn its focus to overseas franchising in the Middle East, where there is a “sound opportunity for growth”. The sole Comptoir overseas franchise in Utrecht in the Netherlands will be joined by sites at Dubai airport this year and Abu Dhabi airport in early 2020, which will both open through its partnership with HMSHost. Taking Lebanese cuisine to the Middle East might sound like selling coals to Newcastle, but Kitous remains undaunted. He said: “These aren’t just any old coals, these are good-quality coals. The quality of the ingredients and design are different. Comptoir Libanais is all about the experience and you can feel it is different to other restaurants over there. The Middle East is a great opportunity for us.” Last month Comptoir Group reported group revenue increased 0.2% to £15.8m for the six months ending 30 June 2019, compared with £15.7m the year before. Gross profit increased 2.0% to £11.5m, compared with £11.3m the previous year. Adjusted Ebitda before highlighted items was up 11.1% to £2m, compared with £1.8m the year before. The company currently owns and operates 25 restaurants in the UK plus four franchise outlets in the region. The group said it remained focused on investing in “carefully selected sites”, while selective refurbishments would continue into the “second half of the year”. The next edition of Propel Quarterly will be published in early December. To receive a free copy, email anne.steele@propelinfo.com

Industry News:

Mark Wingett to look at shape of Whitbread’s pub estate and future of Gail’s in latest Premium column, James Hacon video: Propel insights editor Mark Wingett will focus on Whitbread’s pub estate and the future of Gail’s as part of his latest opinion piece, which will be sent to Propel Premium subscribers on Friday (25 October) at 5pm. He will also look at Fuller’s acquisition of Cotswold Inns & Hotels and the continued rise of sushi. There will also be the latest sector whispers in Premium Diary. Subscribers will also receive a 30-minute video on Friday in which James Hacon, founder of Think Hospitality, gives his views on outstanding foodservice offers around the world based on his travels to 21 countries in the past year. Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, discounts to attend Propel conferences and events, regular video recordings of key speakers from Propel events and conferences, and regular columns from insights editor Mark Wingett. They also receive access to our database of multi-site companies, which has now grown to 1,500 businesses. An annual premium subscription costs £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers – plus £50 each for additional team members. Email anne.steele@propelinfo.com

Publicans hand 200,000-strong petition to Downing Street calling for beer duty cut: Publicans including Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown have handed a petition to 10 Downing Street with more than 200,000 signatures on it calling on the government to cut beer duty to support pubs. The move was part of the Long Live The Local campaign, which is backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance. To date, 208,022 people have signed the Long Live The Local petition, while 101,087 people have sent letters to their MPs since January asking for support to stop pubs closing. Currently, three pubs close every day in the UK. Brown, who is publican of The Green Man in Eversholt, Buckinghamshire, said: “Pubs need support from the government to survive and we implore the chancellor to cut beer duty to help keep pubs open and prevent communities from shouldering the social and cultural cost of losing them.” YouGov research this year revealed almost three-quarters (72%) of Brits think pubs are important to communities, while two-thirds (67%) think pubs are vital to secure the future of the high street.

Company News:

Coaching Inn Group reports like-for-likes up 5.5% as accommodation drives sales: Coaching inn and hotel operator The Coaching Inn Group has reported like-for-like sales rose 5.5% for the six months to 30 September 2019, driven by an 11.3% increase in accommodation revenue. In the past 12 months the company, which is backed by the BGF, has seen turnover hit £26.0m compared with £22.7m in the previous 12 months, while site Ebitda has risen to £6.3m from £5.2m. Average weekly net sales for the group, which has 431 bedrooms across its 15-strong estate, now stand at £34,300 per site. Chief executive Kevin Charity said: “We always knew trading this summer would struggle to hit some of the highs seen last year but, again, we feel the results we have seen are testament to the quality of our product offering and the robustness of our business model. We made a clear decision to focus on our bedroom business earlier this year and we’re now starting to see the results of that and expect to exceed £8.0m in room sales before the end of this financial year. Clearly this has a direct impact on our profitability as a group, which will help us continue to build on the platform we’ve built as we look to grow the business further.” 

German Doner Kebab expands UK managing director’s role as brand looks to roll out across Europe: German Doner Kebab (GDK), the flagship brand of Hero Brands, has expanded the role of UK managing director Daniel Bunce to cover Europe as the brand looks to expand across the region. Bunce, who joined the company in January 2018, has been promoted to managing director for UK and Europe. GDK is aggressively rolling out across the Middle East, Europe and the US, with more than 700 franchises already signed up to the brand globally, the company said. GDK chief executive Imran Sayeed said: “Daniel has proved a key component in our drive for expansion and continued growth across the UK. This promotion recognises his role as a driving force behind our growth and highlights the pathway for employees to work their way up into senior positions within the company. Daniel undoubtedly has the skills and experience to spearhead our push for increased prominence in the European market.” Having lived in the Middle East for 13 years, Bunce was Sharaf Group chief executive among other roles in the region, while he has more than 20 years’ experience in the UK hospitality market. Bunce said: “It is an exciting time to expand the role and move into new markets, which I know we’ll thrive in. This marks the end of an incredibly busy 18 months, where we’ll have grown from 11 UK stores to 40 by the end of this year.” Last week GDK brought in former TGI Friday’s International marketing boss Murray Willows as global chief marketing officer to “develop consumer awareness of the brand”.

SSP strengthens senior team with Nordics and UK appointments: SSP Group, the operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has appointed former Carphone Warehouse managing director Jeremy Fennell as chief executive of its Nordics operation. Fennell joins SSP after four years leading Carphone Warehouse and two and a half as Nordic category director at Elkjop Nordic, which was part of Dixons Carphone. At the same time, Propel understands Roger Worrell has become chief financial officer of SSP UK. He previously spent 11 years as chief financial officer at SSP America. Earlier this summer SSP appointed Richard Lewis as UK and Ireland chief executive. He joined from brewer and retailer Greene King, where he was chief operating officer helping to drive sales, market share and productivity gains while improving customer service. He sits on SSP’s group executive team and reports to Simon Smith, who moved up from the SSP UK and Ireland chief executive role to replace Kate Swann as group chief executive earlier this year.

C&C Group – service levels at Matthew Clark and Bibendum ‘back where they should be’: Jonathan Solesbury, chief financial officer of C&C Group, the branded cider, beer, wine and soft drinks producer, has told Propel service levels at Matthew Clark and Bibendum are “back where they should be”. C&C Group acquired the businesses in April 2018 after Conviviality went into administration and Solesbury said both were now in “great shape”. C&C Group has launched a scheme to compensate for the loss of shares under the Conviviality employee share scheme. All employees are invited to join immediately and after two years staff get additional C&C shares. Solesbury said: “It is a way of thanking staff, especially at ground level, who have helped us rebuild these businesses. This time last year those businesses were still in intensive care but on the road to recovery. Now they are back up to the level where they should be. When we took over the businesses availability was down to 42%. Now it’s at 98% and we’re looking forward to the critical Christmas period. Our focus in the second half for both businesses is maintaining customer service, further optimisation of logistics, and investment in digital capability.” Solesbury said the company was pleased by the performance of its core brands, especially against the tough comparables of last year – the hot weather and Fifa World Cup. He added: “The brand health score for Tennent’s is the best it has been and volumes have remained resilient. Magners has gained market share in Great Britain and, with Bulmers, we’ve got market share back to where it was two years ago.”

Joule’s buys Staffordshire village pub following community plea: Shropshire brewer and retailer Joule’s, which is headed by Steve Nuttall, has acquired a pub in the Staffordshire village of Madeley after pleas from the community to secure its future. The Offley Arms in Poolside had been closed for 18 months and faced an uncertain future after being put up for auction. Villagers formed an action group – Offley Arms Steering Group – in a bid to retain the venue as a pub. Deputy chairman Graham Fallows approached Joule’s, which agreed to save the pub. Joule’s commercial director Jason Whittaker said: “It was a bit of a challenge because we had so little time to play with. However, we could see a great community that wanted to see its pub restored to its original glory. Pubs are vanishing but are the beating heart of so many small communities. We will now start work with the steering group and look to create the best community pub we can. We look forward to the challenge and reopening as soon as possible.” Fallows added: “Joule’s has made several pub investments locally so we thought it could help save the Offley Arms. We were delighted by the response.”

Chucs to bring cafe concept to Belgravia, two further sites to follow before year end: Luxury restaurant and cafe collection Chucs is to open a site in London’s Belgravia next month. The company is converting the former La Bottega site in Eccleston Street, while two further outlets are set to follow before the end of 2019. Launching under the direction of chairman Graziano Arricale and executive chef director Simon Henbery, Belgravia is the third Chucs’ cafe to open and the largest so far. Operating a full-service menu, the venue will have 55 covers and room for more than 100 standing as well as a wrap-around terrace. Chucs classics such as bigoli cacio e pepe, chopped cobb salad and chicken Milanese will take centre stage. Many dishes, including a selection of pizza and pasta, will be available to take away. There will also be cocktails and a 120-bin wine list alongside luxury cicchetti. Chucs also operates sites in Mayfair, Notting Hill, Hyde Park and Kensington.

Red Door teams up with Little Mix star for South Shields launch: Red Door, the Living Ventures spin-off bar group, has confirmed it will open a site with Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall, in South Shields in early November. As revealed in Propel’s Premium Diary, the company will launch its third site in Ocean Road. Thirlwall said: “I wanted to find a company that would shake things up and bring something different to South Shields. Red Door has bars in Chester and Liverpool and it was clear they would be a really good fit for the venue. The main aim is to create an unforgettable experience for everyone who comes to Red Door.” Last year, Lee Lynch-led Red Door closed its Leeds site to focus on its venues in Liverpool and Chester. The company, which was founded by Lynch, the late Tim Bacon and Dave Hinds, operates as a separate entity from Living Ventures, although it has a service relationship with the group with Jeremy Roberts listed as a director. On the new site, Lynch said: “We are really excited to bring Red Door to South Shields. We know the people of the north east like a good party so we’re delighted to expand into the region. We think Red Door will bring new energy to the local scene. We look forward to welcoming guests and giving them the full Red Door experience.”

Bleecker opens largest restaurant to date for fourth site, at Westfield London: Bleecker, the burger concept founded by Zan Kaufman in 2012, has opened its fourth site and largest to date, at Westfield London. Bleecker has joined the line-up at the scheme’s first-floor dining space The Balcony, creating almost 30 jobs. Bleecker Westfield offers the brand’s familiar counter service and communal seating but a much larger kitchen than its other sites allows it to serve a higher volume of customers. The menu will be the same as at Bleecker’s other restaurants – in Spitalfields, Victoria and Bloomberg Arcade – featuring six burgers, regular and sweet potato fries, and a selection of shakes, sodas and beer. Kaufman said: “This site sees us growing significantly in terms of our team and footprint. However, Bleecker remains as independent and uncompromisingly committed to the burger as we’ve always been.” Bleecker is named after the street in New York that connects the East Village to West Village. Nick Garston, at Bruce Gillingham Pollard, acted for Bleecker Burger.

Domino’s expands GPS pizza-tracking trial in US as part of moves to take on delivery firms: Domino’s Pizza has expanded its GPS pizza-tracking trial to 400 stores in the US as part of technology initiatives the company believes will give it leverage against third-party delivery companies. Domino’s began testing the car-tracking system in 27 stores in Arizona earlier this year. The system allows customers to track where their pizzas are on a map, while store managers know where the drivers are as they figure out the most efficient route. Chief executive Ritch Allison told Nation’s Restaurant News: “Let’s be clear, these aggregators are ultimately competitors of the restaurant companies they serve.” Domino’s is also testing voice-ordering in 40 US stores, while the company said it was close to rolling out Nuro, a robot that will deliver pizzas in downtown Houston. Nuro builds on what Domino’s learned from its self-driving vehicle test with Ford. Nuro is the size of a golf cart and notifies customers when their order is kerb-side. The customer then enters a code to collect their pizza. Chief digital officer Dennis Maloney said: “This is the future of our company – it fundamentally changes our business model. The cost will be way different to a delivery driver. We struggle to find drivers and minimum wage is going up. All that changes with an autonomous vehicle. This is the culmination of all the testing we’ve done around delivery over the years.” In August, Domino’s launched an “innovation garage” to test delivery and in-store technology. The 33,000 square foot, two-storey centre at the company’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a fully functioning Domino’s site fitted with the latest customer-facing technology.

Pret A Manger opens first EAT to Veggie Pret conversion, launches vegan versions of classic recipes: Pret A Manger, the JAB Holdings-backed chain, has open its first Veggie Pret sites from an EAT store conversion. The EAT outlet in Canary Wharf has been transformed to become the fifth Veggie Pret to date. The opening coincides with the launch of Veggie Pret’s The Vegan Classics, where its chefs have made vegan versions of its classic Pret recipes using only plant-based ingredients. The new sandwiches include the Chuna Mayo and the VLT. At the time the EAT deal was agreed, Pret said it planned to convert as many stores as possible to Veggie Prets – 75% of EAT’s estate is in London with many close to an existing Pret. It has since placed circa 15 EAT sites on the market, including 13 in London. The first permanent Veggie Pret launched in September 2016 and the concept has since expanded to Manchester as well as London. At last month’s Propel Operation Directors’ Conference, new Pret chief executive Pano Christou said the company planned to have 25 to 30 Veggie Prets open by the end of next year as it looks to become the “number one destination for meat-free food on the go by the end of 2020”.

Dylan’s eyes two more sites as it puts staff through leadership programme: Anglesey-based restaurant group Dylan’s has revealed plans for expansion, with two more sites in the pipeline. David Evans and Robin Hodgson launched Dylan’s in Menai Bridge seven years ago and has since opened restaurants in Criccieth and Llandudno. Now it is eyeing further growth and has been putting some of its 200 staff through a Bangor University-based ION Leadership programme in preparation. Evans told Insider Media: “We have come a long way in a short space of time and that’s down to hard work. People are at the heart of every decision we make, not just profit, which is why we plan to send more of our team on the course and will continue to promote from within. We will continue to train and develop our staff, in-house and with ION, so they can blossom into future managers, chefs and leaders in other areas of the business.”

Mexican concept Caldera to launch in Hackney next month: Mexican concept Caldera will launch in Hackney, east London, next month. The restaurant will open in Mare Street on Wednesday, 6 November under the direction of executive chef Ernesto Puga Cardoso. The menu will include grilled octopus with hibiscus and aioli, and vegan dishes such as broccoli dressed with a yellow bean sauce. The drinks menu will include cocktails, Mexican beer and soft drinks. Cardoso said: “We are excited to bring the modern flavours of Mexico to Hackney. With such a glut of great Mexican restaurants in London and the country as a whole, we wanted to push the boundaries of the national cuisine and experiment with new ingredients and flavours. Caldera will offer the people of London a finer and more refined take on traditional Mexican food.”

Leeds-based coffee shop and pub teams unite to launch pasta restaurant: The teams behind Leeds-based cafe Laynes Espresso and The Brunswick pub have joined forces to launch pasta restaurant Sarto in the city. Sarto is based in a former fabric warehouse in Duke Street and takes its name from the Italian word for “tailor”. The restaurant offers pasta dishes from across Italy while drinks include beer on draught and in bottles, wine, spirits and cocktails. Co-founder Dave Olejnik said: “Running Sarto pop-ups at Laynes for six weekends helped us trial and test many of the dishes seen on the menu.”

JD Wetherspoon boosts apprenticeship scheme: JD Wetherspoon has boosted its apprenticeship scheme as it looks to develop and retain staff while bringing in new talent. More than 650 staff are undertaking an apprenticeship, which now includes its degree apprenticeship in business management. To date more than 175 employees have completed their apprenticeship within the company and more than 600 have achieved a functional skill aim such as maths or English in the past 12 months. Each apprenticeship lasts for 12 to 18 months and is undertaken alongside pub work. Wetherspoon senior recruitment and qualifications manager Katy Wade said: “The hospitality sector is more competitive than ever and we believe it’s vital we offer potential recruits the best opportunities. Hospitality is a fantastic industry that offers individuals not just a part-time job but real career prospects. With the introduction of our degree apprenticeship in business management, there is now a clear pathway for young people to choose as an alternative to university. Apprenticeships are an excellent way to combine study and work and we look forward to recruiting more apprentices we believe will go on to enjoy great success in their career at Wetherspoon.”

Derbyshire-based restaurateur invests £1m to reopen village pub that closed ten years ago: Ben Corner, who operates two restaurants in Derbyshire, has reopened the Strutt Arms hotel in the village of Milford, between Duffield and Belper, which had lain empty for the past ten years. Corner and business partner Baljit Atwal have invested £1m to refurbish the pub with rooms. The venue will cater for 200 covers and offer 11 bed and breakfast rooms upstairs. Corner operates neighbouring restaurant Soi Kitchens and the Slice Of India buffet in Mansfield Road, Derby. Andrew Cochrane, a solicitor acting on behalf of Corner and Atwal, told Derbyshire Live: “It has been closed for about ten years and has been a bit of an eyesore. They have spent something in excess of £1m on refurbishing the Strutt Arms. It is more of a gastro-pub.” Cochrane’s comments came at a meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council, when some Milford residents expressed concerns the Strutt Arms might bring excessive noise to the village.

Exclusive Hotels and Venues parent reports ‘strong’ financial performance despite upward cost pressures: The Manor House Hotel (Castle Combe), the parent company of Exclusive Hotels and Venues, has said its financial performance remains “strong” despite upward pressure on costs. The company reported turnover was flat at £50.2m for the year ending 31 March 2019, compared with £50.7m the previous year. Operating profit rose to £3.9m compared with £3.8m the year before, while pre-tax profit was down slightly to £2.8m from £3.1m the previous year. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “Our financial performance remains strong. We again generated sales of more than £50m. Although average occupancy was 2% lower than the prior period, our average room rate continued to increase and was up 6%. There is upward pressure on costs, including higher commission payments to online travel agents and higher staff costs.” The company has a six-strong estate of luxury hotels across the south of England that feature golf clubs, spas and Michelin-starred restaurants. Its portfolio comprises 14th century hotel and golf club The Manor House in Wiltshire; Surrey’s Pennyhill Park; Winchester wedding destination Lainston House; South Lodge in West Sussex; Royal Berkshire country house, near Ascot; and Fanhams Hall in Hertfordshire. Michelin-starred restaurants at its sites include Matt Worswick At The Latymer (Pennyhill Park) and Bybrook (The Manor House). A spa development opened at South Lodge in March.

Manchester operator opens cocktail bar for second site: Nathan Larkin, owner of Manchester spot Speak In Code, has launched a cocktail bar for his second venue in the city. Larkin has teamed up with Gavin Wrigley, head of education at The European Bartender School, to launch Double Down in the Northern Quarter. The bar is housed in the Selina NQ1 Manchester hotel in Hilton Street. Double Down’s cocktail menu includes the Jane Doe (grapefruit gin, floral vermouth and tonic), and Guilty Of Everything (tequila, mezcal, amaro, sour pomegranate and hibiscus). The food menu features plant-based hotdogs.

26 Grains to launch ‘big sister’ site in Borough next month: 26 Grains, the cafe concept founded by Alex Hely-Hutchinson, is to open its second London site, in Borough Market next month. As revealed by Propel in the summer the business, which opened its first permanent site in 2015 in Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials, will open all-day concept Stoney Street – named after the street it will call home – on Friday, 15 November. Head chef Henrietta Inman’s menu will focus on “simple seasonal dishes with a produce and provenance-led cooking style”. The wine list will be short with five reds, five whites, one orange and one rosé along with a selection of cocktails. In the evening, bottled wine will be available to take away through a hatch. Decor will include hand-built furniture, a kitchen counter offering produce to buy and a terrace. Hely-Hutchinson said: “My team and I have had such an amazing journey since starting 26 Grains five years ago and I’ve learned so much along the way. Stoney Street will be a big sister to 26 Grains – slightly more refined, a longer menu, a coming of age.” Hely-Hutchinson launched 26 Grains as the West End’s first grains-based cafe, focusing on porridge, muesli, granola, risotto and salad.

Di Maggio’s Group to start expansion of Chaakoo Bombay Cafe next week: Scottish restaurant operator Di Maggio’s Group is to start expansion of its Irani-Indian tapas concept Chaakoo Bombay Cafe by opening a second site in Glasgow next week following a £200,000 investment. The venue will open in Ruthven Lane on Tuesday (29 October) at the site occupied by the group’s original Italian restaurant Di Maggio’s, which closed in the summer after 34 years. Chaakoo Bombay Cafe, which opened its debut site in St Vincent Street in 2016, offers Mumbai-style and Iranian dishes. Di Maggio’s Group founding director Mario Gizzi told Glasgow Live: “With more than 35 years’ experience in Glasgow, we were confident Chaakoo would appeal to the city’s appetite for new culinary concepts but we were taken aback by how popular the debut site became in less than three years. We’re excited about opening our first ‘neighbourhood’ Chaakoo.” Di Maggio’s Group operates circa 25 restaurants in Scotland including four under its eponymous brand, Amarone (three sites), Barolo Grill, Café Andaluz (five sites), Cadiz, Atlantic Bar and The Citizen. It is also behind the Topolabamba and Mezzidakia brands.

Sushi concept TOKii to launch in Marylebone next month: Sushi concept TOKii is to launch in Marylebone, London, next month. The venue will open on Wednesday, 6 November at The Prince Akatoki London in Great Cumberland Place. The main menu will focus on sushi, sashimi, seafood and dishes from a Robata grill designed to be shared at the centre of the table. Cold dishes will include scallop ceviche with orange, spring onions, chilli and sesame, while the menu’s hot dishes section will include black cod with miso glaze. The restaurant will also open for breakfast, with the Akatoki Breakfast comprising traditional Japanese serves. The decor will feature a liquid metal mural inspired by the ocean, dark timber joinery, blackened cladding and timber screening. Seating will include Japanese-inspired banquettes, while the sushi counter will feature a basalt brick front and concrete top. The 82-bedroom Prince Akatoki London opened at the end of September inspired by the “traditions of Japanese hospitality”. The hotel also features The Malt Lounge & Bar serving afternoon tea and late-night cocktails, and a gym.  

Peterborough-based escape rooms operator launches second site, in former Burton brewery: Peterborough-based escape rooms operator Hour Escape Rooms has opened a second site, in Burton. Founders Gary Raffray and his daughter Amy have launched their second venue, in the National Brewery Centre. Visitors are locked in the former brewery as they try to steal the secret recipe that makes Burton’s beer so great from the head brewer. They have to find the recipe, collect the ingredients they require and escape before the brewer returns to his office. Gary Raffray told Derbyshire Live: “W have had a lot of success in Peterborough so we knew we wanted to expand. We were offered a spot here at the National Brewery Centre and were thrilled. We’ve created a special room in keeping with the brewing theme.” A second room will launch in due course entitled Secrets Of Silas, which will be based in a museum where a journalist has been murdered while investigating rumours of a new secret society led by Silas, from the Da Vinci Code.

Glasgow club and restaurant operator closes Butterfly And Pig: Monteleone managing director Michele Pagliocca, whose estate includes The Shed nightclub in Shawlands, Glasgow, has closed one of the venues in the city that housed her The Butterfly And The Pig concept. Pagliocca, who opened the first Butterfly And The Pig in the city centre in 2005, is closing the sister site she launched in 2015 at the former Corona bar in Shawlands. Pagliocca has signed the bar over to Southside operator Catriona Broadhurst to “secure the future of the venue”, Glasgow Evening Times reports. In a statement posted on Facebook, Pagliocca wrote: “The offer to take on this iconic building was one we couldn’t refuse, especially considering we own the neighbouring building that houses The Shed. We have worked with Catriona and her husband for many years as the leaseholder of some of our other businesses. After careful consideration we are excited knowing the future of our beloved venue will continue to be a success while allowing us an opportunity to reinvest our attention in some of our other sites such as The Shed, which now operates a much broader entertainment offering than it did five years ago including live music, comedy, theatre, interactive dining experiences and wrestling boot camps. We are also exploring opportunities to expand our growing brands such as Singl-end Cafe & Bakehouse and other exciting projects in the future.” Pagliocca founded Monteleone in February 1996. Its other venues include The Buff Club.

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