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Tue 26th Oct 2021 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:


Spanish Restaurant Group set to open tenth Tapas Revolution site, reviewing options for future of La Tasca brand: Spanish Restaurant Group (SRG), the team behind Tapas Revolution, will open the brand’s tenth site in Liverpool next month – the final former La Tasca location it has converted since acquiring the brand last year. Since opening the first Tapas Revolution at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush in 2010, the concept has extended to cities including Brighton, Bath and Birmingham. The group will now focus on looking at future options for La Tasca, the tapas brand which once boasted 80 restaurants but was sold by Casual Dining Group in 2020, only five years after acquiring it. The brand’s former Queens Square site in Liverpool will become a Tapas Revolution from the beginning of next month, employing 30 people and with a menu developed by executive chef Omar Allibhoy. Offering an all-day dining experience, the 130-seater venue will also feature a “Spanish terraza” for more than 100 people to enjoy alfresco dining. Allibhoy said: “The brand continues to grow from strength to strength and we’re delighted to now open our tenth restaurant here in Liverpool. We’re truly excited to see what the future holds for Tapas Revolution.” Attention will now turn to considering the future of the La Tasca brand, according to SRG managing director James Picton. He said: “La Tasca at its peak had more than 80 locations and was a much loved and sought-after brand within the sector. We are currently reviewing options and formats for the La Tasca brand of the future. This does, however, mark the end of an era for the La Tasca in its current format, with Liverpool being the final location to be converted and refurbished since we acquired the brand. We are, however, incredibly proud and excited to continue to grow Tapas Revolution with the launch of our Liverpool bar and restaurant following the success and overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received since reopening our current locations, and our newly-opened Brighton and Lakeside restaurants.” 

Industry News:

Sponsored message – hospitality IT service provider nGeneration unveils new state-of-the-art head office and service centre: nGeneration, a leading vendor independent IT service provider to the hospitality industry, has unveiled its new 20,000 square-foot state-of-the-art head office and service centre. nGeneration’s services include systems deployment, support and field service, procurement, asset management and resourcing, centrally managed from its new Midlands head office and service centre. Its new premises is custom designed to offer “best in class facilities across every area of the business”, featuring a purpose-built support desk; 400 device capacity staging facility; repair and refurbishment centre with the latest technology; 1,200 pallet IT storage facility; incorporating full PCI compliance; alongside collaborative open-plan offices and training centre. It provides a centralised operational hub for its field-based workforce. nGeneration provides field-based services across the entire UK and Ireland, 365 days a year. This investment forms part of nGeneration’s strategic vision to expand its business. Chief executive Caroline Cronin-Brunt said: “With the reliance on IT now fundamental across all businesses, we continue to recognise that specialist IT services and solutions are paramount, and we remain clearly focused on the ongoing development of new technologies within the IT industry, continually adapting to fulfil both current and future needs of the technology life cycle.” To find out more about nGeneration, click hereIf you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com

Three days to go before release - 67 multi-site companies set to join updated Premium Database of Multi-site Companies: A total of 67 new multi-site companies, operating 448 sites, have been added to the next edition of the Propel Premium Database of Multi-site Companies, which will be released on Friday 29 October, at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, includes a number of brands growing through franchise, regional pub and hotel operators and expanding seafood brands. Premium subscribers will also receive a 5,200-word report on the new additions to the database. The comprehensive database is updated monthly and provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. It features more than 2,000 companies. Alongside this, Premium subscribers will also receive the fourth edition of the New Openings Database, which Is produced in association with StarStock, on Wednesday, 3 November, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The fourth edition will now include a 12,800-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to another database – the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated monthly, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out plus regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.

Katona – we are in no rush to find a new investor, let’s see how the market reawakens: Nisha Katona, founder of Indian street food concept Mowgli, has said her Foresight Group-backed business is in no rush to find a new investor, but there hasn’t been a day that went by over the past five years she hasn’t “thought about who the next partner might be”. The 13-strong group, which will make its London debut next month, has been backed by Foresight since 2017. Speaking on Propel’s Friday Wrap series, Katona said: “As soon as you take on an investor, you know full well there comes a time when that investor will move out and you look at another one. There’s hasn’t been a day that went by over the past five years that I haven’t thought about who the next partner might be. What I do have in Foresight is a company I work very well with, it has been an absolute joy. We see things the same way, and Mowgli’s built in a very organic and human way as a result, so I am not in a rush to find another investor. I am always happy to talk to people who might be of the same mind and want to share the journey. There is not a line in the sand where we say ‘right we are going to go now’, we are not quite there. To be frank, it is always something in our mind, if we can find the right people. But I am in no rush, nor is Foresight, to find someone who doesn’t have the same world view on this fantastic industry. We are building this in a very parental way, and I would need a bedfellow that feels the same way and feels that paternal passion towards their teams. There are some horror stories out there and there is nothing so bad as a bad marriage, as an Irish friend of mine says. I get out of bed every morning and I am excited about the day ahead of me, and I am not shackled by an investor or by board members making my or my teams’ life a misery. If we find the right people, then I would be very happy to think about whether we go towards process. We have a good pipeline, but let’s see how the market reawakens.” Katona believes the business, which recently opened in Cheshire Oaks and Cheltenham, was “trading its socks off at the moment”, and that her TV work has “only been a benefit to Mowgli”. She added: “It gives the business a pedigree that is founded on the food you are creating. We don’t have a marketing department. People are looking for authenticity, albeit with a flawed voice, which suits, as I am flawed and authentic.”

Minimum wage boost set to be announced: Workers on the minimum wage are set to get a pay boost from April, with the rate for those aged over 23 rising to £9.50 an hour from £8.91. The rise means a full-time worker will get £1,074 extra a year before tax. The move will be announced at this week's Budget and follows the recommendation of independent advisers, the Low Pay Commission. The government has faced pressure to help low-paid, younger workers, who are among the worst hit by the pandemic. The 6.6% increase in the National Living Wage for those aged over 23 is more than twice the current 3.1% rise in the cost of living. Minimum pay rates for younger workers are also set to go up. The National Minimum Wage for people aged 21-22 will rise from £8.36 to £9.18 an hour, and the Apprentice Rate will increase from £4.30 to £4.81 an hour. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the rise “ensures we’re making work pay and keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by the end of this Parliament”. 

Tipjar earns high tech rating: Tipjar, the cashless tipping platform, has been awarded ninth place on Business Cloud’s ranking of the top 50 most innovative financial technology businesses in the UK. Following a 2,300-strong reader vote, an independent judging panel made their choices from the shortlist. Ben Thomas, chief executive of Tipjar said: “We’re delighted to accept yet another award highlighting the sophistication, innovation and relevance of our tech within the financial services sector as well as within the hospitality industry. Tipjar exists to help tipped workers earn more as cash disappears and ranking in the top 10 Fintech firms is just one small step towards becoming the world’s leading cashless tipping solution.” Tipjar, founded by James Brown of BrewDog, is backed by Alex Moore of Rosa’s, Gary Dolman of Monzo and Simon Bocca, formerly of Fourth. It has just completed a crowdfund, raising more than £1.5m.

Prestige Purchasing to hold free Christmas trading webinar: Foodservice and hospitality procurement consultancy Prestige Purchasing will hold a free-to-view Christmas trading webinar at 9am on 2 November. The 60-minute seminar is aimed at giving operators “the best chance of mitigating the twin effects of inconsistent supply and rising prices this Christmas”. It will focus on the causes of the supply chain crisis and how long it will continue for, what can be done about product availability, how to keep a lid on price inflation and how to ensure longer-term stability. Speaking will be Prestige’s founder and chairman David Read, who has more than 40 years of sector experience, and chief executive Shaun Allen, who has an extensive knowledge of farm-to-fork supply.

‘Light kitchen’ concept to launch in Covent Garden next month: London’s first shared-facilities “light kitchen”, designed in contrast to the rising number of delivery-only “dark kitchens”, will launch in Covent Garden on 4 November. Based over 16,000 square feet, Mission Kitchen aims to address the challenges faced by growing food businesses and help food sector entrepreneurs build again post-covid, featuring flexible access to commercial kitchens and co-working space. A set of 30 founding members includes plant-based ready meal concept Pep Kitchen, mobile street food unit Mob Truck and sustainable snack brand nibs etc. Mission Kitchen co-founder Charlie Gent said: “We received more than 200 membership applications, many of which came from new concepts launched in lockdown last year. That’s testament to the ingenuity and determination of entrepreneurs in the food industry. But now these ideas need space and support to grow, and it’s really hard for small businesses to find either in London. Mission Kitchen aims to change this for good.” Co-founder Chris Lumsden added: “To build a food business might sound fun, but it’s incredibly tough, even for the most talented and ambitious founders. After all the challenges food professionals have faced over the last year, we want to offer founders the affordability and flexibility they need to get back on track.” Mission Kitchen is working in partnership with Covent Garden Market Authority as part of the ongoing £70m transformation of the market into a food enterprise hub.

Zero net carbon roadmap for UK brewers: Britain’s brewers have launched a roadmap to net zero carbon emissions. It will complement the Hospitality Roadmap to Net Zero launched by Zero Carbon Forum earlier this month but focuses on the challenges faced by brewers. It gives guidance to taking on emission reduction targets in the hope of reaching net zero by 2030, before tackling further indirect emissions from supply chains. Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Brewing is distinct from the wider hospitality sector and requires a bespoke roadmap for reaching net zero. Using this roadmap, brewers can continue their great work to date in reducing their environmental footprint and support the roadmap for the wider hospitality sector in reaching net zero.”

Company News:

Chopstix continues UK expansion, launches Noodle Aid initiative: Chopstix, the pan-Asian quick service restaurant concept, has continued its UK expansion with an opening in Leicester and securing a site in Swansea. The Jon Lake-led business, which operates ovmore than 60 sites across the UK, opened its latest site at 1 Gallowtree Gate, Leicester. The new store includes the brand’s “living wall” and some new screen features, including the debut of the “animated Chopstix Anime Girl”. “Leicester has always been a target for us,” said Rob Burns, marketing director for Chopstix. “It’s a massive city, and we’re really excited about the chance to bring our brand to the masses. The people of Leicester love a business that engages with them, and that’s what we’re all about. We’ve always seen ourselves as hard working, we listen to our customers and we challenge the norm, so we can’t wait to open and see the customers streaming in.” At the same time, the business has lined up a new site in Swansea’s Oxford Street. The company has also launched its Noodle Aid initiative, which looks to deliver meals “to fast food fans across the UK, no matter where they live”. The initiative asks consumers to share pictures of their remote locations and homes on social media, ‘tagging’ Chopstix in their post. The company said: “The brand will review the entries and choose the ones they feel deserve a treat. The lucky customers will then receive a Chopstix delivered to their door – no matter where they are.”

Gorgeous Pubs doubles up with St Albans deal: Gorgeous Pubs, led by former Geronimo Inns employee Rob Laub, has secured its second pub with the acquisition of The Plough at Sleapshyde, St Albans. Laub, who also operates The Bull in London’s Highgate, has acquired the freehold of the site in a £1.2m deal. Gorgeous Pubs, which also operate a microbrewery, acquired the pub from Sean Hughes, his brother Tim and Drew Knight, who also operate Dylan’s and The Boot in St Albans. Paul Tallentyre at Davis Coffer Lyons acted on The Plough deal. 

Nightcap plans three November openings – with a further 11 sites in negotiation: Bar operator Nightcap is to open London Cocktail Club sites in Bristol, Reading and Central London in November – ahead of the company’s planned opening schedule and in time for the important Christmas trading period. The company stated: “Trading across the group continues to be strong and ahead of management’s expectations, with the group’s London sites trading particularly robustly and benefitting from London Cocktail Month throughout the month of October 2021. The new 3,500 square-foot site in Corn Street, Central Bristol will open for trading on 18 November. The new Mansion House 1,500 square-foot site at 78 Queen Victoria Street, Central London, will open on 22 November, followed by the opening of the 2,861 square-foot site in Gun Street, Reading, on 25 November. The three openings will take the group’s total number of open sites from 19 to 22, with an additional 11 currently in legal negotiations and a further ten under offer, across several of its brands. Outside London, Luna Springs in Digbeth, Birmingham, launched its Christmas season on 23 October with a 100-capacity outdoor ice rink and an indoor 600-capacity bar, event space and Christmas market.” Chief executive Sarah Willingham added: “We continue to see strong trading across the group and are delighted to announce the beginning of our ambitious opening schedule for our various brilliant bar brands. We are bringing forward our opening schedule for the roll-out of the London Cocktail Club ahead of the important Christmas trading period. The first London Cocktail Club site outside London, in Bristol, was launched in 2018 and has been very successful. We look forward to opening our second Bristol site in the prime Corn Street location. The Corn Street site will be the brand’s biggest to date and is ready to host up to 300 people. I am so proud of how hard the teams have worked to ready the brands for nationwide roll-out, including the impressive November 2021 bar opening schedule. This has been achieved alongside growing the pipeline of new potential prime sites across the country and is a testament to the talent, collaboration and focus within the businesses.”

Buzzworks to launch recruitment campaign on TikTok: Scottish independent restaurant and bar operator Buzzworks Holdings is to launch a major campaign on TikTok to aid recruitment across its 13 venues. The Kilmarnock-headquartered business will use the social platform’s popularity to meet the recruitment crisis facing the hospitality industry head on, using the hashtag #ineedajob. The campaign will run for three months, utilising content creators such as Scheiffer Bates, Scotland’s Steven McKell and 2020 Love Island winner Paige Turley to shine a light on the benefits of working within hospitality through video shorts. Kenny Blair, Buzzworks Holdings managing director, said: “It has been a challenging time for the hospitality industry across Scotland and beyond recently, and operators are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain talent. So much so, we are seeing both temporary and permanent closures of well-known independent and chain restaurants. However, hospitality can be a vibrant and exciting career path, and at Buzzworks, all team members can expect flexible hours, great rates of pay, industry leading training both for front of house and kitchen roles, as well as the opportunity to grow their career wherever they wish to take it. We hope this campaign will spotlight the benefits of working at our venues, as well as shine a positive light on the industry for young people keen to forge their own career path.”

Kanada-Ya lines up fourth and fifth opening: Japanese ramen restaurant Kanada-Ya will open its fourth site on 10 November, this one located in Foubert’s place, Carnaby. Kanada-Ya Carnaby will seat 60 in total with 28 covers outside, feature an open kitchen with counter dining and will be open for dine-in and take-away. Kanada-Ya first opened its doors to Londoners on 64 St Giles Street in 2014, although it was founded in Japan in 2009 by Kanada Kazuhiro. The brand, which serves authentic Tonkotsu ramen, is also scheduled to open in Ealing.

Latest London site secured for Caffe Concerto: Caffe Concerto, the patisserie chain which boasts a portfolio across London, Birmingham and the Middle East, has secured another site in the capital. The chain will open its 18th London site at 143 Long Acre, at the entrance to Covent Garden restaurant destination The Yards. Spanning three floors and catering to 180 covers, the flagship unit measures 4,000 square feet. Caffe Concerto also has a Birmingham site, six in Saudi Arabia and one each in Qatar and Dubai. Company director Stephano Borjak said: “As a spacious and prominent space with visibility from three facades, 143 Long Acre is an ideal location to launch our next Caffè Concerto and a brilliant opportunity for our brand to further flourish in the capital. Our sites appeal exceptionally well to our core visitors, including shoppers, city workers and tourists, and Covent Garden’s location is the perfect location.” Landlords Longmartin Properties, a joint venture between Shaftesbury and the Mercers’ Company, were represented by CBRE, while Caffè Concerto dealt direct.

London Fitzrovia opening for new ‘skin drinks’ concept: A new juice bar concept which mixes its drinks with ingestible skin-aiding cosmetics will open in London’s Charlotte Street next month. The first of its type in the UK, EnVie’s juices and nut milks will be mixed with probiotics and cosmetics including resveratrol, hyaluronic acid and marine collagen. Customers can select their juice before adding the cosmetic of their choice – all designed to help with skin strengthening and hydration, prevent hair and nails brittleness and promote healthy guts. All drinks will be served in plastic-free packaging, with customers returning their bottle able to claim £1 off their next juice. EnVie will be set over two floors, with seating downstairs and a takeaway service upstairs, and with the venue set to open until 1am at weekends, will also offer skin-enhancing cocktails.

East London café to host pop-up supper club kitchen: A pop-up kitchen run by a group of east London women will operate out of The Canvas Café in Hansbury Street this week – with more dates planned for November and December. Called Lady Lane Kitchen, it will hold a series of supper clubs on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm, offering food from the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Somalia and the south Mediterranean. The six women set up Lady Lane Catering last year, with a shared vision of promoting the flavours of their childhoods.

New late-night restaurant opens in London’s Soho: Inca, a new Latin American-themed “show restaurant” featuring live stage performances, has opened its doors in London’s Argyll Street. It has been granted a late licence to stay open until 4am from Wednesday through to Sunday. The venue launched at the site of former nightclub Toy Room, which opened in 2014 but became a victim of the pandemic closures. The 170-cover restaurant has been opened by a group formerly involved with Knightsbridge venue Sumosan Twiga, and they have brought with them the head chef from the Japanese bar and restaurant.

Car dealer buys debut pub: Well-known car dealer Tom Hartley Junior has bought his debut pub, The Greedy Goose, in Chastleton, in the north west of the Cotswold’s Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Sold through Colliers, it has been owned by hands-off investors since 2006 and run by a local management team. The restaurant and pub, which accommodates up to 100 table covers alongside a 25-pitch camping site, including five glamping pods, has been sold from an asking price of £700,000. Hartley said: “I’ve spent many years operating in the collector car market, but this is my first time taking on a pub. I’m really looking forward to getting to know this local business and expanding my knowledge of the hospitality sector. We’ve seen over the last year how much people value the opportunity to get away and get closer to nature, albeit with some home comforts. I’m excited to see what this opportunity brings. Initially we’re going to close the pub for redevelopment, to bring it in line with the standards of everything else under my business umbrella.”

London’s latest LGBTQ+ friendly bar to open next month: A new LGBTQ+ friendly bar will open in Camden’s Hampstead Road on 5 November. Zodiac, run by Lady Jane Phoenix, will be split over two floors, with a capacity for 250 customers. The first floor will feature a cocktail bar, with the ground floor operating as a dancing space.

Lyle’s operators switch London restaurant to bakery and wine house: The team behind Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant Lyle’s is changing its Borough Market restaurant Flor into a bakery and wine house. Its small plates menu will become one of sandwiches to eat in or take away from 3 November, and its opening hours will change from 8am-3pm. Flor will also be opening a new bakery, at Bermondsey’s Spa Terminus in Spa Road, from December. Heading up the operations there will be Flor’s head of bread and pastry, Helen Evans, with a delivery service also available. Founder James Lowe said: “We’ve been blown away by the response to our Flor-baked goods, and so we’re excited to open the doors to Flor Bakery at Spa Terminus, and to transition Flor in Borough Market to a bakery shop. Helen and the team’s love of heritage grains and regenerative farming mean the loaves and pastries coming out each day are uniquely innovative and delicious, and Flor’s new bakery arch will allow them to experiment even more.”

Vapiano marks World Pasta Day with £5 giveaway: Vapiano, which specialises in handmade fresh pasta, celebrated World Pasta Day with a global campaign called ‘Pasta is the Answer’, kicking off with a 40-second video showcasing five generations from toddlers to 74-year-old twins eating a range of pasta dishes. Vapiano, which operates 130 global restaurants including six in the UK, gave £5 gift cards to all guests visiting on the day to use towards their next visit. Global marketing director Vikki O’Neill said: “Vapiano is loved by millions for our handmade fresh pasta. ‘Pasta is the Answer’ and the video perfectly reflects the diversity of our guests and that eating out, and eating pasta, is fun.”

First permanent Manteca site set for November opening: Chefs Chris Leach and David Carter have confirmed a November opening of the first bricks-and-mortar site for their pop-up pasta concept Manteca. As revealed by Propel in July, Manteca’s new permanent home will be at a former PizzaExpress site in Shoreditch and follows a series of successful residencies in central London. Initially operated as a pop-up in Mayfair in the summer of 2019, Manteca launched its first restaurant residency later that same year in Soho. The new site is now set to open its doors for the first time on 16 November.

Scottish leisure operator bids to build adventure golf course in Liverpool city centre: Scottish leisure operator Jungle Rumble has submitted plans for one of Liverpool's most iconic city centre buildings to house one of its adventure golf courses. The company, which operates mini golf courses across the UK, wants to build a new course alongside a bar and hospitality facilities inside the grade II-listed Lyceum building in Bold Street, which dates to 1802. Spanning more than 25,000 square feet, the building has been subdivided and converted in the past for a variety of uses, including restaurants and bars, and while a Chinese restaurant currently occupies the north west end of the basement, the rest of the building is currently vacant. Jungle Rumble’s application would see it lease the ground floor plus the central part and south east end of the basement. A new reception and bar area would be created in the former library part of the building, with further bar seating areas on the balcony. The application states: “The over-riding effect of the proposed conversion will be to return this part of the building to beneficial hospitality use, not too dissimilar to the most recent use of this part of the building as a bar and restaurant.”

Hawksmoor announces November opening for floating Canary Wharf restaurant: Graphite Capital-backed steakhouse concept Hawksmoor’s first London restaurant in four years will open on 25 November. Hawksmoor Wood Wharf will be set in a floating pavilion in the docks of Wood Wharf, a new part of Canary Wharf, and set over three levels. The 150-cover restaurant, with a 120-cover bar and outdoor space, will be Hawksmoor’s biggest restaurant yet. Founders Will Beckett and Luke Gott launched the first 15 years ago in Spitalfields, east London, and the business has grown to include six restaurants in London, one in Manchester and one in Edinburgh. Hawksmoor also made its international debut last month when it opened its long-awaited New York restaurant, following a five-year delay and one aborted opening. Some of the new dishes created for the New York restaurant, including three different oyster offerings, will be available at the Canary Wharf site too.

Chester-based coffee shop and board games concept to double up with Shrewsbury launch: Chester-based coffee shop and board games concept Cups is to double up with an opening in Shrewsbury. Owners James and Nicole Bradbury are opening the outlet on the ground floor of an empty property on the corner of School Gardens and Castle Street. James and Nicole Bradbury, the owners of CUPS, already run a successful coffee shop in Chester, which will now be joined by their new venture in Shrewsbury. Cups offers customers the opportunity for people to play a wide range of board games while enjoying food, snacks and coffee. Nicole said: “We are keen to work with the local communities and to develop areas that will benefit Shrewsbury. For this reason, our Shrewsbury store will be a little different from our Chester store. We are creating a quirky retail space for small, independent makers – giving our creators a space on the high street to sell their products. Although we love board games, we have an opportunity to challenge ourselves and create something new and fresh.” Toby Shaw, of Towler Shaw Roberts, acted on the deal.

Wing Shack opens first permanent combined site: Wings-based concept Wing Shack has opened its first combined site with sister concept Eggs ‘n’ Stuff, in the space next to The Horatia pub in Holloway, north London. In the mornings, Eggs ‘n’ Stuff will serve breakfast and brunch before Wing Shack takes over the menu from lunchtime, serving its wings alongside burgers and sides. It will offer takeaway, collection and delivery via Deliveroo, while a few seats will be available for customers to dine in. Later this year, Wing Shack will open two further restaurants, in Brixton and Bromley, while a second Wing Shack and Eggs ‘n’ Stuff collaboration will open in Shoreditch. Following its first opening in Loughton in 2017, Wing Shack has been expanding across the capital and can be found at Camden’s Good Mixer and in London’s Selfridges, along with delivery kitchens in Canary Wharf, Battersea and Clerkenwell. Eggs ’n’ Stuff was developed as a delivery-only concept during lockdown before operating as a pop-up in March this year in what is now its combined permanent home with Wing Shack.

Leeds-based rum company reveals distillery and visitor centre plan: Leeds-based rum company Libations Rum intends to set up one of the north of England’s first rum distillery and blending houses. The company wants to bring production in-house. Its founders Chole Potter and Rory Armstrong said the distillery should bring a new level of transparency to the world of British rum. Potter said: “We’ve enjoyed a phenomenal reception since launching in December 2019. We’ve always championed rum but think that at times rum has been misrepresented over the past ten years or so, particularly spiced rum.” Plans for the distillery include a warm room that will allow the company to periodically release aged variants. There are also additional plans for the distillery to operate as a visitor centre. The company has hit its £150,000 fundraising target for the project, after just 48 hours of being live on the crowdfunding platform Seedrs. 

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