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Tue 9th Aug 2022 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Kerridge – we won’t be able to solve sector issues until the government puts its hands up and admits Brexit’s gone wrong: Chef Tom Kerridge has said until the government admits that Brexit hasn’t worked, the issues facing the hospitality sector, especially around recruitment, won’t be solved. Speaking as part of the Propel Friday Wrap series, Kerridge said: “Firstly, I'm a remainer. However, we have voted for it, we're out okay, but we can't keep telling everyone we're out and it's great because it's not. What's in front of us is not good. So, the first thing I've always been taught in the kitchen, right from a young age, is if it goes wrong, and it's going wrong, and it's going to be rubbish, you put your hands up and you go, right, I need help. We need to solve this, okay? So, because nothing can happen until everybody just goes, okay, there's something wrong here, how do we get through it? We're not going back into Europe. I get that we're not just suddenly going to go, you know, it's taking us six years to leave, we're not just going to suddenly put our hands up and get back in it. However, we do need to go, okay we voted out and we are in this position, but it really is bad. It's not helping business, this isn't structured right, this is incorrect. We need to admit it is not going very well, then we can solve the problem. Until that point, we can't just keep saying we got Brexit done. What does that mean? Let's work through it. Let's admit that it's gone wrong, particularly for our industry. I can only talk about my industry, but I can see that aviation is really bad. I can see that travel is really bad. But for us, my industry, we've got to go, there are big problems here, how do we solve this and until the government goes this isn’t correct, this isn’t right. we can't solve it. Until it goes, okay, hospitality how do we make this work? What are the biggest issues? How do we get over this? Until it goes and put its hand up with that, then there isn't much we can do.”

Industry News:

Sponsored message – join Supper and back Hospitality Rising: London-based premium food delivery service Supper is backing Hospitality Rising, but will you? The initiative aims to unite the industry by asking it to invest in and back its plan to change the perception of hospitality for the better, in the biggest sector recruitment advertising campaign the UK has seen. Supper founder Peter Georgiou said: “It was a no-brainer to support Hospitality Rising in its aim to tackle the hospitality recruitment crisis. Supper works with London's best restaurants and food and drink retailers and it breaks our hearts to see them struggling to recruit staff across their businesses. The hospitality industry is home to some of the most creative, rewarding and skilled jobs out there, and we'll do everything we can to help shine a light on that.” Invest in Hospitality Rising now from just £10 per employee here. If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com

Next edition of Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book shows sector losses of £5.7bn: The next edition of Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, produced in association with Mapal Group, shows the effects of the pandemic, with total losses of £5.7bn being reported by 328 companies. However, a further 268 sector companies are still reporting total profits of £1.3bn. The next edition will include 596 companies, which produce total turnover of £30.1bn. The next edition will be sent to Premium subscribers on Friday, 19 August at midday. The Blue Book, which is updated every month, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers also receive the New Openings Database, produced in association with StarStock, and the Multi-Site Operators Database, produced in association with Virgate, which are also updated each month. Premium subscribers also now have access to the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, which is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and will be updated every two months. 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 single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to upgrade your subscription. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and 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; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett.

Bums on Seats to host webinar to help operators transform their pre-booked sales operation: Bums on Seats, the strategic sales and business development experts, is to host a five-hour pre-booked sales masterclass webinar to help operators maximise revenue. Aimed at optimising, capitalising and strategising pre-booked sales for your operation, this practical webinar will be delivered by industry sales expert Amber Staynings, chief executive of Bums on Seats. She will take you through a comprehensive masterclass that will transform your pre-booked sales plans and processes ready for the busiest quarter of the year. The webinar will look at the very latest consumer insights and booking trends to understand the changing market and demand for winter 2022, standing out from the crowd this year and aligning your reputation marketing with key sales actions, how to drive repeat business and guest loyalty, and how optimising your online system set-up with the right sales process will drive efficiency and customer satisfaction. With a long-awaited FIFA World Cup event, and the first Christmas with no trading restrictions for three years, Staynings will also provide expertise and guidance on maximise the revenue opportunity without compromising either festive or sporting bookings. This “one stop shop” webinar will take place on Tuesday, 20 September at 10am. Tickets are £295 plus VAT and can be booked by emailing jo.charity@propelinfo.com

Spending on dining and drinking out slows again amid cost-of-living squeeze, Brits planning to cut back further: Spending on dining and drinking out in July has slowed again as the cost-of-living squeeze impacts consumer spending, with Brits planning to cut back further. According to the latest data from Barclaycard, spending on eating and drinking out was up 9.0% year-on-year, but down 1.5% month-on-month. Brits said they plan to spend less on social plans and days out this summer, with 67% of this group cutting back on eating out at restaurants, and 55% spending less at pubs, bars and nightclubs. The popularity of staycations is driving spend in the hotels, resorts and accommodation category, which grew 1.9% compared with June. Overall, consumer card spending grew 7.7% in July compared with the same period in 2021, and 1.6% compared with the previous month. More Brits are feeling confident about their household finances (66% versus 59% reported last month), their ability to spend on non-essential items (54% versus 48%), and their ability to live within their means (71% versus 66%). However, confidence in these areas remains below where it stood in July 2021 (72%, 62% and 75% respectively). Meanwhile, the data also shows nine in ten (91%) are concerned about rising inflation, surging household bills and higher food prices, while confidence in the future of the UK economy remains low, at 26%.

Transactions at Pret stores increased at almost all regional locations last week, secures debut Kuwait site: Transactions at Pret A Manger sites increased at all regional locations across the UK last week, apart from Manchester. According to the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) update, based on the Bloomberg Pret Index, transactions in Manchester fell by seven percentage points. There were also weekly falls at London airports and London train stations where transactions fell by three percentage points and one percentage point, respectively. There were weekly increases at Pret’s London suburban sites and West End stores, where transactions climbed two percentage points and three percentage points, respectively. The ONS figures also showed UK-seated diners increased by 12 percentage points in the week to 31 July 2022 and were 131% of the level in the equivalent week of 2019. London seated diners also rose by 12 percentage points in the latest week to 4 August and were at 96% of the level in the equivalent week of 2019. This is the highest this figure has been for nine weeks (since the week to 29 May 2022). Separately, Pret has lined up its first opening in Kuwait, at the Al-Hamra Tower. The new site is scheduled to open in October, with a second site in the country set to open before the end of the year. Last November, Pret, the JAB Holdings-backed business, signed a deal with One PM Franchising, which is a subsidiary of One Franchising Holding, a regional food and beverage operator with a presence across eight countries, to open sites in the Middle East, including Kuwait.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a chief executive who is growing a late-night bar and restaurant business. This small group has five venues across the north west and Midlands and has expansion plans for the next two years. To support this growth, the business is looking to bring on board an experienced and very hands-on head of operations. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “The head of operations will oversee all existing bars and venues, lead the upcoming openings, and drive and motivate the team. Additionally, you will be tasked with creating a great customer experience and brand reputation while ensuring profitability across sites. You will be supported by a dedicated chief executive and centralised finance, marketing, and commercial team who you will work collaboratively with to develop and establish long lasting sales growth. The ideal head of operations will have significant previous experience in a late-night, high-volume venue, bar or restaurant and have proven multi-site experience. You would ideally be based in the north west of England and be ready to start the new role in September.” A salary of up to £70,000 will be considered. Anyone interested can email Stuart@corecruitment.com

Company News:

Boparan Restaurant Group begins new Tesco partnership with Slim Chickens site: Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) – the owner and operator of brands including Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Carluccio’s, Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner – has begun a new partnership with Tesco. It starts with the opening of a Slim Chickens site, in one of the retailer’s Extra stores. Tesco, which previously owned Giraffe, will open a Slim Chickens site, the 27th opening under the brand in the UK in total, in its Extra store in Redditch, Worcestershire, next Wednesday (17 August). Propel understands the Redditch Extra site will be the first Slim Chickens opening as part of a wider partnership between Tesco and BRG, which already operates a number of brands with rival supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. Last month, BRG opened four new restaurants under the Slim Chickens brand and said it planned to be operating 350 restaurants in Britain under the US brand in the next few years. Under BRG’s partnership with Sainsbury’s, it is developing food courts at 150 of the retailer's stores that will feature a clutch of BRG’s brands, including Slim Chickens. The first opened at the Sainsbury’s store in Selly Oak, Birmingham, with a target of all 150 operating within three years. The new 68-cover restaurant in Redditch will also offer click and collect, takeaway and delivery. Satnam Leihal, chief executive at BRG, said: “Slim Chickens is creating local communities of chicken lovers across the country and our customers tell us they want one near them. We have identified locations nationwide for the brand from which we can serve our fresh, cooked-to-order chicken and Tesco’s Redditch Extra is a great place to support these plans.”

Lion sells Magic Rock and Fourpure breweries and bars to Odyssey Inns: Lion, the Australian brewing firm ultimately owned by Kirin, of Japan, has sold its UK operations – including its Magic Rock and Fourpure brands – to Odyssey Inns. The brands – which were operated in the UK by Lion Little World Beverages – had been placed under a strategic review earlier this year. The deal also includes the Fourpure and Magic Rock breweries and taprooms in London, Huddersfield and Holmfirth, as well as the Little Creatures craft beer bar in London’s Kings Cross. The Odyssey team is led by Stephen Cox, who also co-founded Devon’s Utopian Brewing and has worked with, as well as pioneered, a number of brands within the hospitality and drinks sector. He said: “This is an incredible opportunity to take two exceptional brands, Fourpure and Magic Rock, to the next level. Combined with an excellent hospitality proposition, fantastic people and state-of-the-art breweries, we really have the platform to do great things.” Lion’s UK managing director, Gordon Treanor, said: “Odyssey brings together a great team with a clear passion for brewing and hospitality and is ideally placed to take Magic Rock and Fourpure forward. I’d like to thank our brilliant team for its commitment and dedication, especially over the past two years. With some great sales and brand momentum, the business is well placed for the future ahead, under new ownership.” The sale will see Lion focus future investment towards its businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Inception Group secures first Soho site for Mr Fogg’s: Inception Group, the hospitality group behind Maggie’s, Bunga Bunga and Cahoots, has secured a prime location in London’s Soho for its Mr Fogg’s brand, Propel has learned. The Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling-founded business has secured the former Relais de Venise L’Entrecote restaurant site at 50 Dean Street. Inception Group successfully changed the planning permission from a restaurant use (class E) to a bar use (sui generis) for the site, which will become the eighth to open under the Mr Fogg’s collection when it launches in early 2023. Gilkes said: “We are excited to be bringing Mr Fogg’s to such a prime location in Soho and we can’t wait to reveal the unique concept we have imagined for this space.” The company, which also operates the London Gin Club and Cahoots in Soho, opened Mr Fogg’s Apothecary at 34 Brook Street in Mayfair earlier this summer. The company also operates Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden, Sloane Square speakeasy Barts, and 1980s-themed nightclub Maggie’s. 

Wok to Walk to launch sister concept near Oxford Circus: Asian health food concept Wok to Walk is to open a first site under a new sister concept near Oxford Circus, London. The business, which has more than 100 sites worldwide, including 16 in the UK, has secured the ex-Orange Buffalo site in Argyll Street for the new opening. Wok to Walk already operates the site next door under its core brand. Opening later this autumn, the new concept will see Wok to Walk expand its food and beverage range, with additions including bao buns. Sammy Weinbaum, of CDG Leisure, acted on the Argyll Street deal. 

Tortilla rebrands three Chilango sites: Following its acquisition of Chilango in May, Tortilla, the UK’s largest fast-casual Mexican restaurant brand, is to rebrand three of the eight Chilango sites. The update will see three Chilango sites in the City of London – at Brushfield Street, London Wall and London Bridge – move to the Tortilla fascia over the coming weeks, reflecting the expansion of the Tortilla brand across the capital. Existing Chilango sites in Upper Street, Islington, and Brewer Street, Soho, will continue to trade as Chilango branded restaurants, “complementing the Tortillas trading nearby”. The Chilango offer will also be utilised as a “virtual brand” across the group’s delivery kitchens. Taking the group’s UK-owned site number to 51, Tortilla Spitalfields at 32 Brushfield Street opened on Monday (8 August) for takeaway and delivery. Tortilla’s London expansion runs alongside its regional openings programme, including Lincoln, which is opening on Friday (12 August); Leicester; Coventry and others opening later this year. Richard Morris, chief executive at Tortilla, said: “We’re excited to be rolling out the Tortilla brand across these high-quality locations in the City of London, which were previously high performing Chilango sites, as well as continuing to trade the rest of the Chilango estate. They will give Londoners and visitors to the City even greater choice.”
 
Fat Hippo lines up 15th site: Better burger brand Fat Hippo will open in York later this year, occupying the former Jimmy’s site in Low Petergate. This will be Fat Hippo’s 15th UK location and fourth Yorkshire restaurant. Michael Phillips, the company’s managing director, who founded Fat Hippo in 2010, said: “We couldn’t turn down the opportunity to open Fat Hippo in York city centre, especially as the building in Low Petergate is the perfect location for our new restaurant.” The menu features its signature beef and boneless buttermilk chicken patties as well as a range of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options. 

Japanese tea house concept Tsujiri lines up Leeds opening: Japanese tea house concept Tsujiri is to further increase its regional presence with an opening in Leeds. The business, which was founded in Kyoto in 1860, will open a site at Kirkgate Market, in a former B&M Fabrics unit. Earlier this year, Tsujiri secured its sixth UK site and second in Manchester, after taking a 1,302 square-foot space underneath the Vita Living North tower. The concept, which offers Japanese sake, whisky and matcha beer, also operates two sites in London, plus sites in Newcastle and Liverpool.

JD Wetherspoon’s £3m New Brighton redevelopment delayed: A £3m redeveloped JD Wetherspoon pub in New Brighton, in the Wirral, will not open this month, as was originally planned. The Master Mariner was supposed to reopen on Tuesday, 30 August but Wetherspoon confirmed this has been delayed. The pub has been closed since building work started on the £3m transformation in March. The Master Mariner, which opened in 2013, used to be on the former site of RJs and the Playas Lounge nightclubs. Wetherspoon bought Lacy’s Bar situated next door in 2015 in a proposal to expand and create a bigger pub. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told the Globe: “The opening date, late August, for The Master Mariner was given in good faith, however, this has now gone back. The building that Wetherspoon is developing alongside the existing pub was in a poor state and as a result the project needs to be reviewed. We are reviewing all options for taking the project forward, however, at present we cannot confirm the opening date.”
 
Ascona Group buys two more forecourt sites, plans Starbucks openings: Ascona Group, one of the UK’s fastest-growing forecourt operators, has bought two service stations in Monmouthshire and Ceredigion in Wales, taking its total portfolio to 62 sites across the UK. The new sites are the BP-branded Brecon Road service station in Abergavenny and the Gulf-branded Dryslwyn service station in Llwyncelyn, Aberaeron. In keeping with the group’s strategy to develop the next evolution of retail roadside destinations, the sites will be fitted with new Nisa and Starbucks facilities in September, with plans to make further major improvements in the next three years. The acquisition of these two sites follow Ascona’s decision to launch operations in Scotland for the first time. In July, Ascona secured the lease of Springfield service station in Aberdeen, a move that sees the group have operations across England, Wales and Scotland. Over the next 12 months, Ascona will seek to further grow its portfolio as the group explores various opportunities. With these recent acquisitions, Ascona remains on target to reach its ambition of growing to 300 sites by 2026. Property director (south), Mark Franks, said: “We are delighted to add these quality forecourts to our expanding portfolio as we continue to execute on our ambitious growth strategy. With 62 sites and counting, we are on track to achieving our ambitious goal to be one of the top three independent fuel retailers in the UK market. Our continued expansion is a testament to our hardworking team and demonstrates the sizeable opportunity for both organic and acquisitive growth in the market.”

Ole & Steen lines up opening in Guildford: Danish baker Ole & Steen is set to further increase its regional presence in the UK, with an opening in Guildford. The company, which recently opened its second regional site, in Windsor, is set to take on the former Ted Baker unit, in the Surrey town’s High Street. Propel revealed in June the 21-strong brand is set to open a further regional site, in Henley-on-Thames. The company is understood to be taking on the ex-Superdrug site in the Oxfordshire town’s Market Place. The business, which earlier this year opened sites in London’s Seven Dials and Clapham, already operates a site in Oxford’s Westgate scheme. RAB Retail acts for Ole & Steen.

Wendy’s to ramp up UK expansion with four openings before year end: Wendy’s, the third-largest quick service restaurant chain in the US, is to ramp up its expansion plans in the UK, with four new openings over the next four months. The brand recently opened its eighth site here, since it returned to these shores last June, in Camden. It now plans to open sites in Kingston, Uxbridge, Maidstone and Sutton, before the end of this year. The company will open in the former Home Store in Sutton High Street; on the former Bonmarche unit in Uxbridge’s High Street; in Eden Street, Kingston; and in the ex-Carphone Warehouse unit in Maidstone’s Week Street. Wendy’s has also got openings lined up in Guildford, Colchester and Peterborough, with the latter two set to be drive-thrus. Earlier this year, Gunther Plosch, chief financial officer at Wendy’s, said several franchises had been signed up for the UK market, and there had been “huge interest” by franchisees in its European expansion plans. Last August, the brand signed up Reef Kitchens as its first franchisee in the UK. The company said it had signed a development commitment with Reef to open and operate 700 delivery kitchens over the next five years across the US, Canada and the UK. It has already opened a number of dark kitchen sites with Reef in and around London, and has recently expanded its network to Birmingham and Manchester. 

Maven Leisure to open third site later this month: Maven Leisure, the venture from ETM Group’s co-founder Ed Martin, chief financial officer Landen Prescott Brann and non-executive chairman Graham Turner, will open its third site – Goldwood Sports Pub and Kitchen – later this month, in the City. Located in Old Jewry Street, the company said Goldwood “will deliver an unrivalled sport viewing experience in an electric atmosphere, all complemented by a premium food and drink offering”. It will feature an American-inspired food menu comprising “dishes perfect for sport viewing occasions, such as small plates and sharing platters, chicken wings in a variety of flavours, subs, burgers, pizza and salad”. The venue will span more than 9,000 square foot and accommodates 200 guests seated or just under 500 standing, boasting two bar areas as well as a mezzanine. The company said: “Unlike any other Maven sports bar, Goldwood will be the first venue to showcase horse racing in its dedicated Racing Corner, as well as all other popular sports including Formula One, football, rugby, the NFL, the UFC, cricket, and boxing. Goldwood will accept various forms of crypto currency as payment.” Martin said: “We’re honoured to be bringing Goldwood Sports Pub & Kitchen to the heart of Bank, one of the most historical and exciting spots in the City of London. Our aim is to create lasting experiences for all our guests.” Maven Leisure opened its second site – rooftop bar and restaurant Wagtail – in the former House of Fraser department store in King William Street, in the spring. The business, which last summer closed a £4.3m fundraise, made its debut with the opening of Beechwood Sports Pub & Kitchen on the former Drake & Morgan site, The Allegory in Principal Place. It is looking to add another three sites to its portfolio by February 2024.

Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan to open debut UK restaurant: Palestinian chef and hotelier Fadi Kattan is to open his debut UK restaurant. Kattan is launching Akub in Notting Hill in the former Malabar premises in Uxbridge Street, reports Hot Dinners. Described as a modern Palestinian restaurant, Akub is expected to showcase Kattan’s progressive take on Palestinian cuisine, taking inspiration from the land between the Jordan River, and the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Named after the akub plant, which is a mainstay of Palestinian culinary tradition, and will be on the menu in the UK, Kattan’s London restaurant “will use the best of fair trade sourced Palestinian producers alongside that of UK farmers close to London”.

Patty&Bun opens 11th and biggest site to date, in Canary Wharf: Patty&Bun, the better burger concept led by Joe Grossmann, has opened its 11th site, in London’s Canary Wharf. Based at the new 23-acre Wood Wharf development, the restaurant is Patty&Bun’s biggest yet, with 50 covers inside and a further 30 outside. Patty&Bun has also teamed up with brewery Forest Road to deliver the capital’s first “DIY Patty Kegs” – a five-litre or ten-litre keg delivered to tables with guests able to pour their own pints. Grossmann said: “It’s great to be able to extend the Patty family and be part of a sensational new and expanding community in such a lively area of London.” The Canary Wharf menu features all the Patty classics, alongside craft beer and cocktails, as well as its monthly specials. In addition, the site also houses Sidechick, its delivery-only, chicken focused, concept. The site is Patty& Bun’s third opening this year, following on from Northcote Road and Portobello Road.

Pizza Hut Delivery to roll-out vegan cheese alternative: Pizza Hut Delivery is rolling out Violife’s vegan alternative to cheese as a permanent option for its pizza across its 350-plus sites in the UK after a successful local trial earlier this summer. Neil Manhas, managing director and chief financial officer of Pizza Hut UK & Ireland, said: “At Pizza Hut, we’re always improving our menu choice without compromising on taste. We know meat-eaters and vegetarians alike are increasingly looking for more plant-based alternatives to our pizza menus, so we are continuously searching to bring delicious innovations to the table. With this new vegan cheese alternative rollout, we’re excited to now be able to offer more flexitarian and meat-free options while maintaining our signature branding and delicious flavour.” 

Chicken Shop to open Camden site this month: Chicken Shop, which was previously known as Chik’n but rebranded following its partnership with Soho House Group in March, will open its new site in Camden this month. The company will open the outlet in Camden High Street during the August bank holiday weekend. The menu will feature familiar offers such as the Straight Up – trademark fried chicken sandwiched between potato buns with fresh lettuce, buttermilk and herb mayo and pickles; as well as vegan-friendly options including Spicy Korean Vegan, with a plant-based fillet, spicy shake, gochujang mayo and kimchi slaw. Chief executive John Nelson said: “We’re thrilled to be opening a new restaurant in the heart of such a vibrant community. This takes us one step closer to our ultimate goal: to bring our unbeatable fried chicken to every Londoner.” Chicken Shop has sites in Baker Street, Islington, Notting Hill Gate and Soho along with delivery kitchens in Battersea and Wandsworth.

North Yorkshire hotel operator reports turnover and Ebitda boost as it builds back from pandemic: The company behind the Swinton Park hotel in North Yorkshire has reported it is building back from the pandemic, with turnover increasing to £5,694,271 for the year ending 31 January 2022, compared with £2,407,975 the previous year. Ebitda stood at £1,015,513 compared with minus £41,887 the year before. The business – which operates a hotel, restaurant, cookery school and spa – made a pre-tax profit of £723,216 compared with a loss of £356,065 the previous year. The business received government grants of £320,764 (2020: £778,584). Towards the end of the period, the company began the processing of upgrading and renovating the cookery school building to provide further accommodation.

Hospitality operator Fforest opens debut hotel: Hospitality operator Fforest has opened its first hotel across two grade II-listed former warehouses in west Wales. The family-run business, conceived by husband and wife James Lynch and Sian Tucker, runs three Fforest lifestyle retreat venues across Cardigan and, in town, apartments and culinary venues such as Pizzatipi. New hotel, The Albion, is located in Cardigan and sits directly on the River Teifi waterfront. In the first phase of opening, there is 12 double bedrooms in the Bridge warehouse with 11 further rooms and family suites available in the second Granary warehouse building next spring. The hotel is themed around Cardigan's maritime past. Other features to come will include an outdoor sauna and onsen, a Japanese inspired bathing facility, which is planned to open in December. Lynch said: “This has been a real passion project of mine over the pandemic. With funding from the Development Bank of Wales, the ambition was to restore the existing building; to emphasise its heritage qualities, its original and unique features, then design and craft spaces within the open floors that would embrace and complement those qualities.”

Sheffield operators open second site: Sheffield operators Tom and Ben Miller have opened their second site. The duo have launched Neepsend Social Club in Kelham Island. The new bar and restaurant, housed in 92 Burton Road, aims to reimagine the traditional social club and showcases a menu of British classics with a modern twist. It adds to the pair’s Slick Chicks restaurant in Cutlery Works. Tom Miller said: “The concept for the social club came from a trip to Denmark and in particular the large communal areas in the cities.” The duo were advised by BRM Solicitors.

Team behind Glasgow cocktail bar to open cafe: The team behind Glasgow cocktail bar The Gate has opened a cafe in the city. Hutch has launched in the Barras Market, offering a selection of filled morning rolls. From The McIver, a “Cubano sandwich given a Glasgow makeover” to the Captain Birdsaye, celebrating “Glasgow’s long-established love affair with the chippy”, the menu is a reflection of owner Andy Gemmell's love for his neighbourhood. He told the Glasgow Times: “I have been trying to get a cafe around the area for a while, so when the opportunity came to open one in the middle of The Barras I jumped at the chance. I love great pubs for their connection to the community and Glasgow cafes are exactly the same. I love the area; its history, the people, and its character.”

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