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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 3rd Aug 2016 - Draft House to open first site outside London in Milton Keynes
Draft House to open first site outside London in Milton Keynes: Draft House, the craft beer concept led by Charlie McVeigh and backed by sector investor Luke Johnson, will open its tenth pub, and its first outside London, in Milton Keynes this October. McVeigh has negotiated the purchase of a large former JD Wetherspoon pub at the entrance to Milton Keynes’ Hub district, where Turtle Bay, Las Iguanas and other major brands are located. He said: “Our concept for the site is inspired by the environment, history and contemporary culture of Milton Keynes – with the original plans for the new town aligning Midsummer Boulevard to the summer solstice. We want to embrace the cosmic personality of Milton Keynes as the ‘The little Los Angeles in Buckinghamshire’ by bringing LA-sized structures into the pub through projecting billboards, super-sized neons and airport style floor graphics. Milton Keynes is home to 500 corporate HQs and the longest shopping centre in the country but lacks a great craft beer pub. We aim to fill that gap with our trademark good food, great beer and real people.” Draft House Milton Keynes will also mark an extension of the group’s tank beer relationship with Pilsner Urquell, and the site will feature large copper tanks full of unpasteurised brewery-fresh lager brought over weekly by tanker from Plzen in the Czech Republic. On the food front, the site will serve ‘tried and tested Draft House classics’, such as foot-long scratchings, char-pit ribs, the Mexi-Cali salad and ‘the best burgers this side of the pond’. McVeigh added: “In particular I’d like to extend a warm welcome to any Milton Keynes and Bucks writers who’d like to come down to London ahead of our launch to see what we’re all about – I’d be proud to show you round and pick up the tab on some beers and a hot meal!” Of the thinking behind Draft House, McVeigh has previously stated: “Britain is full of public houses of all shapes, sizes and varieties, but I felt we’d lost something special in recent years from British life and I wanted to provide a place that recaptured my idea of the perfect public house.”

Planning permission granted for Easyhotel in Ipswich: Easyhotel, the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of “super budget” branded hotels, has been granted planning permission for a 94-room Easyhotel at 3-5 Northgate Street in Ipswich. Easyhotel’s purchase of the freehold of the building is expected to complete in the coming weeks. The hotel is expected to open in September 2017.

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