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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 26th Feb 2018 - Wagamama signs for third and fourth New York locations
Wagamama signs for third and fourth New York locations: Wagamama has signed leases totalling 14,000 square feet at two high-profile New York Midtown office towers for its third and fourth Manhattan locations – the sites are located at Fisher Brothers’ 1345 Sixth Avenue and 605 Third Avenue Both restaurants will move into space formerly occupied by bank branches. The larger space is at Sixth and 55th Street in a near two million square foot tower that Fisher is upgrading at a cost of $65m. The project includes a new lobby and public spaces highlighted by a fountain-centered “front porch”. The asking rent for the two-level Wagamama space was $250 per square foot, said Newmark Knight Frank managing director Jared Lack, who represented the tenant. Wagamama opened its first New York site in 2016 at 210 Fifth Avenue in Flatiron, followed by one at 55 Third Avenue in the East Village. The 15-year lease at 1345 Sixth Avenue is the latest marquee deal on the Avenue of the Americas, where the office-leasing scene is thriving and retail vacancies are few. Wagamama USA managing director Burton Heiss described 1345 Sixth Avenue “ideal for our New York City flagship”. He credited Jessica Kalimian, his company’s head of real estate, for being “instrumental in finishing this deal”. Heiss added: “When Jared Lack proposed the additional opportunity at 605 Third, we ended up with two incredible locations in premier Midtown buildings.” Both Wagamamas are to open next winter and will have outdoor seating. Turnover in Wagamama’s restaurant business in the US increased 52.9% (48.4% in USD terms) to £5.2m ($6.7m) in H1 2017/18 from £3.4m ($4.5m) in the first half of 2016/17, reflecting growth in like-for-like sales and the opening of three new restaurants in New York City and Boston since the first half of 2016/17. Meanwhile, Wagamama has opened an outlet in one of the world’s largest and busiest shopping malls, The Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is its fifth restaurant in Dubai and 13th Middle East opening in as many years. Located in the Star Atrium of the iconic mall, Wagamama is situated close to the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. The 156-cover site is in excess of 370 square metres and includes an outdoor terrace. The design follows the style of Wagamama’s London flagship branch in Covent Garden and includes an open kitchen and bench seating. “The Middle East represents an exciting opportunity for Wagamama,” said Brian Johnston, managing director of Wagamama International. “Our cooked-to-order fresh dishes have a strong appeal and guests love the theatre of the open kitchen. Together with our franchise partners RMAL Hospitality we are establishing a strong brand presence in Dubai.” Mandeep Sandhu, group marketing manager of RMAL Hospitality, which is the franchise partner for the brand in the UAE, said: “The arrival of Wagamama in The Dubai Mall is a significant moment for the brand as we continue our expansion across the UAE. We are extremely excited to bring our fresh, Japanese-inspired cuisine to this world-renowned tourist and leisure location.” 

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