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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 21st Oct 2021 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Black Sheep Coffee plots US market entry following investment from NBA star: London-based coffee shop operator Black Sheep is planning to break into the North American market after receiving funding from basketball player Kristaps Porzingis, Propel has learned. The seven-foot-three Latvian, who plays in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks, is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes and a big fan of Black Sheep’s charitable initiatives as well as its coffee. “When I tried Black Sheep for the first time, I thought it was the best coffee I’ve had,” he said. “But what ultimately got me to invest is when I saw what they do for the homeless community with the Free Coffee Board Initiative, and for the environment by getting rid of plastic. This business is making the world a better place and I want to be a part of it.” Eirik Holth and Gabriel Shohet, Black Sheep’s co-founders and chief executives, added: “We’ve only ever raised money from individuals who share our company values. When we met Kristaps in Dallas, we hit it off right away and we couldn’t be happier to count him on board the Black Sheep team.” As well as supporting its entry into the US market, Porzingis’ involvement with Black Sheep comes at a time of rapid domestic growth for the company. Having taken four years to open its first four sites, Black Sheep last week opened four new locations in one day – two on Bishopsgate, one at Baker Street station, and one in Windsor. This follows openings in Birmingham’s Mailbox and Highbury and Islington station over the past week too. With more than 30 sites in London and close to 50 in total, the company is now focused on doubling the size of its estate by next summer, targeting a mix of major cities and regional towns. Black Sheep has raised more than £30m in investment since its founding in 2013 but has avoided institutional funding in a bid to remain independent. Porzingis’ cash injection comes as part of its latest £5m round of funding from private angel investors, and the NBA star joins original Spotify investor Tellef Thorleifsson, Coca-Cola Beverages Canada president Bill Schultz and World Series of Poker players Martin Jacobson and Mustapha Kanit as investors in the business.
 

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Toggle launches Toggle Time weekly support call: Hospitality commerce platform Toggle has launched a weekly operator support Zoom to help all operators make the most of gifting this Christmas. The call at 10.30am every Tuesday will support operators on understanding the creation of experiences and gifts in the run up to Black Friday and Christmas. Toggle has more than 300 operators using its platform to sell gifts, retail products and experiences, which integrates with Zonal, Comtrex, Tevalis, Cunninghams, Polaris, Access and many other partners. Toggle chief executive Dan Brookman said: “We saw a massive shift last year to hospitality gifting. Customers are looking to buy an experience that can be shared. More than 50% of sales through Toggle right now are experiences. Creating occasions and reasons for people to visit hospitality is core to operator activity.” Operators can register to join the call by clicking here. If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com
 
Host of music influenced concepts set to join updated Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies: A host of music influenced concepts are among the 68 new multi-site companies being 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, features Electric Group, a music venues company, which has secured its third site in Newcastle called NX Newcastle, which will feature four bars and access to a contained roof terrace. In addition, in the City of London, Record Bars has opened its fourth vinyl-themed venue that features two bars as well as two stages for live music. Also added this month is K&G Hospitality, which has opened its fourth site, called Amazing Grace, in London. The new venue will play host to UK and international talent and includes a food offering from catering partner Mr Bao. Premium subscribers will also receive a 6,000-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. The database 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 11,000-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. To subscribe, email jo.charity@propelinfo.com
 
Nicholls – inflation figures threaten to derail hospitality’s recovery: UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has warned that rising costs will put further pressure on already beleaguered operators, following the release of the latest inflation figures. The group calculates that cost price inflation across its members’ businesses was running at an annual rate of between 13% and 15% at the end of September. Wage bills are up by 11% to 13% and the price of food and drink is up 9% to 11%, while energy bills have, in some cases, almost doubled. “These inflation figures are extremely concerning for the sector, with costs for hospitality businesses across all lines rising by 11% to 13%,” said Nicholls. “Such rising costs have the potential to seriously derail the sector’s recovery and its ability to boost national recovery. It is inevitable that businesses will have no choice but to pass on some of this pressure to their customers through higher prices. Consequently, we urge the chancellor not to compound matters with tax increases in the form of business rates and a return to historic rates of VAT. Locking in the 12.5% rate for the long term for hospitality will avoid building in more sustained inflationary pressures across the economy.” The UK enjoyed short respite from rising inflation in September, with the annual rate dipping to 3.1% from 3.2 % in August, as restaurant prices rose less than the previous year, when the Eat Out To Help Out scheme ended. The decline in the rate will be temporary, however, as the level of prices in the UK levelled out for the five months following September last year, alongside this month's large increases in food, energy and fuel prices.

Up to 20,000 pubs at risk of failure and 200,000 jobs in jeopardy with planned tax increases, warns Long Live The Local campaign: Up to 20,000 pubs could be at risk of business failure putting 200,000 jobs in jeopardy if business rates are increased back to previous years, the government has been warned. This would be further compounded by VAT increasing from 12.5% to 20% and the planned increase to beer duty, according to the Long Live The Local campaign on the back of new research by CGA. The rate of pub closures is accelerating, with more than 1,000 having closed in the first half of this year, according to CGA. The initiative, supported by a wide alliance of Britain’s pubs and breweries is asking the government for lower VAT, beer duty and business rates to help pubs and breweries not only recover from the pandemic, but also accelerate the return to growth. David Cunningham, campaign director of Local Long Live Local, said: “Although pubs fully reopened in July, many are still operating at less than 90% of their 2019 trading levels and have large debts to pay and increasing costs. They need help not only to fully recover, but to thrive in the future. In return, thriving pubs and breweries will help Britain level up by delivering stronger economic growth, new investment and jobs.” The message was highlighted by model-turned-publican Jodie Kidd, who got behind the wheel of a special lorry loaded with beer kegs to deliver a 125,000-signature Long Live The Local campaign petition to Downing Street. Kidd said: “My own pub is still only operating at 30% of 2019 trading revenue levels. The whole pub and brewing sectors recovery is still extremely fragile, but next week Rishi Sunak has the chance to secure the future of up to 20,000 pubs at risk of business failure by reversing his plans to increase VAT and beer duty.” 
 
Starbucks encourages US staff to vote against unionising: Starbucks has been encouraging its US employees to vote against unionising, according to union group SBWorkers United. Five Starbucks locations in the Buffalo/Hamburg area recently filed for petition to unionise, but two have dropped out of the vote, reports Vice News. SBWorkers United has now tweeted a letter sent by Starbucks North America president Rossann Williams to the company’s employees, encouraging them to vote against unionising. “We are asking partners to vote no to a union – not because we’re opposed to unions but because we believe we will best enhance our partnership and advance the operational changes together in a direct partnership,” Williams said in the letter sent to employees via the company’s Partner Hub app. Starbucks has not commented on the letter but has said it believes all Starbucks workers in the Buffalo region should vote on unionisation. A date for the vote has not yet been set by the National Labour Relations Board. Employees at all 8,000 company-owned stores in the US have never been formally unionised in the long-term, and previous attempts have often resulted in illegal terminations and lawsuits.
 
Job of the day: COREcruitment is looking for a group commercial manager on behalf of a hospitality and retail business based in central London. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “The group commercial manager will support the identification and pursuit of opportunities to improve Ebitda performance with a primary focus on sales and gross profit levers. Focus will be on improving the offer and increasing efficiency, utilising analytical techniques and benchmarking to drive data-driven solutions. The role would suit an individual who has a track record of driving decision-making through analysis and someone with experience of drawing out business insights from analysis and presenting findings and recommendations persuasively to senior stakeholders. They will need to be able to bring innovative ideas to drive top and bottom line, testing, learning and refining and then operationalising them while having a holistic understanding of the external impacts on growth. Additionally, they will need to have good project management and communication skills, an innovative approach to change and transformation and a good understanding of delivering profit targets. The role is based in London and paying circa £60,000 plus bonus.” Anyone interested can email Oliwia@corecruitment.com
 

Company News:

OHH Pub Company MD to launch restaurant venture: Mark Warburton, managing director of West Country-based The OHH Pub Company, is to launch a restaurant venture in Bristol, Propel has learned. Warburton has acquired the former Graze restaurant site in Queens Square after agreeing a deal with St Austell Brewery. Warburton will launch The Cow & Sow, which will be a steak restaurant “with a twist”. The venue is expected to open in January following a refurbishment. “I feel now is not only the ideal time to diversify our offering, but I firmly believe our city centres, and restaurants in particular, are going to bounce back really strong having been hit particularly hard throughout the pandemic,” Warburton told Propel. “I am a huge fan of the Bristol dining scene and I can’t wait to be a part of it.” The restaurant will focus on prime cuts of beef and pork and provenance will be “key”. Warburton added: “The planned facelift will inject a real fresh vibe to accompany the brand as we will be looking to trade from brunch through to dinner, serving fresh coffee and light bites through to prime steaks, ribs and epic burgers.” OHH Pub Company operates four sites – The Rising Sun, Backwell; The Old House At Home, Burton; The Northey Arms, Box; and The Bear & Swan, Chew Magna. Warburton said: “Following a difficult 18 months for hospitality, a lot has changed in the world of OHH. Our pubs look better than ever and our teams are stronger than ever. We are looking to introduce operator partnerships into some of our pubs and we continue to look for additional sites to suit our ambitions to grow organically.”
 
Boston Tea Party now trading above pre-pandemic levels, two openings on horizon: All-day dining casual cafe brand Boston Tea Party (BTP) has bounced back to above pre-pandemic trading levels, the company has reported. BTP saw a 21% drop in net sales over its financial year ending October 2020 – £14.6m compared with £18.6m the year before. It ended the year with 23 cafes following the sale of two sites and the acquisition of two more, and following delays due to the pandemic, BTP is set to open in Leamington Spa next Thursday (28 October) and Torquay in early 2022. BTP chief executive Sam Roberts said: “At the start of the pandemic we recognised the need to set out some guiding principles, and since then the business’s decisions have been centred around them. They’ve helped us navigate the closing and reopening of the cafes, the use of the furlough scheme and the honest and open communication we had with the team throughout. We’re proud to have fought so fiercely to protect the team and ensured no one was made redundant.” BTP saw team turnover figures drop to 53.3% in the same period, and also benefited from the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with the support of Santander. By year-end it had drawn £2.5m in term debt, with an unused £1m overdraft facility and a further £1m in term debt undrawn and available. Post year-end, the company drew down the additional £1m term loan facility before its expiry to provide further working capital headroom. It has produced conservative forecasts and cash flows for the next 12 months that assumes modest growth on 2019 sales, and is confident it will withstand any further pressure caused by the pandemic.
 
Leon appoints new head of acquisitions as it prepares for next stage of growth: Natural fast food brand Leon, which is owned by EG Group, has promoted Beth Emmens to head of acquisitions. Emmens, who has worked at Leon for nine years, steps up to the new role, taking the reins from Adam Blaker, and will look after all new UK site acquisitions for the company within the core estate. Emmens joined Leon in October 2012 and alongside Blaker has been a key part of growing Leon to 70 sites. A run of new Leon openings is slated for this autumn including Kings Road, Camden, the brand’s first drive-thru in Gildersome in West Yorkshire, along with a concession at the new Asda on the Move site in Holtspur, Buckinghamshire. Leon managing director Glenn Edwards said: “Beth is a natural fit to take the lead as head of acquisitions, continuing Adam’s legacy making Leon even more accessible throughout the UK.” Emmens added: “I’m delighted to get back to looking for great new sites and bringing our naturally fast food to more people in London and across the UK. I’m working closely with the EG team on regional acquisitions to accelerate our growth outside of London, where there is a huge opportunity for us.” EG Group was founded by the billionaire Issa brothers in 2001 and acquired Leon in a circa £100m deal earlier this year.
Leon features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is updated monthly for Premium subscribers. Leon has turned over an average of £53.3m in the past five years. The Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks 427 companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. It also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. 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.
 
Red Oak Taverns secures £15m of growth capital: Red Oak Taverns, the national pub operator founded by Aaron Brown and Mark Grunnell in 2011, has secured £15m of growth capital. The funds have been provided by OakNorth Bank and a portion of the capital has already been used to acquire 11 pubs across the south east of England, including nine from Dorset brewer and retailer Hall & Woodhouse. The deal was announced last month. It represents Red Oak Taverns’ third pub portfolio acquisition of 2021, following the purchase of three pubs in the West Midlands from Reclamation Inns in January and ten tenanted pubs from Bedford-based brewer and retailer Wells & Co in March. Grunnell said: “Our acquisitions this year have highlighted our commitment to growing a quality pub estate throughout the UK by working with pub owners and family brewers in a professional and diligent way. The commitment to growing our business remains undiminished by the pandemic.” Red Oak Taverns now has 201 sites across the UK.
 
Your Friendly Local looks to add another two sites after taking on sixth Greene King pub: Multi-site pub operator Your Friendly Local, led by Chris Windle, is looking to add another two sites to its portfolio after taking on his sixth venue with Greene King Pub Partners. Your Friendly Local has acquired the lease of The Three Horseshoes in Headingley, which has undergone a £150,000 joint investment converting the Otley Run venue into a music and sports pub. Large screens have been introduced throughout and the décor celebrates the sporting history in the area. Windle said: “I operate six pubs with Greene King and am looking to extend this to eight with the company. When the Three Horseshoes came on the market, I grabbed the opportunity to take it.” Steve Look, operations director for Greene King multiples division, said: “Chris has been in this business for 42 years so he knows what he is doing. We are looking forward to seeing the Three Horseshoes go from strength to strength.” Your Friendly Local also operates the Droppingwell, Rotherham; the Liversedge in Liversedge; The Colin, Kimberworth; The Banner Cross in Sheffield; and The Cross Keys in York. Greene King Pub Partners operates 995 tenanted and leased pubs across England, Wales and Scotland and has a plan of investments for the next year.
 
Wasabi founder secures second UK site for Pelicana, looks to expand further into London: South Korean fried chicken brand Pelicana has signed for its second UK location, at Islington’s Angel Central, as part of its move to expand across London. The UK franchise rights to Pelicana are owned by Dong Hyun Kim, the founder of Wasabi. The ground floor of the 2,712 square-foot unit at Angel Central will be a takeaway, with the first floor a restaurant space seating 80 covers. The company, which was founded in South Korea in 1982, has more than 3,000 stores across Asia, Australia, China, Canada, and the US. It made its UK debut at Hammersmith Broadway earlier this year and is also planning openings in Clapham Junction and Wimbledon. Kim said: “Islington’s Angel Central is the perfect location to continue our growth within the UK. We are confident Angel Central’s shoppers and diners will enjoy our recipes, as we establish ourselves within the Islington community.” CBRE Investment Management owns Angel Central, and asset manager Ciara Daffy added: “Pelicana is a global phenomenon that will contribute something new to Angel Central, and it’s a sign of its confidence in the destination it’s chosen its second national location with us.” CBRE and CWM represent Angel Central for both retail and leisure enquiries.
 
Hoxton Bakehouse opens Farnham cafe, plans move into coffee market: Hoxton Bakehouse, the south coast-based concept led by Florence Hellier and Darren Bland, has opened its seven cafe, in Farnham, Surrey. The outlet in West Street serves the company’s range of bread, pastries and sandwiches. Hellier and Bland are also opening their own coffee roastery in Southampton, which signals a new era for Hoxton Bakehouse. Sourcing the finest beans from across the globe Hoxton Coffee House will focus on “challenging and raising the standards and expectations of the UK specialty coffee scene”. The company also operates a bakery in Southampton that supplies more than 60 hotels and restaurants as well as its cafes, which also include Bishops Waltham, Lymington, Petersfield, Southampton, Stockbridge and Winchester.
 
Papa John’s franchisee opens fourth site with Perth launch and plans more: Papa John’s has opened in Perth through multi-unit franchisee Nazim Vadiwala. The Scott Street site, which will create 20 jobs, is a fourth Papa John’s location for Vadiwala, who also runs units in Edinburgh, Whitley Bay and Clydebank. “Perth is a great new spot for us,” said Vadiwala. “The key to my success opening multi-unit stores is my team, and I have a very experienced area manager, Syed Salman, to oversee operations. I’m planning to open further stores in the next few years, growing my portfolio and creating many new job opportunities in the region.” Amit Pancholi, business development director Papa John’s UK, added: “We are looking forward to working with Nazim on developing future opportunities and realising our aligned goal of making the Papa John’s brand accessible to even more customers across the UK.” Founded in the US in 1984, Papa John’s now has more than 5,000 stores across 40 countries, including 500 in the UK. 
 
Largest bakery and cafe chain in Israel to make UK debut next year: Roladin, the largest bakery and cafe chain in Israel, is to make its UK debut next year, with an opening near London’s Leicester Square. The concept, which operates circa 95 sites in Israel, has secured the former Patisserie Valerie site in Charing Cross Road, next to Leicester Square tube station. The concept, which is famous for its gourmet doughnuts, was founded in 1989 by brothers Kobi and Avi Hakak. Raven Rose acted on the deal. 
 
Urban Pubs & Bars to open 21st site next week, three more planned in the coming months: London operator Urban Pubs & Bars will open its 21st site in the capital, Nest, next week, with three more to follow soon. Nest, which launches on Friday, 29 October, will be based in Bishopsgate, set over two floors and with space for 220 guests, while executive chef Max Holba will be serving an all-day dining menu of modern European cuisine. Urban Pubs & Bars co-founder Nick Pring said: “Nest will be the latest addition to our growing portfolio of City bars, joining Fleets, which opened on 17 May, and the now established Juno Rooms. It will be the perfect complement to the group, with another three sites planned to open in the coming months..” Founded in 2014 by Pring and Malcolm Heap, Urban Pubs & Bars has expanded to an estate of 20 pubs, bars and restaurants across London, including the 2018 acquisition of the Salt Yard Group. In August, Propel revealed Urban Pubs & Bars had entered into partnership with Davidson Kempner and Global Mutual to support and accelerate the growth of the company, including plans for expansion outside London. The first new site under the Salt Yard umbrella is due to open in Westfield London in November, while Bat & Ball, the sports bar and experiential games hall that started as a pop-up in Stratford, is due to move into a permanent home in the vacant Café Football site next door, opening in January.
 
Shaftesbury reports further reduction in available-to-let vacancy as London rebounds from lockdown: West End landlord Shaftesbury has announced a further reduction in available-to-let vacancy as London rebounds from lockdown. The company said available-to-let vacancy was 2.9% of portfolio estimated rental value at 30 September. This marks a drop from 4.6% at 31 July. The indicative external valuation of the wholly-owned portfolio was £3bn, an increase of £165m in the six-month period since March. Upper floors now only account for 33% of available-to-let vacancy, compared with 64% at 31 March. Chief executive Brian Bickell said: “The rebound in footfall and trading across our locations reported in our August update has continued, boosted by the rapidly growing return of the local office-based workforce. Occupancy levels are benefiting from the robust recovery in occupier demand and leasing activity for both commercial and residential accommodation across our meticulously curated, popular West End locations.” Bickell said the indicative wholly-owned portfolio valuation showed a like-for-like increase of about 5% since March, with a revival of the West End gathering pace.
 
Bodega Rita’s owners open long-awaited Soho restaurant: Missy Flynn and Gabriel Pryce, owners of deli and sandwich store Bodega Rita’s, have opened their long-awaited restaurant, in Soho. The duo have launched Rita’s in Lexington Street – almost a year since announcing the plans and a decade after the original pop-up in Dalston. The menu includes grilled sugar pit pork collar, whole fish a la plancha, and steak dinner for two served with all the trimmings. The drinks list, created by Flynn, features wine and a cocktail menu that draws reference from Mexico and North America. Flynn said: “I’ve had a lot of time and opportunity to think about the kind of restaurant I want to be a part of. I’ve always considered Rita’s to be a place of genuine admiration and learning for the cultures and culinary practices we explore. Since I’m not a chef, my inspiration comes mostly from the social spaces in communities that have food and drink at their centre, and that is what I really hope Rita’s is and can become for those who have not yet experienced it.” Bodega Rita’s made its return to London when it opened in Clerkenwell in June having shut its original venue in King’s Cross.
 
Gareth Bale announces site switch and opening date for mini-golf bar and restaurant concept: Football star Gareth Bale’s mini-golf bar and restaurant project now has a new site in Cardiff, as well as a planned spring 2022 opening date. When Par 59 was originally announced last year, the plan was for the venue to be based in the 18,000 square foot basement of the Capitol Shopping Centre in Cardiff city centre, with draft plans including two mini-golf courses, two large bar and dining rooms and two independent street food kitchens. Following a number of delays due to the pandemic, work on the original site stalled, during which time a new, larger premises came to market. The Par 59 team decided to scale up their ambitions, and it will now be based at the 23,000 square foot site of the former Liquid/Life nightclub in St Mary Street. With the extra 5,000 square feet acquired, the team will add another mini-golf course – taking the venue from two 12-hole courses up to three nine-hole ones – and a billiards room. The concept is the result of a partnership between Bale’s company, Elevens Group, and Welsh independent entertainment brand The Depot. Nick Saunders, founder and managing director of The Depot, said: “The last 18 months have been a huge challenge, and the delays have been stressful and frustrating, putting all of our original plans back. However, we are committed to Par 59 and look forward to the final push as we prepare to open.” Par 59 marks a second step into the hospitality sector for Welsh international Bale following the opening of Elevens Bar & Grill in Cardiff in 2017.
 
Brook Leisure adds Yorkshire Dales hotel to portfolio, group looks to expand further: Barnsley-based Brook Leisure Group has acquired the Aysgarth Falls Hotel, an 11-bedroom coaching inn and restaurant in Wensleydale, in the northern end of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The previous owners, Steve and Heather Swann, sold up after ten years at the helm as they are looking to go into semi-retirement while focusing on their holiday lets. Brook Leisure, which runs a portfolio of upmarket bars, restaurants and leisure venues across the region, has big plans for the venue and have brought in Tristan Prudden as head chef and Daniel Williams as general manager. Founded in 1993 by Jason and Martin Brook, Brook Leisure Holdings, as it was the called, was once reported to be the largest independent operator in the UK, running 23 venues in 2005. Having stepped back from the leisure side of the business and then returned with a new entity, Brook Leisure Group, in 2016, the pair are starting to identify potential new sites and plan to expand once more. The company currently runs Crystal in Sheffield, Frank & Stein in Doncaster and Che Bar, CoCo and The Pavilion in Barnsley. Christie & Co acted on the Aysgarth Falls Hotel deal.
 
Former Kettner’s Townhouse chef sets up permanent home for Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Barletta: Barletta, the pop-up restaurant at Dreamland in Margate from former Kettner’s Townhouse chef Jackson Berg and Natalia Ribbe, has set up a permanent home. The all-day dining restaurant has opened within Turner Contemporary in the Kent town. Barletta, which is named after a small seaside town in Puglia, offers a seasonally inspired menu “that champions the very best of British and the Mediterranean”. Lunch options include freshly made sandwiches and salads while the dinner menu features slow braised Swaledale lamb shoulder ragu served with cavatelli, parmesan and breadcrumbs; and salt baked celeriac with caramelised cauliflower squash seeds and wonky parsnip farm salad. The wine list focuses on regions in and around the Mediterranean alongside a concise cocktail menu. Ribbe said: “Following the success of our summer rooftop pop-up, we felt it was the right time to root ourselves in the community even more. Jackson and I love everything about the vibe and scene in Margate. Setting up shop within the Turner Contemporary in such a prime seafront location was the perfect opportunity for us to share everything we love about food and drink.” Barletta also houses a quarterly changing series of local artists’ work as well as a small deli selling local produce. Berg also operated “moveable restaurant” Xiringuito in Margate in 2016. He also worked at Fifteen and St John Bread and was head chef at Bistrotheque.

Wing Shack to open first permanent combined site with sister concept Eggs ‘n’ Stuff, second outlet to follow: Wings-based concept Wing Shack is opening its first combined site with sister concept Eggs ‘n’ Stuff – with another to follow. The site is opening in the space next to The Horatia pub in Holloway, north London, from late October. In the mornings Eggs ‘n’ Stuff will serve breakfast and brunch. Wing Shack then takes over the menu from lunchtime, serving its wings alongside burgers and sides. The Wing Shack and Eggs ‘n’ Stuff venue in Holloway Road will offer takeaway, collection and delivery via Deliveroo. A few high 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 growing across the capital over the past few years 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 store in March this year in what is now its combined permanent home with Wing Shack. 

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