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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 1st Nov 2021 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day: 

Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit returns for 2022: Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit is returning for its fourth edition, and tickets are now on sale. The event is a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, aiming to build a community, promote the sharing of ideas, recognise talent and define the future of eating out. Bookings are now open for the two-day conference as the centrepiece of the January event series, taking place on 18 and 19 January at One Moorgate Place in London. The conference will focus on marcomms strategies, proposition and concept development, the latest market insights, technology and digital developments, diversification of revenue streams and how brands are adapting to the new normal. It is designed for marketing, development and innovation teams, as well as senior executives and investors wanting to better understand the latest marketing, innovation and development opportunities to build market share and grow. More than 55 industry and agency leaders take to the stage over two days, representing brands including Arc Inspirations, BrewDog, Coco di Mama, Compass Group, Côte Brasserie, Dishoom, Dodo Brands, Elior, Ennismore, Greene King, Hawksmoor, Hilton, Lane 7, London Cocktail Club, Mission Mars, Pho Restaurants, Pizza Pilgrims, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Punch Pubs, TGI Fridays, The Alchemist, Vapiano & Yo! Sushi. Day one themes will be consumer and sector trends, strategy, innovation and digital evolution, while day two focuses on campaigns, concept, causes, communication, New Product Development and revenue diversification. A more detailed agenda can be found here. Tickets for operators for the two days are £575 plus VAT and £345 plus VAT for one day. Tickets for suppliers are £795 plus VAT for the two days and £445 plus VAT for one day. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Jo Charity at Propel on or calling her on 01444 817691.

Industry News: 

Fourth edition of The New Openings Database to show details of 307 new sites, 15,000-word report included: The fourth edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, will show the details of 307 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published on Friday (5 November), at midday. The database shows the details of which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location. There will also be a website link to the businesses so you can find out more about them. It is published on a monthly basis. In the fourth edition of this database, it features several international growth brands making their UK debut, new and expanding luxury leisure concepts, unique cuisine and regional brands in growth. For the first time this month, Premium subscribers will also receive a 15,000-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to two other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, was sent to Premium subscribers last Friday (29 October). The database contained 66 new companies, bringing the total number of businesses listed up to 2,152. The 446 sites run by those 66 new additions means the entire database of sites has reached 61,740 sites. Premium subscribers also received a 5,000-word report on the new businesses added. The go-to database 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. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Premium subscribers also receive the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated every month, 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; 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 to sign up.

Hospitality sector faces a ‘unique opportunity for considerable growth’: Private equity investment firm Growthdeck believes the surplus of lower cost leisure space available gives scope for pubs and bars to see a profitable rebound. This follows research showing the amount of money lent by UK pub and bar owners to keep their own businesses afloat last year hit £138m. Growthdeck’s study shows that 1,730 UK pubs and bar companies ran so short of cash and other finance that their directors have had to make loans to them from their own personal resources, many in excess of £200,000, in spite of government-backed lending schemes such as CBILS and BBLS. These schemes have not always proved fruitful as lenders favoured other sectors, such as tech and healthcare, while even pubs and bars operating at a profit have found it increasingly difficult to borrow. Steve Talbot, investment director at Growthdeck, said: “The pub and bar sector has endured a difficult 18 months. Many owners have had to use their own money to stay in business as traditional funding options have been restricted. However, the hospitality sector now faces a unique opportunity. The impact of the pandemic on the high street has led to an excess of prime sites at attractive rents and much less onerous lease terms. A lot of competition has been removed from the industry, and the prospect of a bounce back in trading for the right concepts looks strong. Investors should not underestimate the considerable growth potential of the hospitality sector.” Earlier this summer, Growthdeck closed £4.3m of growth funding for new bar group Maven Leisure, completing the investment firm’s largest single raise. Maven is looking to open at least seven bars in London with the funding, structured as £2.3m in EIS-qualifying equity and £2m in mezzanine debt.

Wales First Minister warns hospitality sector of possible covid passports: The First Minister of Wales has talked up the potential of covid passes and teased a return of stricter measures, as covid restrictions look set to tighten in the country following a surge in hospitalisations. Labour’s Mark Drakeford warned the harm from coronavirus in the Welsh community remains “real” as he set out further measures that could be taken to bring numbers back down on Friday. He said within the government, there was in communication with hospitality venues about the potential for the use of covid passes in the sector. He also discussed a return to enforced work-from-home rules for those capable in the coming weeks. Speaking on Sky News, Mr Drakeford said: “We have to make a concerted effort over the next three weeks to bring those numbers down.” It comes as Wales reported more than 680 people in hospitals with covid-19 on 27 October.  Positive case numbers have also been at their highest recorded total since the pandemic began this month, although numbers have dipped in recent days to fewer than 2,600.
Staff at three US Starbucks stores take step towards union creation: Workers at three Starbucks locations in New York have scored a victory in their campaign for union membership. The stores in the Buffalo area of the city will hold separate vote-by-mail elections from 10 November and ending on 8 December, to vote on whether to unionise, according to a decision from the National Labor Relations Board. Workers will need only a majority of votes cast at a single location to form a union – Starbucks had argued that employees at all 20 Buffalo-area stores would need to vote in a single election. There are roughly 128 employees at the three participating stores, according to a filing from the board. If successful, the stores will be the first among Starbucks’ 8,000 company-owned stores to unionise. Starbucks, which rejects the union effort, said in a statement that the company’s success “has come from our working directly together as partners, without a third party between us.” The statement added: “We remain focused on supporting our partners as well as maintaining open, transparent and direct conversations throughout the process.”

Job of the day: COREcruitment is currently working with a luxury lifestyle and leisure business looking for a director for its London business. The role will require full financial responsibility for a £10m business, board level strategy and hands-on operations. It is based in central London and offers a creative, dynamic and engaging environment to guests and employees. The position would suit an operations director or managing director-level candidate looking for a progressive and autonomous position. The ideal candidate will have luxury hospitality or fine dining experience and be looking for a challenging yet rewarding long-term position. Salaries between £120,000 and £150,000, plus a great package, will be considered. Email for a confidential chat.

Company News: 

Wasabi founder Dong Hyun Kim to step away from the business: Wasabi has announced that Dong Hyun Kim, who founded the business in 2003, will be stepping away from the business to focus on developing his other business interests. Propel has learned that while remaining a minority shareholder and director in Wasabi, Kim will no longer play an executive role in the company. Following the investment by Capdesia in May 2019 and the subsequent appointment of Henry Birts as chief executive in November 2019, Kim took a step back from day-to-day involvement in the business. He has since started two new restaurant concepts – Pelicana and Kineya, which he intends to expand across London and the UK. Birts said: “On behalf of the entire company and its shareholders, we would like to congratulate Mr Kim personally for everything that he has achieved in his extraordinary career, and thank him for the immense contribution he has made to building Wasabi over so many years. With a strong and experienced leadership team in place and the steadfast backing of our investors, we are now well placed to take Wasabi on the next phase of its journey. We will do so always honouring the essence of Mr Kim’s creation and his personal legacy. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours and are sure he will be hugely successful with his new ventures.” South Korean fried chicken brand Pelicana recently signed for its second UK location, at Islington’s Angel Central, as part of its move to expand across London. Kineya Mugimaru, the Japanese udon noodle brand, launched in the UK, in London’s St Pancras International, last December.

Chakra secures fourth London site: Indian restaurant concept Chakra, which is led by Arjun Varma – founder of V8 Gourmet restaurant group, operator of the Bombay Bicycle Club brand – has secured its fourth site in London, in Maida Vale. The company, which opened its debut site in Kensington in 2012, has secured a site at 14 Formosa Street. The company also operates sites in Kingston-upon-Thames and Barnes, plus a delivery unit, Chakra To Go, in Wimbledon. Varma, who also founded the Indian restaurant Vama in Chelsea, previously said he had plans to open 15 restaurants and delivery sites under the Chakra brand across the capital and beyond. The brand’s menu features dishes such as Chakra Channa (Assam tea-infused chickpea with channa masala and tomatoes), and fish moile (Kerala-style sea bream in coconut milk gravy). CDG Leisure acted on the Maida Vale deal. Asian fusion concept Ugly Dumpling to open Fitzrovia site: Asian fusion concept Ugly Dumpling is to open its second restaurant site in London, in Fitzrovia. The concept, which was founded by Ping Wong in collaboration with investment partner Philipp Chaykin, is understood to have secured 30 Rathbone Place for its second bricks-and-mortar site. The concept, which operates across several street markets in the capital, launched a 700 square-foot site in Newburgh Street, split over two levels, at the site formerly occupied by barbecue restaurant Pitt Cue, in 2017. Wong formerly worked at Raymond Blanc’s Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison. 

Mark Sargeant leaves The Pickled Egg Pub Company: Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant has announced he has left his Kent-based vehicle The Pickled Egg Pub Company, which operates Rocksalt in Folkestone, due to “unresolvable differences of opinion” with his business partner. Owned by Sargeant and Josh De Haan, The Pickled Egg Pub Company’s sites also included the Duke William at Ickham, The Wife Of Bath in Wye, and The Smokehouse in Folkestone. In November 2019, the business acquired The Five Bells at Brabourne, The Radnor Arms in Folkestone and The Woolpack Inn at Warehorne, from Ramblinns. Taking to Instagram to announce his departure from the business, Sargeant said: “I would like to let you all know and with a heavy heart that due to unresolvable differences of opinion between my business partner and I, we both feel that it’s time to go our separate ways. I shall be moving on to pastures new, but the businesses will all continue as normal. It’s been the most incredible 12 years building this mini empire and I am very sad to move on, but the time has come for me to find a new challenge. Thanks for all the support over what has been the most amazing chapter of my life so far!” The celebrity chef, who was born in Kent and grew up in Larkfield, opened Rocksalt more than a decade ago, in June 2011.

Stockton site becomes busiest Five Guys in the world: A new drive-thru Five Guys sites in Stockton-on-Tees has become the company’s busiest site in the world. It has overtaken a flagship Paris site, on the Champs Elysees, which was reported to be turning over €303,000 a week in 2017. In his Premium Diary, Propel insights editor Mark Wingett wrote: “For a while the UK debut site of Five Guys, in London’s Covent Garden, held the title as the most profitable restaurant for the US better burger brand in the world. This was until the group opened its flagship site in France, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. However, Diary now understands that a UK-based site has now wrestled back the crown. Step forward the brand’s debut drive-thru site in the UK, in Stockton-on-Tees, which opened earlier this summer. With six pay points, staff that are taking orders from queuing consumers and others directing traffic, the brand sees the site as an evolution of the traditional drive-thru format. Initial reaction has been so good that in its first week it became the group’s best performing site in the world.” 

Roadchef could sell for £1bn: Motorway services giant Roadchef could be about to change hands for up to £1bn. The Mail on Sunday reported: “City sources said its owner – a French infrastructure and private equity firm called Antin – has appointed advisers from Australian investment bank Macquarie to find a buyer for the business. Roadchef is the third largest motorway service area operator in the UK after Welcome Break and Moto. It runs around 30 service stations across Britain. The company was originally set up in the early 1970s by Lindley Catering Investments and Galleon World Travel. Roadchef then grew through a series of takeover deals, including the acquisition of Take a Break and Blue Boar, the fourth largest operator of service stations in Britain. Antin bought Roadchef – where motorists can refuel, use the toilets and buy food from brands ranging from McDonald's to Leon and Krispy Kreme – for £153million in 2014. The business has grown substantially since then, with the company forecast to generate operating profits of around £50m in 2022. The sale of Roadchef comes shortly after Antin floated on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, with the company raising around €550m from the listing. The company runs four funds that invest in infrastructure in Europe and North America, with a focus on energy, the environment, telecommunications and transportation.”

Ben Tish joins Cubitt House as chef director, new London sites planned: Chef Ben Tish has joined the board of London gastropub operator Cubitt House as chef director, as the group looks to continue its London expansion. Tish, a former chef director and partner at the Salt Yard Group, last month left his role as culinary director at the Norma Restaurant in Fitzrovia and The Stafford London in St James. His priority will be to ensure each of Cubitt House’s current portfolio of six pubs has a distinctive menu and will oversee their development alongside Richard Sandiford, previously of Hawksmoor and The Double Red Duke, who will focus his attention on new openings. Tish joins the executive team at Cubitt House at the same time as Lucky Onion group founders and Country Creatures owners Sam and Georgie Pearman, as Propel revealed last month. Sam will focus on the operational side of the business while Georgie will take charge of the re-development of the existing portfolio and new sites. The new ventures include turning the former Pomona’s site in Notting Hill into The Princess Royal and launching The Barley Mow in Mayfair, both next year – taking the group’s estate to eight sites. It also plans to refurbish The Alfred Tennyson in Belgravia and The Orange in Pimlico but will first focus on The Coach Makers Arms in Marylebone. The venue will continue operating as a traditional pub on the ground floor, with a 60-cover restaurant offering a chophouse-style menu on the first floor and a cocktail bar for up to 50 guests on the lower ground floor. Also joining the executive team are Montana Fogg founders Seb Fogg and Laura Montana, with Fogg as managing director and Montana as openings director. The pair have been involved in restaurants including Sexy Fish, Monkey Bar New York, 34 Restaurant, Soho House West Hollywood, The Delaunay and Isabel Mayfair. Sam Pearman said: “It’s a thrilling prospect to be working alongside the best in the business and to be tasked with creating something special at some of London’s most iconic pubs, but also to be growing the company over the next few years with more central London properties.” Georgie Pearman added: “It feels great to be thinking about and planning the growth of Cubitt House, given the challenging times our industry has faced in recent years.” Vanessa Hall stepped down as Cubitt House chair in August, having been drafted into the same role at fast-growing leisure company Gravity Active.

McDonald’s reports supply chain issues affecting Chicken Legend: McDonald’s has restricted availability of its Chicken Legend burger due to ongoing supply chain issues. The company initially said supply chain woes were “impacting the availability” of the Chicken Legend and that it was working hard to return the item as soon as possible. In a later statement to Mail Online it said the item should still be available inside restaurant chains, just not for delivery orders. It comes as a severe lack of HGV drivers, congestion at global trading ports and new post-Brexit trading and immigration rules are continuing to hamper the UK’s economic recovery as it exits the covid pandemic. The issues, which include stock and staff shortages, could continue for the next six to nine months, according to Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame. His comments came as diners across the country reported a shortage of salt sachets, complaining of having to bring their own salt at JD Wetherspoon. A McDonald's spokesperson said: “Like most retailers, we are currently experiencing some supply chain issues. This is impacting the availability of the Chicken Legend, so we have made the decision to remove this product from our delivery menu across the UK and Ireland in the short term. The product is still available to purchase in restaurants. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank our customers for their continued patience. We are working hard to return the item to our delivery menu as soon as possible.”

Putt Club opens fifth crazy golf site: Putt Club has opened its fifth site, this time in Leicester, featuring its trademark motorsport-themed holes. Putt Club launched on Saturday at the TeamSport karting venue in New Star Road, Leicester – the fifth to be opened by go-karting company TeamSport. According to the company, the crazy golf attraction combines TeamSport’s expertise of operating first class leisure venues with the creative know-how of one of the UK’s top theatrical set designers, to offer players a totally unique and immersive experience. Putt Club is situated alongside the TeamSport track at Unit 8, 2 New Star Road, Leicester. Other Putt Club locations are Watford, Hull, Edmonton and London Docklands.

Street Feast left debts of £2.1m when it went into administration: Street-food operator Street Feast, founded by Jonathan Downey in 2012 and since renamed 100 Clifton, went into administration with debts of around £2.1m including unpaid salaries, rents and tax, with £52,000 cash in the bank. Its venues included Hawker House in Canada Water; Giant Robot in Canary Wharf; Model Market in Lewisham and Dinerama in Shoreditch. Downey told The Evening Standard he lost eight years of his life and a paper fortune pegged at £25 million from the collapse, but nevertheless intends to revive the concept once the threat of further lockdowns has fully lifted. The Incipio Group is turning the Giant Robot site into a City version of its Pergola restaurant concept, while Dinerama is being developed into a 12-storey hotel and office block. He said: “The business was killed because of the lockdowns and government restrictions. We also had some very difficult landlords. Some of them have now brought in new operators, a bit like a cuckoo taking over someone else’s nest. Dinerama was a car park. It was 12000 square feet of concrete. We got a licence, planning permission, spent a million pounds building that site. Then some other company gets to take it over because we can no longer operate due to covid restrictions. We’ve been completely screwed over, but we’ll be back.”

Wetherspoon confirms Bourne opening next to two Redcat pubs: Redcat Pub Company, the pub vehicle led by former Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand, will face stiff competition in Bourne, Lincolnshire, after JD Wetherspoon confirmed it will start work this month on a long-awaited new pub. Wetherspoon purchased the two adjacent shops between 44-48 North Street several years ago and was granted planning permission earlier this year to change the use of the two buildings to a public house. RedCat Pub Company owns the two nearest pubs, Smith’s of Bourne and Jubilee Garage, having bought them a few months ago from local pub operator Michael Thurlby. The long-awaited Bourne outlet has suffered some delay as plans were pushed back during the pandemic. Now the pub is due to open on 26 April next year, with builders set to descend on the site from 8 November. The development is part of a £200m investment the company made pre-pandemic into smaller towns, such as Bourne, as part of plans to create 10,000 jobs nationally. The Bourne pub will be called The Raymond Mays after the man who put Bourne on the motor racing map through his success at races throughout the 20th century. Mays, together with fellow car enthusiasts Humphrey Cook and Peter Berthon, also established English Racing Automobiles (ERA) in 1933 and their cars, built in Bourne, were used in national and international races.

Soho House given consent to build 20 single bedroom huts at £100m Soho Farmhouse investment: Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire has been granted planning permission to build 20 single bedroom huts to increase occupancy capacity. The venue has been given the green light to transform the site of a former camping field and football pitch into the new bedrooms, adding to the site’s collection of cabins, farm buildings, gym, restaurants and walled garden cottages. An accompanying statement says Soho Farmhouse has near 100% occupancy for overnight stays and a healthy waiting list for membership to its gym, pool, spa and wider facilities. A plan to enlarge the club’s wellness facilities has also been submitted, which would see an existing natural mill pond and infrared sauna pods installed alongside four new hot tubs in and around the landscape. Located between the gym and spa is a small island where members and guests currently have access to a sauna, steam room, two hot tubs, an ice house and outdoor showers. The statement added: “The investment by Soho House of over £100m to date has directly created over 400 jobs within West Oxfordshire and many hundreds more through the local supply chain for goods and services.” The proposed improvements will create an additional 16 full-time jobs.

Greggs mounts £100m insurance claim: Greggs has mounted a £100m legal claim against the Swiss insurance giant Zurich after a disagreement over a covid-related payout. The Sunday Times reported: “The chain, which has more than 2,000 shops across the UK, claims it is owed the payout as compensation for when its stores had to close due to government-enforced lockdowns. But according to filings lodged in the High Court last week, Zurich instead thinks Greggs should receive just £2.5m. The court battle is the latest clash between companies and their insurers during covid. Last year, a group of businesses that had cover through Hiscox launched legal action after it told hundreds of businesses that they were not insured for a pandemic. But in January, the Supreme Court ruled that in most cases, insurers should pay up. According to the latest filing, Greggs wants Zurich to compensate it for business-interruption costs and expenses, as well as costs associated with public relations crisis management. It wants £100m, or at least £50m. Last year, Greggs benefited from £18.8m in rates relief and £87m of furlough support while its shops were shut. It has said it will repay about £5m of the furlough support. The company made pre-tax profits of £55.5m in the six months to 3 July compared to a £65.2m loss last year.” Zurich said it is “confident we have responded to this claim fairly and consistently in line with the test case last summer”.

Lynchburger opens third site: Better burger brand Lynchburger has opened it third site, this one located on Enterprise Way, Newport. Lynchburger was founded in 2021 by entrepreneur Ryan Lynch, who is also the owner of Dough, a four-strong north west based pizza company which has been billed by the Liverpool Echo as “the pizza company scousers think is better than Domino’s”. Lynchburger came about after Lynch travelled across the USA and experienced “the finest burger cuisine”. After two years of recipe development and several pop-ups later, Lynchburger was established. The brand has two sites in Liverpool. 

Kerridge reduces cost of Christmas turkey boxes: Chef Tom Kerridge has sliced more than £100 off his cook-at-home Christmas turkey boxes following a backlash. Last year, Kerridge charged £350 plus £30 delivery for a three-course box which fed between four and six. This year he has priced his premier festive offering at £175. This will serve 12 to 14, and delivery is free. The goodies include a 6kg free range whole bronze turkey with trimmings. A 5kg whole turkey box is £160 and a 4kg turkey box is £145.

Apartment Group opens £1m Newcastle bar: Apartment Group opened its £1m ChachaBuchi bar on Friday. The venue has taken over the former Florita’s bar on the city’s Collingwood Street as part of The Apartment Group’s £3 million investment to revive the area. ChachaBuchi is one of four new venues to open on Collingwood Street as part of The Apartment Group investment. Debrah Dhuggah, chief operations officer at The Apartment Group, said: “The ChachaBuchi investment is our biggest one, with over £1m spent on this venue. Every day and all night long there will be great food and entertainment. Our retro mezzanine is the perfect drop-in spot to meet friends for coffee, brunch, or lunch and a great space for business drop-in meetings during the day.” ChachaBuchi, which has taken on around 80 new members of staff ahead of opening, will also offer live entertainment and music. Inside, a special events room called “Bark” has been decorated like a ski chalet. Howlers, the city’s first ball pit bar, opened on 1 October and was the first of the four venues to welcome drinkers as part of the Diamond Strip investment.

Innis & Gunn get planning consent for new brewery: Planning permission for Innis & Gunn’s brewery at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park has officially been granted by The City of Edinburgh Council. Spanning a two-hectare site, the new facility will provide increased brewing capacity which will ultimately support the brewer’s continued growth, both in the UK and internationally. This will be the first major brewery to be built in Edinburgh for over 150 years and is a collaboration between Innis & Gunn and Heriot-Watt University. Plans are being drawn up to ensure students undertaking both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the world-renowned School of Brewing and Distilling spend time on placement in the brewery, engaged in on-the-job learning, so they are as well prepared as possible when entering the job market. Further collaboration between Innis & Gunn and Heriot-Watt University is envisaged in fields such as low carbon brewing technologies, product and packaging innovation and new product development. Plans for the brewery were submitted in May 2020 following a successful crowdfund campaign, which raised £3.3m from more than 2,000 investors. The total budget for the brewery is £20m. Innis & Gunn founder Dougal Gunn Sharp said: “I have wanted to build this brewery in Edinburgh for almost two decades, and as the business has grown and gone from strength to strength, the importance has only increased. To have planning permission now granted at such an inspiring site is an important step forward.”

Gravity opens Newtons in Warrington: Experiential leisure operator Gravity has opened Newtons Restaurant & Bar in Warrington’s Time Square Development. The interactive and social venue opens alongside its existing site, Gravity Warrington, and is located a stone’s throw from Warrington Bank Quay station in Time Square, between Gravity trampoline centre and The Botanist. Newtons is styled as New York-style loft bar with a matching menu, including burgers, hotdogs and chicken wings. Owner Simon Gibbons said: “As a business, the Gravity brand has grown exponentially across the UK since its inception six years ago.”

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