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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 24th Nov 2021 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Fridays to trial ‘grab and go’ site early next year: Hostmore, the parent company of Fridays and the 63rd+1st concept in the UK, is to trial a “grab and go” site for its core brand at the beginning of next year. Propel revealed in July that Hostmore was exploring quick service restaurant (QSR) opportunities with service station providers. Now the first site under the “Fridays and Go” banner will open in Scotland in early 2022 as Hostmore looks to “test the market”. In a presentation to investors, Hostmore chief executive Robert B Cook said the company has signed a non-disclosure agreement with a motorway services operator as it looks to progress the opportunity. He said: “This is an area we are looking to go at hard as there is a lot of white space out there for Fridays – we only have a 34% market penetration rate currently. The site will be a drive-up QSR site with click-and-collect and also offering delivery. We are excited at the potential of this format. We think there is scope to grow Fridays to 120 sites quite easily in the next three to five years from the 87 we have at the moment, but the QSR format could provide us with even more opportunities.” Cook said under the new agreement Hostmore has with Fridays’ parent company in the US following the demerger, the business needs to open eight new Fridays sites by 2024 – one of which has already done so, in Lincoln. He added from 2022 for every five new Fridays sites that open, Hostmore will open two or three outlets under its 63rd+1st concept. The third 63rd+1st restaurant will open in Harrogate on Thursday (25 November) while, as revealed by Propel last week, a fourth site has been secured, in Cambridge. Cook said Hostmore would look to grow 63rd+1st to between 20 to 25 sites “and then take a strategic review from there”. The 63rd+1st concept is targeting university towns and cities, with Edinburgh “almost over the line” and Bath, Bristol and Oxford among its targets. Cook added there was a possibility that Hostmore would look to take on another European territory, but would use the UK for back-office operations if it did go down that route. “Fridays is on the march,” he added. “We are one of only three casual dining brands that did not shut sites during the pandemic and we see a very bright future ahead.” 

Industry News:

Two days to go before release of updated Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies, 54 businesses being added: A total of 54 new multi-site companies, operating 369 sites, have been added to the next edition of the Propel Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies, which will be released on Friday (26 November), at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, includes a number of brands growing through franchise, expanding sports concepts, and regional pub and hotel operators. Premium subscribers will also receive a 3,900-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 in total. Alongside this, Premium subscribers will also receive the fifth edition of the New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Friday, 3 December, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The fifth edition also includes a 17,000-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 group 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
New World Trading Company to feature in Propel video series around challenges of attracting and retaining staff: Propel has created a mini-video series around the challenge of attracting and retaining staff in the sector. In the first episode of the series – which is sponsored by Harri, the enterprise employee experience platform built for hospitality – Natasha Waterfield, chief operating officer at The New World Trading Company, talks to Abi Dunn, from Sixty Eight People, about how the company is tackling its recruitment like a marketing project, being in the middle of a ground-breaking “getting lean” initiative, and how the business doesn’t talk “work/life balance”. The video will be sent at 9am on Wednesday (24 November).
Scottish hospitality groups welcome scrapping of covid passport extension plans: Hospitality groups in Scotland have welcomed first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s decision not to extend the country’s vaccine passport scheme to more venues. Sturgeon had been considering expanding the scheme to cover cinemas, theatres and other hospitality venues, but with case numbers having fallen slightly, has now decided against it. From Monday, 6 December, people will be allowed to enter venues already covered by the scheme, including nightclubs and large events, with a negative test rather than proof of two jabs. UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson said: “The Scottish government has listened and responded to the overwhelming evidence presented, which clearly demonstrates the damaging impact any extension of the scheme would have on our fragile sector. This is very good news and provides some respite for businesses working hard to maximise trade across the festive period. The acceptance of a negative lateral flow test may help some businesses currently covered by the scheme, it remains to be seen what it will bring to those hospitality businesses in the late-night economy.” Stephen Montgomery, group spokesman for the Scottish Hospitality Group, added: “The health and safety of our customers has always been our top priority, and that is why we have invested heavily in making Scottish hospitality venues the safest public environments to eat, drink and socialise. We want to keep Scotland’s best-loved pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants open for business and will continue to work tirelessly to do so. Looking forward, we would urge for continued support for hospitality venues across Scotland, especially as the festive period approaches. Hospitality is still facing significant challenges, and the suffering from the long-term effects of the pandemic, with rising supplier costs and an ongoing recruitment crisis, is putting real pressure on the industry.”
Staffing crisis ‘already damaging customer experience’, particularly in QSR: The cracks in the customer experience caused by staff shortages are really beginning to show, particularly at quick service restaurants (QSR), according to new research. The survey, by KAM Media for pointOne, of 500 QSR customers and 100 front-line staff showed almost two-in-three customers had noticed venues they have visited being short-staffed over the last three months, and one-in-five said they’d waited longer to be seated and served than normal. Staff too are beginning to feel the strain, with 59% of team members admitting that customer experience is suffering in their venue due to lack of staff. The research suggests the knock-on effect of shortages is also leading to an overload of work on existing staff and subsequent stress and dissatisfaction, with 64% of those interviewed saying working in hospitality is less enjoyable now than it was pre-pandemic. Venues embracing time-saving technologies would improve their job satisfaction, said 64% of hospitality staff. Meanwhile, 94% of them are confident technology can help them do their job. The demand for the “human touch” and connection is still at the heart of a memorable customer experience and has grown in importance post-pandemic – more than 40% of customers said staff friendliness and also knowledge is even more important to them now compared with 20 months ago. One-in-three want staff to pro-actively engage with them, although more than one-in-ten just want to be left alone while in a QSR venue. Customers who want the most interaction from staff are women, customers with children and Generation Z – only 7% said they prefer to be left alone while in-venue compared with 17% of over-55s.
Venues in Northern Ireland ‘may have to close doors during Christmas’: There is a possibility hospitality venues in Northern Ireland may be asked to close over Christmas if covid-19 cases continue to increase, the country’s health minister Robin Swann has said. But he told the Northern Ireland Assembly it was not “inevitable”. Stormont ministers have met to discuss plans to help curb the spread of covid-19. Last Thursday (18 November), Swann advised anyone who worked from home when the pandemic began last year to do so again now. Swann also suggested introducing a “scores on the doors” covid compliance rating for businesses. Swann said on Monday (22 November) that “if the current trajectory continues with regard to the increased cases we are seeing, we may once again face the possibility where venues are asked to close their doors during the Christmas season”. But he added: “I do not want to have to reintroduce further restrictions unless completely unavoidable.” Swann also expressed disappointment some hospitality venues had not acted responsibly after social distancing rules were relaxed.
Crowdcube eyes major expansion after raising £10m: Crowdcube, Britain’s biggest crowdfunding platform, is planning major expansion after raising £10m from US cryptocurrency business The Circle. It extends a partnership Crowdcube already has with SeedInvest, a similar start-up funding platform in the US owned by The Circle. The pair have in the past partnered up to offer dual listings for start-ups looking to raise cash in both the UK and US. This follows the collapse of merger talks with rival UK platform Seedrs earlier this year. Crowdcube has since then become operationally profitable, according to owner Darren Westlake, who hopes to use the new cash injection to fund expansion into Europe. He hopes the business will be fully licenced to operate across the EU by the end of the year, raising the prospect of a pan-European investment platform. “I think it’s huge,” Westlake said. “I think we can double or triple the size of our business quite quickly.” Founded in 2011, Crowdcube was valued at £140m in the latest investment round, having raised £30m from investors to date. More than £1bn has been invested over its platform to date, and it has proved to be a popular funding platform for hospitality businesses. This month alone has seen brewers Lister’s, Anspach & Hobday and Gloucester Brewery all launch campaigns totalling £900,000. Tea business Bird & Blend Tea Co and tip-sharing concept Tipjar also recently closed their Crowdcube campaigns after raising £1m and £1.3m respectively.
Job of the day: COREcruitment is looking for an operations manager to join an independent education caterer to head up a region in the south west. The operations manager will take overall responsibility for the catering services for ten sites, largely in the south west. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “This role requires strong leadership, experience of managing change and building new teams plus new openings/contract mobilisation. It is essential you have area management experience and independent school catering experience. The schools are very high end. The position requires someone with a niche skill set and a real understanding of excellence. You will be extremely well presented with an impeccable eye for detail, patient and observant. Excellent financials are a must with a firm grasp on what excellence both tastes and looks like. The position is paying up to £60,000 base salary and offers an excellent incentive and benefits package.” Anyone interested can email

Company News:

Metcalfe – regional growth will be our focus: Julian Metcalfe, founder of Itsu, the healthy Asian food chain, has said the business is set to focus on growth in the regions, as it looks to open 25 new sites a year. Metcalfe told Propel’s Multi-Club Conference this month: “At least six of our sites are still not open in London. We are seeing Monday and Friday annoyingly quieter than the rest of the week. Out in regions all our restaurants are busy, in some cases far busier than they were in 2019. That could be down to people not coming into London or into work, and perhaps the hard work we have put into Itsu over the past two years has rubbed off, and we have picked up more loyal customers. It is forcing us to consider the regional estate more. We are opening 25 Itsu sites a year. It’s not fair to say we are not bothering with London any more, but I was asked whether I thought London landlords were changing, and I doubt they will change for very long. It is the rates in central London that have, and will, cripple central London.” The company recently secured a site in Guildford, Surrey, and earlier this year opened company-owned sites in Bath and in St Albans. Further openings are expected this year, with work under way at sites in Bromley and Edinburgh, as Itsu pushes to open a further 100 UK restaurants by 2026. Metcalfe said: “In the regions, our menu has gone from 90% sushi to 25% sushi, so 75% is hot food, vegetables, bao and gyoza. So, we had to reinvent the business in the past four years. You have to go slowly and it has taken a very long time. We are concentrating hard on taking out the complexities of our menu.” The business launched its first franchise sites earlier this year, with openings in Reading and Leicester. Metcalfe said: “You can’t franchise well unless you have a remarkably good business. We’ve been talking about it for 20 years, I don’t know how long it will take for us to be a truly great franchiser. There is a long list of people wanting to become Itsu franchisees here and overseas.”
Metcalfe is one of 24 operators in the Propel Premium Advent Calendar, giving subscribers access to a great video each day in December from our autumn conference series. Each day in December in the run-up to Christmas, Premium subscribers will be sent a video featuring some of the sector’s leading operators, who will share insights, advice and expertise. Metcalfe features on Saturday, 18 December. 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
The Big Table Group appoints Gibbons and Worrall to COO roles: The Big Table Group, operator of Las Iguanas, Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia, has appointed Lisa Gibbons and Steve Worrall into two newly created chief operating officer roles, Propel has learned. Gibbons, who has been with the company for ten years, has been appointed chief operating officer for Bella Italia and the group’s concessions business. Worrall, who joined the company earlier this year as brand director for Cafe Rouge, has been appointed chief operating officer for that brand and Las Iguanas. The existing leaders of each of these businesses will report directly to Gibbons and Worrall, who will report into chief executive Alan Morgan. A Big Table Group spokesman told Propel: “The creation of these roles means two of our most accomplished and experienced operators will take responsibility for half of the business each. These appointments cement our operating structure as we move into a new era of development for the business.” Last month, Big Table Group, which operates more than 150 restaurants across the UK and Ireland, announced plans to open 50 new restaurants and refurbish 70 sites over the next three years, investing in excess of £50m and creating 1,250 new jobs in the process. The group’s ambition is to invest £35m in new openings, which would take the estate to 200 restaurants across the UK, while the company intends to invest a further £19m in refurbishments. The Big Table hopes to almost double the current number of Las Iguanas restaurants in the next three years, opening 35 locations in major towns and city centres. The company is also launching the pilot of a new concept for its Cafe Rouge brand later this week in Haywards Heath – which will see Cafe dropped from the name.
PizzaLuxe in talks to introduce franchise model into pub sector: PizzaLuxe, the Paul Goodale-led premium fast casual concept, is in talks to launch a franchise model into the pub sector, Propel has learned. PizzaLuxe, which is backed by Edition Capital, is understood to be in talks with a pair of pub groups on a franchise partnership. It is thought a move into the pub sector will play a part in the plans the business has to grow to circa 50 sites over the next three years, which will comprise circa ten company-owned sites and around 40 operating under franchise. PizzaLuxe currently has sites in Leeds Trinity Kitchen and Manchester Arndale centre, with a franchise site with SSP at Manchester airport set to reopen next February, after initially launching in October 2018. This week PizzaLuxe will open its roadside debut site with Extra Motorway Service Area Group at Peterborough (A1(M) junction 17), with a further site set to come online next month in Cambridge (M11). Goodale told Propel that the company still plans to build a core estate in the north of England, with two sites in five cities, but was also in talks with SSP to open further sites in transport hubs. It is thought that these will now be a mixture of kiosks and restaurant sites. The company had previously secured approval from Network Rail for a streamlined PizzaLuxe concept. 
Barworks partners with new experiential ‘casual tennis’ concept in bid to secure UK debut site, plans national expansion: London bar group Barworks, which recently sold 13 of its 19 sites to Urban Pubs & Bars, has partnered with “healthy urban social sport concept” Happy Padel, which is aiming to secure its debut UK site. Founded by Jesper Konstantinov, a hospitality entrepreneur from Sweden, Happy Padel is based on the eponymous sport of padel, which is like tennis in terms of game play and structure but with a low bar of entry, making it accessible for people of all ages and abilities. With a set-up time as short as two weeks, Happy Padel can work in sites from 5,000 to 50,000 square feet and can be launched as a stand-alone venue or pop-up experience. Leisure and property agency Shelley Sandzer will now work alongside Barworks to secure a flagship venue in London ahead of planned expansion throughout the country. Konstantinov said: “Padel has had huge success in European markets, and it is so exciting to be bringing the sport to the UK. Padel is an accessible, fun means of staying healthy and socialising. This makes it appeal to very many different types of consumers, and is the driver of its success in markets such as Spain and Sweden. We are looking to make the most of the booming leisure market in the UK with an aggressive expansion plan built from a London flagship.”
Young’s adds award-winning Sussex pub to portfolio: London pub operator Young’s has acquired the award-winning The Bull at Ditchling, East Sussex, for an undisclosed sum. The winner of the Great British Pub 2017, The Bull was owned by the Worrall family for more than 18 years, during which time it transformed a once bankrupt tenancy into a “beautiful and much-loved freehold operation – going on to win a plethora of awards”. “The Bull wasn’t on the market, but following a discreet approach from Nick Earee [divisional director of Fleurets], he was able to introduce Young’s as a potentially suitable match”, said Dominic Worrall, former owner of the pub. “I think this acquisition offers The Bull the opportunity to further establish itself as one of the finest pubs in the UK and for the team here to further its experience and progress with a fantastic company.” Brendan Brammer, acquisition manager for Young’s, added: “We are delighted to have acquired such a landmark pub in a fabulous location, growing our presence in Sussex. The acquisition of the Bull fits perfectly with our strategy of acquiring scalable pubs in strong demographical areas for the Young’s premium managed estate.” On taking part in any M&A, Young’s chief executive Patrick Dardis told Propel earlier this month: “We will be looking to not reduce the batting average of the quality of our estate. So, if an opportunity comes up of any size that matches or improves the quality of our estate, we will certainly be interested. We have the firepower. We are not looking to chase numbers. We are no longer looking back, but looking forward with enthusiasm.”
JKS-backed pub venture gears up to launch second site: A fledgling pub venture led by Dominic Jacobs, of The Running Horse Mayfair, and backed by a number of private investors, including Jyotin, Karam and Sunaina Sethi, founders of JKS Restaurants, will launch its second site on Thursday (25 November), in London’s Fitzrovia. As revealed by Propel in May, the venture is reopening The George in Great Portland Street. The George is a three-storey, 18th century, grade II-listed building that has undergone an extensive restoration. The pub will reopen in two phases. From Thursday, the ground floor will open to offer a “quintessential British pub experience”. Following this “Upstairs at The George” will open in February, offering a dining experience led by culinary director James Knappett. Jacobs said: “The sympathetic restoration of the ground floor has focused on enhancing the venue's rich listed architecture, paying homage to its 18th century roots through art, design and architectural features. Further to this, a more extensive renovation of the former living quarters will create a new dining space for Fitzrovia. We’re excited to be opening in time for Christmas and revealing ‘Upstairs at the George’ in the new year.” Earlier this year, the company launched with the reopening of The Cadogan Arms in Chelsea in July. Propel understands the venture raised more than £4m via the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), with the funding to be used to help launch The Cadogan Arms and The George. It is understood the company’s aim is to have five London-based pubs by the end of 2024. 
Daisy Green closes funding round after raising almost £2.7m: Australia-inspired restaurant, bar and coffee group Daisy Green has closed its crowdfunding campaign after raising almost £2.7m. The Prue Freeman-led business launched the campaign through Seedrs on 8 November to raise circa £2m to continue expansion across the capital. The 11-strong business had an initial target of £1m, which was extended after more than £1.7m was raised in pre-commitments prior to the campaign going live. The EIS-led fundraise has now closed two weeks early after raising £2,657,877 from 330 investors. The company said its revenues were up 67% on pre-pandemic levels, achieving run rate revenues and site Ebitda of more than £15m and £4.4m respectively. The business has a £28m pre-money valuation based on eight times run rate on group Ebitda run rate of £3.5m. It is targeting revenue of circa £36m by full year 2025 and group Ebitda of £5m. Freeman told Propel that Daisy Green was hoping to open a further four sites in the capital next year – in Zones 1 and 2 – and had been buoyed by the success of its latest opening, Bondi Green at Paddington canal side.
MJMK confirms spring 2022 opening for Nuno Mendes project: London-based bar and restaurant operator MJMK has confirmed a spring opening for its new venture with chef Nuno Mendes, in London’s Fitzrovia. As revealed by Propel last month, Mendes, executive chef at the Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone, will open Portuguese restaurant and cocktail bar Lisboeta, with the backing of MJMK, at 30 Charlotte Street. Meaning “a person from Lisbon”, Lisboeta will offer “petiscos” (small plates) with a glass of Portuguese wine, as well as a “communal” lunches and dinners served “Tasca” style. Set across three floors, the ground and first floor-based bar and dining room will be followed later in the year by The Adega, a space overlooking the glass-fronted kitchen and wine cellar. Mendes said: “Lisboeta is my love letter to Lisbon, the city I grew up in and the place I call home. I’m excited to share with London everything that makes it such a special city.” Earlier this year, MJMK opened Cuban-influenced bar La Rampa on the former Sweet Chick site off London’s Oxford Street. It is also set to launch a permanent site for AngloThai, the concept from husband-and-wife team John and Desiree Chantarasak, in London, next year. Propel also understands MJMK is close to securing the former Ice Bar site in Heddon Street for a third site for its piri piri Casa do Frango concept.
Feast It raises €5m to help fund growth, aims to double sales over next nine months: Feast It, the London-based event booking marketplace, has raised a €5m venture round and is aiming to double its sales by next summer. The company modernised the events industry’s operating system by creating a digital-first platform, connecting selected event suppliers with organisers looking to plan events online. Founded in 2017, it achieved €14m in annualised sales in 2021 and has been used by more than 80,000 people to plan their events, generating more than €12m of enquiries each month for its suppliers. Its latest round of funding, led by Fuel Ventures and supported by Best Nights VC, was oversubscribed and follows a quarter that saw 2,300% growth and more than a million people attending its events. Chief executive and co-founder, Digby Vollrath, said: “The events industry has been through a defining moment over the last 18 months, and many people wrote off the return to physical events to bet on a digital future. At Feast It, we’re strong believers the most important moments of your life are created when people come together in person, and we can’t wait to be a major part of helping the country get back to what it does best – celebrating.” Mark Pearson, founder and managing partner at Fuel Ventures, added: “The sector is yet to see the technological evolution its size deserves, and we firmly believe Feast It will become the go-to brand in this space. The company showed its resilience during the pandemic, and we believe it is in the perfect position to make the most of the events boom to come.”
Scottish independent brands secure Glasgow sites to continue expansion: Independent Scottish brands Juicy and Kitchen 77 have continued their expansion by securing sites in Glasgow’s Silverburn shopping centre. Ayrshire-based restaurant group Kitchen 77 will use its unit to debut its latest concept, Stàilinn Scottish Kitchen, which will offer traditional Scottish fayre and is due to open in the spring. Owner Chris Steele already operates the Ayr-based stable of Arthur Street Kitchen, Hollybush Inn, Stage Door Cafe, Drunken Coo Stakehouse and Twenty20. Superfood cafe and juice bar Juicy, meanwhile, has opened its second Glasgow outlet after making its debut in Byres Road earlier this year. 
Compass Group focused on growth following a year of strong recovery: Catering company Compass Group has said it is focused on growth following a year of strong recovery, which saw its underlying revenue recover to 88% of 2019 revenue by the fourth quarter. Underlying revenue for the year to 30 September stood at £18.1bn, down 6.3% on the previous year, with operating profit of £811m (2020: £522m). Dominic Blakemore, group chief executive, said: “Our strong financial recovery in 2021, including record new business wins and client retention, is a credit to our teams’ exceptional resilience, dedication and expertise in extraordinary circumstances. We are pleased to be reinstating the dividend reflecting our strong cash flow and increasing confidence in the group’s performance. Looking ahead, we are now focused on growth, driven by encouraging market trends and our ability to provide more bespoke, digital and sustainable solutions that meet the evolving needs of clients in a post-pandemic world. In the short term, we expect FY22 organic revenue growth to be 20% to 25%. Full-year underlying margin is anticipated to be more than 6%. With ongoing mobilisation costs and inflationary pressure, further improvement will be weighted towards the second half of the year as we return to underlying margin of around 7% by year end. We are increasingly excited about the significant structural growth opportunities globally, leading to the potential for revenue and profit growth above historical rates, returning margin to pre-pandemic levels, and rewarding shareholders with further returns.”
Parkdean Resorts director handed expanded sustainability role: Parkdean Resorts, Britain’s biggest holiday parks operator, has appointed Jane Bates to the newly created role of director of procurement and sustainability. Bates joined Parkdean as director of procurement last year but now has seen her remit expanded to oversee the implementation of the company’s new environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. Key target areas include a 25% reduction in carbon dioxide, promoting the natural environment, supporting local communities and improving corporate governance. Bates said: “This role is about working with every park and every department to change how we run our business. Sustainability is something that affects all of us on a personal and professional basis, so a big focus will be to empower people at all levels of the business to make a difference, to put sustainability at the heart of staycations.” Parkdean owns 3,500 acres of forests, peatbogs, rivers, beaches and headlands across the 67 UK holiday parks it operates, all of which have won David Bellamy Awards for conservation.

Lina Stores confirms spring 2022 launch for Marylebone site: Delicatessen brand Lina Stores will open its new site in London’s Marylebone next spring. As revealed by Propel at the start of August, the White Rabbit Projects-backed company is taking over the former Sourced Markets site in Wigmore Street. Set over two floors, the ground floor will feature an all-day restaurant with an open kitchen and an open-plan delicatessen, which will transform into a seated wine bar at night. On the lower-ground floor, the restaurant will continue with a more intimate dining setting. Head chef Masha Rener said: “We’re incredibly excited to arrive in beautiful Marylebone Village, an area with many similarities to our first home in Soho. With its neighbourhood feel and strong sense of local community, Marylebone Village is the perfect location for us to open both restaurant and delicatessen for the full Lina Stores experience. We can’t wait to welcome you to Lina Stores Marylebone in 2022.” The business recently confirmed it was to take over the Bloomberg Arcade site in the City of London that was previously home to Andrew Wong’s Michelin-starred Kym’s restaurant. It has also been linked to an opening in Clapham, although it is thought a deal on a mooted site has yet to be signed. Lina, which earlier this summer opened its first site outside the UK in Tokyo, currently operates restaurants in London’s Soho and King’s Cross as well as its original delicatessen in Brewer Street.

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