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Wed 19th Jan 2022 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Six By Nico group secures £5.5m new debt facility, online business generates revenue of £7.3m: Simone Group, the parent company of the Six By Nico brand, secured a £5.5m debt facility last year through ThinCats to aid its continuing growth and development, Propel has learned. It came as the business, which is led by chef Nico Simeone, said it generated total revenues of £7.3m from its Home X Labs venture, its online sales and marketing business for food, wine and lifestyle products. The business said the Home X ready-to-plate meal delivery business had “played a pivotal role” in helping it “survive the challenges of covid”. In accounts for the 15 months to 27 June 2021, the company, which operates eight sites under its core brand, said: “Notwithstanding the trading restrictions and general economic uncertainties the group has made significant progress in key strategic developments, most notably the development of Home-X Labs, and in the securing and development of additional restaurant locations. Identifying a market opportunity, Home-X Labs Limited was started in late summer 2020 as an online sales and marketing business for food, wine and lifestyle products. Approximately £1.5m was invested to start up the business and establish a full industrial scale factory in Anniesland, Glasgow. Initial revenues were generated at the end of October and, during lockdown, the business peaked at more than 6,000 boxes per week of restaurant quality food experiences being delivered nationwide. This business generated total revenues of £7.3m through the end of June 2021. Home-X Labs has significantly extended the group’s customer base and online community, which has increased to more than 450,000 users as at the date of this report. The group intends to build on the value of this customer database over the coming period, with the development of additional complimentary offerings and experiences.” In April 2020, to help liquidity through the pandemic, the group drew down £1.5m through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Following the year end, the group repaid the CBILS via the new debt facilities of £5.5m, which it said “provide capital for continuing growth and development”. During the 15-month period, turnover stood at £18.1m, while the business made a pre-tax-loss of £1.2m against a £2m pre-tax profit in the year to 31 March 2020. Last August, Six by Nico opened a site in Canary Wharf and followed this with an opening three months later in Dublin. The business, which has recently applied to open a site on the former Topolabamba unit in Aberdeen’s Union Street, said: “The directors believe the group is well placed to capitalise on its development and market successes to date. While cautious of the continuing uncertainties from covid-19, the group is seeking to grow at an appropriate pace with additional restaurant openings, the extension of the home delivery offering and the promotion and development of new brands and concepts.” 

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Replay Activate toasts first 18 months in business: Scottish-based marketing agency Replay Activate is toasting its first 18 months in business as a success after winning work from Red Bull, Moet Hennessey UK, Remy Cointreau and Asahi UK. Set up in October 2020 in the depth of the covid-19 pandemic, despite the challenges faced, Replay has been activating marketing campaigns with drinks brands including Moet and Chandon, Meantime, Viper Hard Seltzer, Fuller’s London Pride, Passoa, Caorunn, Belvedere, and Bruichladdich. Replay offers its clients a full range of services including strategy and ideation, experiential delivery, production, storage, logistics and fulfilment. Replay acts as a “regional hub” for many of its UK-wide clients. Operations director, John Hannay, formed Replay alongside Nicole O’Neill. The senior management team was completed at the end of summer 2021 when former C&C Group marketing and commercial director, Duncan Frew, joined to lead on business strategy and finance. Hannay said: “The last couple of years have been really challenging for everyone in our industry. However, we saw the pandemic as an opportunity to do things differently, supporting brands to amplify their existing assets and spend sensibly. Landing some of the world’s best-known drinks brands in our first year and a half is something we’re really proud of.” If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com.

Variety of brewing companies with retail estates to join updated Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies: A variety of brewing companies with retail estates are among the 88 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, 28 January, at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, features Bermondsey-based Anspach & Hobday, which was founded by Paul Anspach and Jack Hobday in 2012, and currently has three sites. Also added this month is Plymouth-based microbrewery Steel Brew Co, which is looking to create a five-strong bar estate across the south west. In addition, Hertfordshire-based brewer and six-strong pub operator Farr Brew, which was founded by Nick Farr and Matt Elvidge in 2014, will be featured. Also included this month is Exeter Brewery – which is owned and led by Allan Collyer – and has acquired its debut pub after agreeing to take over the running of The Hour Glass in the city. Premium subscribers will also receive a 6,300-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. It features more than 2,000 companies. Premium subscribers will also receive the sixth edition of the New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Friday, 4 February, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The sixth edition also includes a 19,700-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. 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 single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to upgrade your subscription. 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 group editor Mark Wingett.

December sales down 11% on pre-pandemic levels for managed restaurants, pub and bars: The UK’s managed restaurant, pub and bar groups suffered a double-digit drop on sales from pre-pandemic levels in December after widespread cancellations of Christmas celebrations, the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker has revealed. The Tracker, produced by CGA in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, shows group total sales in the last month of 2021 were down by 11% on December 2019. This follows four successive months of 2021-on-2019 growth and shows the damaging impact of the Omicron variant on the hospitality sector. The Tracker indicates it was a tougher Christmas for managed pubs and bars, where sales were down by 12% and 19% respectively, than for restaurants, where they were down by 8%. It also highlights a particularly difficult month for London, with sales down by 19% within the M25 – more than twice as big as the drop of 8% beyond the M25. Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, said: “These figures show the hugely damaging impact of consumers’ anxiety and restrictions on trading at what should have been the busiest time of year. Restaurant groups in particular did well to shore up sales as much as they did, but on top of rising costs, supply problems and staff challenges, the difficult December leaves many businesses without the buffer of cash they would normally rely on in January. Demand for eating and drinking out remains strong, but the sector needs support on tax and other pressures if it is to help power the UK’s economic recovery when restrictions finally ease.” David Coffer, chairman at Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “The results are not surprising. If anything, many anticipated worse. The pre-Christmas growth was euphoric and in stark contrast to the major drop-off in the most important trading months of the year. The industry lives in hope that the impending lifting of restrictions, especially working from home, will see a spike in demand in the early part of the year. There are many, no doubt, who will be on the brink of closure as a result of the impact of Omicron, and we may well see an abundance of casualties throughout the industry. London was a virtual desert throughout the seasonal period, the big question is whether the culture of central city leisure has changed irreversibly.”

Easing of restrictions welcomed but Scottish hospitality “still requires government support”: Scottish hospitality operators will “still require government support”, despite the welcome easing of restrictions in the country from next week. From Monday (January 24) Scottish nightclubs will be allowed to reopen, while large indoor events can resume and social distancing rules will be dropped. Guidance advising adults against meeting up with more than three households at a time will also be scrapped, buts Scots are still being asked to work from home. Ministers have also decided against extending the vaccine passport scheme to more hospitality settings “at this stage”. Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said: “This announcement from the first minister that the restrictions introduced in late December are to be removed is very much welcomed by Scotland’s pubs. Table-service only, social distancing measures and guidance on household limits had a major impact on many businesses, so it will be a boost when they can be removed next Monday, but it still remains a long and arduous road to recovery for the licensed trade. It’s also positive that covid certification has not been extended to wider hospitality, but it is still holding back the night-time economy. Changes to definitions on dancefloors will also likely impact a number of businesses, and we’re seeking urgent clarity from the government on that. The sector still requires support from the government, but overall, this is a positive step forward.” Restrictions on crowds at large outdoor events in Scotland were lifted earlier this week.

Andrew Stones – hospitality operators need to learn to make better use of technology: Hospitality operators need to learn to make better use of technology if they are to stay ahead of the game, according to Andrew Stones, partner at sector investor Imbiba. The former Be At One managing director has helped Imbiba invest in companies such as Electric Gamebox, NQ64 and Otherworld – businesses “very much at the forefront of service experience and technology”. Speaking at hospitality technology solution firm Zonal’s ‘Future Guests’ event, which polled more than 500 teenagers, Stones highlighted Wetherspoon and Wagamama as companies that have used technology successfully. “The key thing I want to see from hospitality tech is a real purpose behind it and see its integration into the data pool in order for us to be able to use it better as operators,” he said. “My biggest frustration, as a guest or operator, is it not working as well as you’d necessarily want it to. What Zonal have done with the Wetherspoon app is a really good example of technology within that sector – it works, and fundamentally, as a guest, that’s what you’re looking for. Equally, Wagamama has done well with its payment solution, where you just scan the barcode on your mat, allowing you to pay. There’s going to be more work along those lines, looking at how consumers want to use tech within a hospitality setting as opposed to us coming us with the solutions. The biggest barrier to tech is still integration – the diverse range of different tech solutions and trying to get them all to support each other. Trying to find the ultimate tech stack for any business is still really hard – a lot of business are spending a lot of money on tech solutions, but not many are using them as effectively as they could if everything was fully integrated.” Although he was one of the early adopters of tech – introducing augmented reality cocktail menus at Be At One – Stones believes more thought needs to be given to those who will be using it most in hospitality settings. “Using technology in hospitality is a real differentiator in my book, and we were early users at Be At One – but it was far too early, and the reality, was it didn’t work,” he added. “We’ve not thought about this age group (teenagers) enough, but it’s reassuring that Zonal’s research shows a lot of the things we’re working on still appeal to this cohort.”

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a global hospitality company with multiple brands that is looking to hire a group executive chef. This role will be based in London but will cover multiple international markets and concepts. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “We are looking for someone who has been a senior figurehead for a large and diverse team of chefs, looks at food trends and concepts, works with supply chain and partners as well as looking at training, operations, innovation and everything else related to food. We are looking for someone who has operated at a similar level within a large prestigious international group.” There will also be substantial international travel with this role, for which the salary is £200,000. For more information and to apply, email StuartC@corecruitment.com
 

Company News:

BrewDog planning to open more than 30 sites this year: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog is planning to open more than 30 sites this year. Among them will be bars in Atlanta, Berlin, Las Vegas, Milan, Mumbai and Paris as well as its biggest site to date, complete with bars, brewery, workspaces, bowling alley and coffee shop, in London’s Waterloo. At the weekend, co-founder James Watt told the Mail he “doubled down” on property investments during the pandemic, swooping on bargain sites for its bars and hotels. Watt also revealed the business had two takeover approaches last year – but remains focused on its plans to float.

Various Eateries secures Bath site for Coppa Club: Various Eateries, the Hugh Osmond-backed business, has secured a site in Bath, for its Coppa Club brand. As revealed by Propel, the business will replace the former GAP store in the city’s Old Bond Street. It is understood that the nine-strong brand hopes to open the new site in May. It has also signed terms for Coppa Club Haslemere, which is expected to open later this year. The company is also gearing up to launch its new pasta concept, Noci, on the ex-Cote site in London’s Islington Green. As with its Tavolino concept, Noci will again be overseen by former Bancone head chef Louis Korovilas, who has also worked at Locanda Locatelli and Pied à Terre. Noci will be a smaller version of Tavolino, which launched last summer at More London. Propel understands that the business is also exploring opportunities in Windsor and Guildford.

Aspirational Brands plans modern-British restaurant and bar on ex-Tredwells site: Aspirational Brands, the new growth vehicle that was formed to roll out several concepts across the UK, including Handmade Burger Co and Thai brand Lemongrass, is planning to open a restaurant and bar focusing in “modern-British food” on the ex-Tredwells site in London’s Covent Garden. Propel understands the new venture has a working title of “Tutton House” and will become the flagship for Aspirational Brands in London. The venue will be spread over three floors and will include event space. The cuisine is “modern British food with a focus on premium produce”. An opening is scheduled for the end of next month or the start of March. Last September, chef Chantelle Nicholson announced she was closing Tredwells, in Upper St Martin’s Lane, after seven years amid plans for a new restaurant project next year. Nicholson will open Apricity, a new restaurant with sustainability at its core, in Mayfair’s Duke Street in March.

Dough&Co builds pipeline, plans Yorkshire and Somerset debuts: Chris Sharman, who worked as a fine dining chef under Marco Pierre White, has added three new sites to the openings pipeline for his Dough&Co concept, including debut sites in Somerset and Yorkshire. The company, which last November secured a site in Southend’s Seaway development for a spring 2024 opening, has secured sites in Frome and Sheffield. The 10-strong brand has also lined up an opening in Bexleyheath, as the Suffolk-based business looks to build a national presence. Last month, the company opened a site in the Regent Circus scheme in Swindon. It is also through to be exploring opportunities in Horsham and Telford. The company will launch its next venue later this week (20 January) on the former Zizzi site in Bishop’s Stortford. Most of the sites also include the company’s delivery concept Burger Armour, which operates as a virtual brand. Sharman’s aim is to take the Dough&Co estate to at least 15 this year – 25 if he can – with 50 as the target for 2023. He told the Bishop’s Stortford Independent: “To be honest, I feel we’ve gone quite slowly – the pandemic has not held us back, but we’re looking to ramp things up.”

Whistle Punks eyes Fitzrovia opening: Axe-throwing operator Whistle Punks is eyeing an opening in London’s Fitzrovia, Propel has learned. The business, which is backed by Edition Capital, has applied to open on the former Busaba Eathai site in Eastcastle Street. The group recently opened its fourth site, in The Electric Press development in Great George Street, Leeds. It also operates sites in London’s Vauxhall, Manchester and Bristol. A site in Birmingham closed after the lease expired and the business is looking for a new permanent site in the city. The concept was previously linked with taking space at 200 Piccadilly for a new flagship site. John Nimmons and Jools Whitehorn launched Whistle Punks in 2016. The business is also looking for a permanent site for its Colombian-inspired concept Tejo Social, which operated as a pop-up at The Queens Walk, in London’s South Bank, last year.

Café De Nata to open flagship Knightsbridge site: Café De Nata, the Portuguese pastries operator, is to open a new flagship London site, in Knightsbridge, Propel has learned. The business, which is led by Abdul Virji, has secured a prominent site on the corner of Beauchamp Place and Brompton Road for an opening in the coming weeks. The company opened its fourth site in November 2020, at Camden Market, after agreeing a deal with market owner LabTech to take a 600 square-foot space. Customers can view the tarts being hand baked via an open kitchen display. The Knightsbridge site will join its other cafes in Hammersmith, Soho and South Kensington. 

Nightcap secures Exeter site for The Cocktail Club: Bar operator Nightcap is to further add to the regional estate of its The Cocktail Club brand with an opening in Exeter. The Sarah Willingham-led business is to take over the John Gandy’s bar site in the Devon city’s Gandy Street, for what will be its 14th opening under the brand. Built in the early 19th century and formerly a tailor shop, the building had been a popular public house for circa 30 years and comprises an open plan ground floor bar, first floor cocktail bar, second floor office/storage area, commercial kitchen and large cellar. Jon Clyne, director at Charles Darrow, which acted on the deal, said: “The Cocktail Club is planning a significant investment program before their target opening in April of 2022. This is another example of a high calibre operator putting down roots in the city.” Last week, Nightcap reported strong growth during the second quarter of its 2022 financial year, with three successful new site openings for The Cocktail Club during November 2021 in Bristol, Reading and London’s Mansion House. It is also understood to have secured a unit in Birmingham’s Temple Street for the brand.

Gail’s lines up seven openings: Gail’s Bakery, the fast-growing business, is lining up seven new openings before the summer, Propel has learned. The company will open in Baker Street next week, where it is replacing Turkish cafe concept Simit Saray. This will be followed by launches in Woking, Harpenden and London’s Barons Court in March. Gail’s also has openings lined up in Marlow and Brentwood, while it is close to completing on a site in Henley. Tom Molnar, co-founder and chief executive, told Propel the business had experienced a “busy” December, but things had been difficult with covid-related staff absences and the challenging trading environment. While things have improved on the staffing front, Molnar said there was still uncertainty how the next three to six months “will pan out”. Last summer, Bain Capital Credit acquired a stake in Gail’s parent company, Bread Holdings, in a deal that valued the company at more than £200m.

Baking experience The Big London Bake to open third site, in Haggerston: Baking experience The Big London Bake will open its third site next month. The site in Haggerston, east London, will launch on Thursday, 24 February, and will feature an adjoining cake-themed bar with a baking-inspired cocktail menu The Big London Bake East will offer a baking tent with 12 fully equipped baking stations, with all ingredients and equipment supplied. Sessions last for 90 minutes. There are new bake themes each month, and a professional patisserie chef is on hand to support. A separate private entertainment studio will allow for filming opportunities, corporate groups and larger parties. The Big London Bake’s other sites are in Tooting, south London, and Birmingham. The business was started in 2017 as a pop-up by Adam Chaudhri and Eloise Frank.

John Fowler Holidays acquires second Welsh site and 13th in total: West Country holiday park operator John Fowler Holidays has acquired Cardigan Bay Holiday Park in Pembrokeshire for its second Welsh site. It follows the addition of Llanrhidian Holiday Park, on the Gower Peninsula in Swansea, in December 2019. The family-owned company acquired Cardigan Bay after a multimillion-pound finance package from HSBC UK and it’s the 13th site to join the portfolio. The acquisition is estimated to contribute another 3,000 holidays (6%) per year for the business and sees John Fowler Holidays take on the employment of the existing team. With sites already established in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, John Fowler Holidays said the acquisition of Cardigan Bay made geographical sense and was in line with its desire for national growth.

Simon Rimmer to open second Greens restaurant in Manchester: Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer is planning to open a second Greens restaurant in Manchester in the next few months. The vegetarian restaurant has been based in West Didsbury since 1990 and is now expanding for the first time, with building work on a new site in Sale’s Stanley Square Mall expected to begin as early as next week. “We decided we wanted this since last summer but, with the way the world is, nothing is fast and we didn’t want to reveal anything until we were ready,” Rimmer told the Manchester Evening News. “It’s going to be similar to what people expect in Didsbury but with a little bit more – we’re going to have a 60-cover restaurant and a 60-cover bar with space outside. I’ve always wanted to have a really nice bar for Greens, we want it to be a place where you can go for drinks – you don’t have to just go there for food. We’re looking to utilise every bit of the building and we’re hoping we might even get a roof terrace in there – it’s really exciting.” The fully vegetarian menu will include a truffled mushroom wellington and a staple red lentil and walnut roast. “It really is a great time for us to do this,” Rimmer added. “The rise in veggie and plant-based diets is massive at the moment and we’ve been doing that for 31 years now – we know what we’re doing. This is the first time we’ve expanded Greens, so we want to get it right. We are aiming for May, but if it’s June, then so be it. The most important thing is getting it right.”

Dumpling Shack set to launch first dine-in restaurant: Chinese street food brand Dumpling Shack, which operates several stalls in London, is planning to launch its first dine-in restaurant. Owners John and Yee Li, who started out selling dumplings at Borough Market seven years ago, plan to open the restaurant in London Fields, Hackney, in April. Dumpling Shack was part of the debut line up at Old Spitalfields Market’s The Kitchens Space and also has a stall at Canary Wharf’s Southquay. The Lis are also behind Sichuan Fry, a quick-service fried chicken sandwich shop which will also have a space on the first floor of the new venue, and Fen Noodles. “Our business originates from Hackney, we always wanted to come back here as it feels home to us,” John told the Hackney Gazette. Nick Garston, of the Found Agency, acted on the Hackney deal.

Two Magpies opens seventh site: Suffolk-based The Two Magpies has opened its seventh cafe and bakery, in Woodbridge, Suffolk. The 50-cover venue is also a fourth site in Suffolk for the independently owned group, which was founded in 2012. This follows the opening of two new outlets, in Holt and Blakeney, in 2021, as well as a larger manufacturing site in Halesworth. “We are extremely excited to be opening our seventh bakery and are hopeful that it will do as well as our others located across Suffolk and Norfolk,” said managing director Carl Stock. “Woodbridge boasts many brilliant independent businesses, so we’re sure our new bakery cafe will be a perfect fit. Once again, we are thankful to our strong team and fantastic management structure to be able to expand the business even further in such a short space of time. This is a great location in a fantastic town.”

Former MasterChef: The Professionals semi-finalist and Cordon Blue alumni set to open Brazilian-Japanese restaurant in Mayfair: Brazilian chef Luciana Berry, who reached the semi-finals of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2014, is set to next month launch her debut restaurant. Mano Mayfair will open on the Heddon Street site of former brunch restaurant Rumours, bringing Brazilian-Japanese (Nikkei) cuisine to the heart of London. Dishes will include dried beef in a home-made Brazilian bun, hickory-smoked steak cooked with a traditional Japanese sauce and a Brazilian seafood stew with coconut milk and grilled seabass. DJs are also planned for late-week and weekend slots. Berry came to the UK from Brazil in 2004, and soon after set up catering firm Catering on the Hill in Harrow, specialising in cuisine from her native country. She completed the grand diploma at Le Cordon Bleu in 2013 and now acts as a mentor at the London venue.

AMT Coffee opens new Manchester coffee kiosk under Change Please brand: AMT Coffee, which operates a circa 55-strong estate of sites in transport hubs and in hospitals across the UK, has opened a new kiosk in Manchester’s Trafford Centre under the Change Please brand. Change Please, a London-based social enterprise and coffee company which helps get people out of homelessness, agreed a partnership last summer following a takeover of AMT which saw it take on the Change Please branding. The new kiosk unit is based on Lower Regent Crescent and includes a seating area for customers. Zoe Inman, centre director at Trafford Centre, said: “We are proud to be able to support the Change Please cause and are delighted to welcome the new kiosk to the centre. The work that the brand does is making a real difference in people’s lives and aligns well with our own commitment to supporting the wider community.” AMT Coffee interim managing director, Paolo Peretti, added: “The last 18 months have been a challenging time for everyone and have forced us all to re-appraise priorities and think about what is really important. Working together with the Change Please team on this new venture gives us a real opportunity to put purpose at the forefront of our day-to-day business and help to make a real difference to those more disadvantaged in society, so we are delighted that the Trafford Centre has allowed us to introduce the concept to their visitors.”

London-based Italian burger brand goes vegan for first dine-in restaurant: Baggio Burger, which for several years has operated at markets and festivals across London, as well as a delivery service out of Walthamstow container village Crate James Street, has gone vegan for its first dine-in restaurant. Vegan Baggio has opened in Walthamstow’s Hoe Street, with a menu dedicated to plant-based burgers. Among the five vegan burger offerings are a chicken and parmesan burger, plus a plant-based patty with “notzarella cheese”, truffle and porcini mayo, “facon” and rocket. Carbonara-loaded fries are included in the side dishes, and a weekend brunch offering will be launched soon.

New York-inspired bar and eatery concept to open at Warrington’s Time Square scheme: New York-inspired bar and eatery concept Parlour is to open its debut site, in Warrington. Parlour has exchanged on a 3,869 square-foot site at Time Square to become the first operator in 2022 to sign up and take space at the £142m mixed use scheme. The team behind Parlour will start its fit out imminently as it looks to bring an independent, all-day eating and drinking experience to the town centre. The concept is centred around New York-style pizzas, burgers and salads paired with beer, cocktails and wine, and will also offer coffee, tea, smoothies and brunch. Parlour will be open daily and serve a full takeaway and delivery menu alongside the dine-in offering. There will also be live music, DJs and a constantly changing programme of events. James Wrigley, director at Parlour, said: “We’re thrilled to be opening Parlour in Warrington. We’re going to bring a warm, welcoming, independent new venue to Time Square. Our concept is centred around a quality food and drink offering brought to the table with care and attention. We’re creating a place for the community.” Time Square has been delivered by Warrington & Co on behalf of Warrington Borough Council, with Muse Developments appointed as development manager. Metis Real Estate Advisors acted on behalf of Warrington & Co and Muse Developments.

Camberwell Arms and Greensmiths operators partner for new grocery store, deli and wine vault: South London childhood friends James Dye and Stanley Allen have collaborated for a new one-stop grocery store, deli and wine vault in Camberwell. Gladwell’s will open on Saturday, 19 March in a 1,200 square-foot grade II-listed former bank in Camberwell Green, with the old bank transformed into a wine cellar and bottle shop. Dye is behind the nearby Camberwell Arms plus Peckham venues Frank’s Cafe and Mike’s, while Allen founded former food and drink destination Peckham Springs and grocer and cafe/wine bar Greensmiths. Produce from small scale producers will be available alongside a deli offering including coffee, pastries and sandwiches. Gladwell's will also be launching a range of weekly grocery boxes for home delivery including seasonal fruit and veg, weekly essentials, breakfast and Sunday lunch. The wine vault, meanwhile, will be hosting tasting session among a changing schedule of events, and will also be available for private hire. Dye said: “If there is one thing that successive lockdowns have proved it is that every neighbourhood needs a local, independent grocery store. When I was forced to close my restaurant in Camberwell during the first lockdown, we temporarily turned it into a grocery store, and it was here I saw first-hand the important role that independent shops can play at the heart of local communities.” Allen added: “South London has long needed a warm and welcoming place where people can discover and enjoy amazing food and drink. I’m proud to have grown up here and have always felt part of a community, so it’s brilliant to be opening our first store in the heart of Camberwell.”

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