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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 10th Feb 2022 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Industry unites around £5m Hospitality Rising campaign as sector vacancies hit 400,000: Organisers of a national grass-roots campaign aiming to raise £5m to combat the sector’s crippling jobs crisis have secured further industry backing and made a call to action. Hospitality Rising, a project led by ex-Pret a Manger and YO! marketer Mark McCulloch to reignite and rescue the hospitality talent crisis, was launched in November with a £5m fundraising goal. With sector vacancies now reaching the 400,000-mark, Hospitality Rising has become the strategic face of the industry’s biggest ever recruitment campaign. It will work with both the government and Hospitality & Tourism Sector Skills Board (HTSB) on a newly created Hospitality Sector Council. The endorsement means Hospitality Rising has won the backing of representatives of the whole spectrum of hospitality businesses, including UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer & Pub Association. This follows endorsements from companies including Pret A Manger, Athenaeum, Buzzworks, Hawksmoor, Hilton, The Pig Hotel & Limewood Group, Punch Pubs, Rosa’s Thai, Wahaca and Welcome Break. McCulloch will now move to the role of campaign director, sounding the starting gun on “a concerted industry-wide fundraising effort”, with employers across the sector being urged to pledge £10 per employee. McCulloch said: “To be approved as the industry’s official campaign and response to the recruitment crisis is amazing. It means we can really accelerate what we are doing with Hospitality Rising – we can now go stratospheric. We see this approval as a call to action for industry colleagues to come together and get behind the campaign, not just emotionally, but importantly, financially too, as we seek to build a campaign war chest. This will allow us to drive our message out to the UK public, tell all our fabulous stories and make hospitality a positive career choice for the very many, not the few.” Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, added: “The campaign cannot come soon enough. Our latest research shows the issues of recruitment and skills are absolutely mission critical to the hospitality and tourism sectors. Many of our members are struggling with a significant level of vacancies. This campaign will enable hospitality to stage a vital intervention and turn on a generation to the rich and varied roles and career pathways that our vibrant industry offers.” Hospitality Rising has already secured more than £350,000 in pre-launch seed funding. Also on board are agencies VCCP, Oglivy and Forever Beta, while PR consultancies The Fourth Angel and Tigerbond are offering their time and talent.

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Heineken UK launches Pub of the Future sustainability trend report: Heineken’s second Pub of the Future trend report identifies how hospitality businesses can reduce their impact on the planet. The Sustainability Edition of this future-gazing report explores three key areas – “innovation in infrastructure”, “environmentally friendly experiences” and “serving up a sustainable offering”. Discover the trends shaping sustainability and ways to improve your business’ environmental impact now or in the future. Download your free copy of Heineken’s Pub of the Future: Sustainability Edition here. If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com

Propel Premium subscribers to receive access to The Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit Conference recording, 31 video presentations featuring 67 speakers: Propel Premium subscribers are to given access to the entire recording of The Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit Conference. Subscribers will be sent 31 separate video presentations, featuring 67 speakers, at 9am on Thursday, 17 February. The event, which is a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, returned for its fourth year with industry and agency leaders taking to the stage over two days, representing brands including The Alchemist, Coco di Mama, Vapiano, Individual Restaurant Company, Anglian Country Inns, Compass, Dishoom, BrewDog, Elior UK, Punch, Greene King, Just Eat, Fridays, Gamechangers Hospitality Investments, Lane7, Mission Mars, Wing Shack, The Cocktail Club, Incipio Group, Kerb Food, PPHE Group, Hilton, Pho, Pizza Pilgrims, Rum Kitchen, New World Trading Company and Arc Inspirations. The conference focused 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. Subscribers will also be sent the next edition of the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, produced in association with Mapal Group, on Friday, 18 February at midday. The Blue Book will now feature 536 UK pub, restaurant, cafe and hotel operators with a total turnover of £26.7bn. The Blue Book has begun to reflect the economic damage of the pandemic with 196 companies reporting a profit and 340 reporting losses. The Blue Book, which is updated every month, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers also receive two other databases – the New Openings Database, produced in association with StarStock, and the Multi-Site Operators Database, produced in association with Virgate, which are also updated each month. 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.

Licensees give thumbs up to pub companies for covid-19 support for second year running, leased and tenanted sector feeling ‘optimistic but vulnerable’: Licensees across 19 leading pub companies and family brewers have given a thumbs up to the support they received from their pub companies during the pandemic for the second year running. Research consultancy KAM spoke to more than 1,500 licensees as part of The Licensee Index, an annual operator sentiment tracker for the UK leased and tenanted pub sector. KAM surveyed licensee satisfaction across a range of different measures including recruitment, training, ordering and delivery, product and promotional support, landlord services and communication. Despite a challenging two years, the average satisfaction ratings increased across 40 of 47 criteria compared with 2019. On average, licensees rate their pub companies eight out of ten for their covid-related support, while more than two thirds rated it as “outstanding”. Katy Moses, managing director at KAM, said: “Given the two years we have all had, it is even more critical than ever that pub companies stay close to their licensees to ensure their offer to their tenants remains competitive. It is testament to the British pub industry that most tenants are more than satisfied with the support they have received.” Despite this overall satisfaction, KAM’s research confirmed the UK leased and tenanted pub sector is currently feeling optimistic but vulnerable. Last year, the levels of optimism for the 12 months ahead dropped to the lowest levels since the programme began, but are now comparable with 2019 levels. Moses added: “It’s clear to see from this research that pubs aren’t out of the woods yet. Licensees have had near enough two years of limited trade – and now with rising utility costs, inflation and extreme employment issues, there is a real danger that we’ll lose some of our best loved pubs. The government must help this wonderful industry to survive and thrive – support needs to be ongoing.”

UberEats announces UK Black Business Fund winners: A former city worker who swapped skyscrapers for a stall on London’s Brick Lane has been named one of ten UK recipients of the first UberEats Black Business Fund. The Black Business Fund, set up by UberEats in collaboration with Be Inclusive Hospitality and Enterprise Nation, sees a £50,000 fund distributed to ten small black-owned businesses across the country impacted by the pandemic. One winner, Jenny Campbell, gave up a corporate career to launch her own brand of vegan Caribbean food. Early success on an East End stall convinced her to officially open the Guava Kitchen in Forest Hill just before the pandemic struck. More than 150 restaurants applied for the fund, with UberEats saying those selected represent a “cross-section of the most innovative and exciting black-owned restaurants in the country”. A vegan restaurant in Coventry, Dirty Kitch, was also named among the winners. Owner Danielle Saunders was nine months pregnant when she opened her restaurant in late 2019 – balancing her newborn, new business, and navigating a global pandemic all at the same time. Four of the ten restaurants serve entirely plant-based menus. The recipients are: The Breakhouse Cafe – London, Jam Delish (vegan) – London, The Flygerians – London, Dirty Kitch (vegan) – Coventry, TribeV – London, Drums and Flats – London, Vegan Shack UK – Manchester, The Guava Kitchen (vegan) – London, Issa Vibe – London, and Bando Belly – London. 

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working alongside an AIM-listed business based in London to bring in a non-executive director. The company is looking at the next stage of its development in terms of offer, approach to digital and expansion plans. The current board has been in place for some time and is looking at “swapping in” two new members in the next 12 months as some of the existing members time amicably finishes. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “You should be able to act in an advisory capacity and look to steer and question the management team on its direction. We are happy to talk to candidates from the traditional chief executive/non-executive director/finance/non-executive background but are also interested in left-field candidates who can add something different.” For more information and to arrange a chat, email hollie@corecruitment.com

Company News:

Hush Collection and Buenos Aires Restaurants among parties interested in Roxie Steak & Wine: Buenos Aires Restaurants and Hush Collection, the Jamie Barber-led operator of the Cabana and Hache Burgers brands, are two of the interested parties in the London-based steak specialist business Roxie Steak & Wine, Propel has learned. Last month, Propel revealed the Roxie business, which currently has five sites across south London – in Earlsfield, Putney, Wimbledon, Fulham and Twickenham – had appointed Hilco Global to review its options, which could involve a restructure and sale of the business. It is thought up to eight parties submitted offers for parts or all of the business by the 10am deadline on Tuesday (8 February). They are thought to include offers from the existing management team led by founder Richard Hollway, Hush Collection, Buenos Aires Restaurants, and Rosa’s Thai Cafe. Buenos Aires Restaurants was set up by former Gourmet Holdings chief executive Gareth Lloyd-Jones and former Wagamama chief executive Steven Hill when it acquired the then six-strong Buenos Aires steakhouse chain as part of a management buy-in at the end of 2015. Some of the Roxie offers are believed to want to take the brand on, while others are interested in just taking on all or some of the sites. It is understood the business was profitable pre-covid, with group turnover for the year to 31 March 2020 believed to be circa £3.8m. The business was launched in 2011, and five years ago was believed to have turned down investment interest from a number of private equity firms and investors.

Yum! Brands reports KFC UK sales up 12% in fourth quarter and 38% in full year: Yum! Brands has reported KFC’s system sales in the UK rose 12% for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2021, compared with the previous year. For the full year, system sales in the UK, which accounts for 7% of KFC’s global system sales, were up 38% on the year before. Globally, KFC like-for-like sales increased 5% in the quarter and 11% in the year. US like-for-like sales were up 4% in the quarter and 8% in the year. Globally, system sales were up 10% in the quarter and 19% for the year. Operating margin was flat for the quarter as higher general and administrative expenses and higher company restaurant expenses were offset by system sales growth. For the year, operating margin increased 3.5 percentage points driven by system sales growth and bad debt recoveries, partially offset by higher general and administrative expenses. KFC opened 904 gross new restaurants in the quarter and 2,471 restaurants in 105 countries in the year. Operating profit was up 11% in the quarter, to $298m, and 33% for the year, at $1.2bn. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut system sales in Europe, including the UK, were up 23% in the fourth quarter and 8% in the year – the continent accounts for 8% of Pizza Hut’s system sales globally. Pizza Hut system sales increased 4% globally in the fourth quarter and 8% for the year. US system sales, which account for 43% of global sales, were flat in the quarter and 1% in the year. Pizza Hut opened 571 gross new restaurants during the quarter. For the year, Pizza Hut opened 1,250 gross new restaurants in 66 countries. For the fourth quarter, operating margin increased 0.5 percentage points primarily driven by system sales growth, partially offset by higher franchise advertising and other services expense primarily related to digital and technology expenses. For the year, operating margin was up four percentage points driven by system sales growth and lower general and administrative expenses, partially offset by higher franchise advertising and other services expense primarily related to digital and technology expenses. Operating profit was down 1% in the quarter, to $81m, and up 16% for the year, at $387m. Taco Bell like-for-like sales increased 8% in the fourth quarter and 11% for the year. System sales were up 11% in the quarter and 13% in the year. Operating profit fell 7% in the quarter, to $198m, and was up 9% for the year, at $758m. Taco Bell opened 195 gross new restaurants in the quarter and 433 gross new sites in 27 countries during 2021. Yum! Brands’ total revenue in the quarter increased 8% to $1.9bn and was up 16% for the year, at $6.6bn.

Shoryu Ramen estimates 0.1 % like-for-like sales recovery in 2022: Shoryu Ramen Restaurant Group, which operates nine sites across the England, has said that based on recent experience of its post restriction recovery trajectory, it estimates an overall 0.1 % like-for- like sales recovery in 2022 against pre-pandemic levels. Writing in its full-year accounts for the year to the end of 2020, which were signed off last week, the company said the above estimated performance is also based on the assumptions that “any further disruptions will be less severe with an acceleration of equitable worldwide vaccination initiatives, stability in the UK and the international socio-political environment”. The company, which operates sites in London, Manchester and Oxford under the Shoryu Ramen brand, and the Ichiba food hall concept at Westfield London, saw sales decline by 88.3% in the first quarter of 2021, fall 54.1% in the second quarter and decline 28.3% in the third quarter. It forecast a decline of 25.5% in the final quarter of last year, and “a reduction of 48.2% in 2021 sales compared with the pre-pandemic 2019 level”. During the year ended 31 December 2020, the group recorded a net loss of £1.9m (2019: profit of £538,000) and a reduction of its turnover from £18m in 2019 to £7m in 2020. The company closed its Shoryu New Oxford Street site permanently in October last year and is in the process of surrendering its lease. 

Tortilla builds regional openings pipeline with four further sites added: Tortilla, the UK’s largest fast-casual Mexican restaurant brand, has added a further four regional sites to its openings pipeline for this year, Propel has learned. The Richard Morris-led company has secured new sites in Lincoln, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. The company, which is currently on site on the ex-Monsoon unit in Bath, has secured its second site in Birmingham, after taking on the former EAT in New Street. It will also open a site in the Brayford Wharf scheme in Lincoln. On the south coast, it will replace an Oasis store in Bournemouth’s Old Christchurch Road, and a former Subway site in Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays scheme. Propel revealed earlier this year Tortilla had secured sites in Bath and the Cheshire Oaks Outlet Village, for openings this year. Last month, Tortilla reported a 23.8% increase in like-for-like revenue in the year to 2 January 2022, compared with the same period in 2019. The 64-strong company said it remained confident in its ability to make good progress against its store roll-out strategy to open 45 new sites in the next five years.

Sushi Shop opens first regional UK site: Sushi Shop, part of the AmRest family, has opened its first regional site in the UK, in Brighton. The company, which operates five sites in London, has opened a site in the East Sussex city’s North Street next to Tapas Revolution. Last summer, Sushi Shop began a search to secure a number of regional master franchisees across the UK, as part of its expansion plans here. Founded in 1998 by Grégory Marciano and Hervé Louis, Sushi Shop is a European chain of restaurants for premium sushi, sashimi and other Japanese specialties. The brand has established an international network of company-operated and franchised stores across 12 countries, having been part of AmRest, the European multi-brand franchise restaurant group, since 2018. There are four regions where the business, which is working with Christie & Co, is seeking new Sushi Shop partners, each of which has the opportunity to open at least ten sites in the coming years. These are London, the Midlands, north of England, and Scotland, all where “suitable trade zones are ready to get started”.

WatchHouse appoints Damon Conn as new operations director: Edition Capital-backed coffee concept WatchHouse has appointed Damon Conn, formerly of Taylor St Baristas and Harris+Hoole, as its new operations director, Propel has learned. Conn will join the eight-strong business from Monday (14 February) to replace Stephanie Gregg who is now on maternity leave. The company said Conn brings with him a “wealth of understanding and passion for the specialty coffee and wider hospitality sectors following more than a decade of experience in senior leadership positions within the industry”. He spent many years with Taylor St. Baristas before becoming an instrumental part of the creation and roll out of Harris+Hoole. WatchHouse founder and chief executive Roland Horne said: “On meeting Damon I was immediately impressed by his strong track record in innovation and operational excellence and his ability to inspire and nurture teams to deliver results. He has consistently delivered growth with integrity in his previous roles and is well placed to take the WatchHouse business forward to the next stage of development.” Gregg will be appointed to the newly created position of culture director on her return from maternity leave in January 2023. The company said Gregg has played an integral role in managing operations at WatchHouse since foundation in 2014 and she is “well placed to lead the evolution of WatchHouse’s internal culture going forward”. It said this is part of a wider move by the business to position itself as a best-in-class employer within the industry.
 
Ole & Steen ups London presence with Kensington opening: Danish baker Ole & Steen is to further add to its presence in London, with an opening in Kensington. The brand will open its 17th site in total and first for this year, in the former Post Office site in Old Brompton Road, on Saturday (12 February). The new bakery will feature 30 covers. The company will give the first 50 customers through the door a chance to select an envelope at random. Inside the envelopes will be a mixture of vouchers for a free hot drink or a free Cinnamon Social Slice, but one lucky envelope will contain a “Guld Kort” – Danish for “gold card” – that is a voucher for Ole & Steen for a year. The brand operates 15 sites in London and one at Oxford Westgate. Richard Brown, of RAB Retail, acts for Ole & Steen. 

Chartwell Universities to link up with F&B brands as part of £58m Swansea University catering contract: Chartwells Universities, part of the education catering sector of Compass UK & Ireland, has signed a £58m deal to overhaul the catering facilities at Swansea University over ten years. The partnership will see several of Chartwells’ own brands, such as Hollo Pollo, Bamboo, and Liberty Grill, come to the university alongside franchises from the likes of Subway, Greggs, and Tortilla. The plan will see a refectory space on the Singleton Campus converted into a new social hub by the end of 2022, which will be renamed the Swansea Social Hideaway. A second social hub will be created on Bay Campus, with both offering students and staff space to eat, drink, work and socialise. Students will be able to order food and drink for delivery or collection through a Uni Food Hub app, which will also provide them with recipes and cookery lessons. They will also be able to order cook-at-home food boxes through further brand partnerships with Pizza Pilgrims and Hello Fresh. Kerry Ford, managing director of Chartwells Universities, said the plan “will fundamentally change the way students view and engage with the food and beverage offer across universities”. She added: “We believe this is a significant evolution in university catering, moving away from trying to compete with the high street, and bringing in leading technology, brands and trends to create an attractive offer that meets the needs of today’s students. This model allows us to provide employment and career opportunities, while also enriching the delivery options available to the surrounding community around campus.” Chartwell Universities currently operates across 16 UK sites.

Leeds-based brewers eye national taproom expansion: Meanwood Brewery, which was started in Leeds in 2017 by brothers Graeme and Baz Phillips, have set their sights on multiple taprooms and national distribution of its craft beer. The siblings already operate the Terminus Taproom & Bottle Shop, opened in 2018, which is based next to their brewery in Stonegate Road, and are hoping to open their second and third taprooms later this year. They started making beer as a hobby in 2015, housing a malt store and cold store in the outbuildings at Baz’s house in the Meanwood area of Leeds. They have now installed a canning line in preparation for national distribution of their beer. “It’s like living a real life dream,” Graeme told Leeds Live. “We have to constantly stop and look over our shoulders and remind ourselves how quickly we have come from nowhere to where we are now. We’ve established ourselves here, we’ve got a reputation and we’re very well thought of. It’s that next step where we push out into national distribution. Having our own little canning line, being able to distribute those – that will bump us into the next tier and allow us to compete with the likes of Northern Monk, the North Brewing Company, those next level guys.”

BrewDog’s new Basingstoke site set to open next month: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog plans to open its latest site, in Basingstoke, by the end of March. The 4,883 square foot bar will be located in Festival Place at a unit previously occupied by Coal Grill and Bar, in Potters Walk, after BrewDog agreed a 15-year lease with landlord AEW. Coal Grill and Bar shut in January having been in the Hampshire town for more than a decade. Russell Jewell, head of private equity funds at AEW, said: “The arrival of a flagship brand like Brewdog is a strong endorsement of Festival Place’s evolving food and beverage offer and will be a welcome addition to our varied roster of operators in that category.” BrewDog is also planning UK openings in Bristol, Bournemouth and Cheltenham, plus several abroad, as well as a brewery, bowling alley and coffee shop concept in London’s Waterloo. Last month, Propel revealed BrewDog had placed six of its bars on the market – three in London and one each in Leeds, Leicester and Sheffield. Coal Grill and Bar owners, Charterhouse Leisure, went into administration in January 2020, and the Basingstoke branch was one of four to be bought by Sunshine Capital owner Sumit Chadha. Further sites in Swindon, Telford, Sheffield and Milton Keynes were closed.

Torquay Leisure Hotels on ‘sound financial base’ following strong summer trading: Torquay Leisure Hotels (TLH), which operates four hotels within a single resort in Devon, made a pre-tax loss of £830,000 for the year ended 30 April 2021 (2020 £981,000 profit). This was after receiving £2.2m in government grants, including £2.1m through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, according to its latest accounts. Turnover was £4.7m (2020: £12.8m), while an £800,000 dividend was paid to its parent company, reducing net assets from £9.1m to £7.7m. During the pandemic, TLH invested in its existing rooms and extended its spa facilities, enabling it to “capitalise on the staycation boom during summer 2021 and establish pre-pandemic levels of revenue swiftly on the reopening of the industry”. A statement accompanying the accounts said: “TLH, like all hospitality companies, has had a challenging year, having been forced to close for more than half of its financial year. A strong 2021 summer period has provided a solid foundation and positive cash balance to enable TLH to survive the pandemic’s catastrophic impact on the hospitality trade, and the directors are confident the company remains on a sound financial base.” The statement added that TLH is “well placed to take advantage of the positive indicators of resurgent domestic tourist activity”.

Tattu’s London launch lined up for April: Manchester-based independent restaurant group Tattu will make its London debut, and open its fifth site overall, in April. Founded in 2015 by brothers Adam and Drew Jones, Tattu opened its first restaurant in Manchester, followed by sites in Leeds, Birmingham and, most recently, Edinburgh, offering contemporary cuisine inspired by traditional Chinese flavours and ingredients. The new venue, a 220-cover site located in Outernet’s The Now Building on the corner of Tottenham Court Road, will offer guests panoramic views of the capital from its position on the building’s rooftop and terrace. Ahead of the official opening, Tattu will be running a soft launch period, bookable through its London website, where guests will receive 50% off their food bill, with a portion of the proceeds donated to hospitality charity Only A Pavement Away. The charity will also benefit from in-house art pieces sold as NFTs, attached to several in-restaurant benefits for their owners. Executive chef Andrew Lasseter’s menu will include dim sum, small plates, large plates and desserts, alongside a wine list and new cocktail menu.

Premium Japanese restaurant Roketsu opens debut site: Roketsu, a premium Japanese restaurant concept, has open its debut site in London’s Marylebone. After holding a pop-up event at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair last year, chef Daisuke Hayashi has launched the restaurant in New Quebec Street. Hayashi came to London after training at the Kikunoi Ryotei restaurant in Kyoto and has been executive head chef at Tokimeitē in Mayfair. Roketsu, which also held a series of dinner events at Louis Vuitton in Bond Street last year, is all about Japanese Kaiseki (multi-course) dining. Split across two floors, the restaurant is made up of just ten seats at the counter. The space also includes a dedicated area where customers can witness and engage in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. An additional downstairs private dining room seating six people will open in March. The menu had been previewed through delivery Gozen dinners during lockdowns.

Second gym franchise for Peterborough-based operator: Anytime Fitness, which operates circa 185 gym franchises across the UK and Ireland, has agreed a deal for a unit at Peterborough’s Lynch Wood Park. It has signed a 15-year lease for 14,000 square feet of space on the ground floor of the grade II-listed office building. A refurbishment is currently underway to transform what was previously the building’s restaurant into the health club by the end of 2022. It forms part of a wider plan for Lynch Wood Park, which include the creation of a new on-site restaurant and food facility. The Lynch Wood Park Anytime Fitness is owned by Peterborough-based Jaspal Singh, who also who owns an Anytime Fitness facility in the city’s Ortongate Shopping Centre. He told Insider Media: “I’m really looking forward to putting community at the heart of our proposition at Lynch Wood Park and creating a welcoming environment that mirrors that clearly shown across the businesses and employees based at the estate.”

Bristol-based brewery plans to open new bar and restaurant: The owners of New Bristol Brewery plan to open a new bar, cafe and restaurant in the Stokes Croft area of the city. Noel and Maria James, who have run the brewery and taproom in Wilson Street in St Paul’s since 2014, have submitted a licensing application for the proposed venture in the newly redeveloped Carriageworks development. The Wilson Street taproom is currently open for limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays, and for special events. The new venture would also see the business expand its offering. Meanwhile, New Bristol Brewery will be among 12 local breweries showcasing their products at Hopyard, a two-day festival of Bristol’s food and beer at St Philips venue Propyard over Easter. The street food offering will include sourdough pizzas from Pizzarova, Palestinian-inspired dishes from Jafra Kitchen and Hawaiian poké bowls from Loki Poké.

Durham-based farm shop and butchery to add second cafe: A family-run farm shop and butchery in Durham is set to add a second cafe to its complex. The owners have had plans to demolish an outbuilding at East Knitsley Grange Farm and build a barn-style cafe designed with passing cyclists and walkers in mind approved by the council. The site already comprises a cafe, butchery and shop alongside the main farm. It is often used as a stop off point for walkers and cyclists, and the shop’s outside seating courtyard increased in popularity during the pandemic. The application stated the winter months had “highlighted a need for a more robust inside and outside space that can accommodate visitors to the cafe who want a more informal eating space where the facilities are comfortable to use, even if wet or muddy from walking or biking, and they don’t have to worry about soft furnishings being damaged”.

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