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Wed 6th Apr 2022 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Albion & East to add multiple sites in coming two years, in double digit like-for-like growth: Albion & East, the Imbiba-backed, London-based bar business, plans to have an estate of at least nine sites by the end of June 2024, and reported it is in double-digit like-for-like growth since restrictions were lifted. The Sarah Weir-led group will open its sixth site next Monday (11 April) at The Filmworks scheme in Ealing. The new 5,000 square foot Teatro Hall will feature the company’s signature “all-day and late-night offer”. Weir told Propel: “We have been trading very well this year, ahead of budget and in double digit like-for-like growth, which we are delighted with. Our current financial year, ending June 2022, will be a very good set of results at both site and company level. We are opening our sixth bar next week and will be able to announce future sites shortly.” The company said it had one site at advanced stage negotiations for an opening in the second half of 2023 and was working hard to add more to this list in the next 18 months. Weir said: “The target is to grow to at least nine sites by the end of the year ending June 2024, and ideally we would like to add more to this plan. The demand at our five sites is excellent and we continue to see evidence  our business is becoming increasingly sought after by landlords. We believe we are therefore  in a strong position to compete for high quality sites as they come to market.” The company – which also operates Martello Hall, Canova Hall, Cattivo, Serata Hall and Allora Hall – said the year to 29 June 2021 had been a positive one for the business, despite having to open and close a number of times. Turnover for the year amounted to £3.7m compared with £5.0m in 2020 and £5.2m in 2019. Weir said: “So far, in the year ending June 2022, we have not been mandated to close and the trading performance of the business, despite the Omicron variant, has been very strong both in terms of turnover and Ebitda. In addition to this, the business has been able to manage its cash reserves well during this period.” 
 

Industry News:

Host of street food concepts continuing UK expansion in post-pandemic era added to next edition of The New Openings Database, 19,100-word report included: A host of street food concepts continuing their UK expansion in the post-pandemic era have been added to the next edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock. The database will show the details of 386 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published on Friday (8 April) at midday. The database, which is published monthly, shows the details of which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location. There will also be a website link to the businesses so you can find out more about them. The next edition of the database features Vietnamese street food concept Pho, which is opening a new site at the Royal William Yard scheme in Plymouth later this year. Also added is Korean street food concept Bunsik, which has opened its second site in central London, near Embankment tube station. Meanwhile, US street food brand The Halal Guys, which has lined up a new opening in the Wood Green area of London, will be featured. In addition, Indian street food concept Mowgli, which has openings in Bristol, Brighton, Edinburgh and Glasgow lined up for this year, is included. Premium subscribers will also receive a 19,100-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to two other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, was sent to Premium subscribers last Friday (1 April). The database contained 69 new companies, bringing the total number of businesses listed up to 2,407. The 496 sites run by those 69 new additions means the entire database of sites has reached 64,884 sites. Premium subscribers also received a 5,000-word report on the new businesses added. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. There is also a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Premium subscribers also receive the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated every month, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers are also to be given exclusive access to a new database this month. The UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database will be an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and be updated every two months. The first edition will feature more than 100 companies, providing insight on the offer, locations, cost and other key details. The first edition provides 27,000 words of content. 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. 
 
LIVE appoints Jon Collins as CEO as live music body secures multi-year funding: LIVE, the voice of the UK’s live music and entertainment business, has appointed hospitality industry expert Jon Collins as its new chief executive. Formed in response to the covid-19 pandemic, LIVE has since secured multi-year funding, guaranteeing its continued support for the sector and allowing the development of a longer-term focus. This comes as the Association of British Orchestras joins LIVE’s 13-strong member list. Collins’ focus will be to build on previous successes, driving progress on key issues ranging from boosting sustainability to creating an improved regulatory environment for the export and growth of the UK’s £4.5bn live music industry. Collins has been appointed following a 25-year career running representative organisations in the hospitality industry, and previously served as chairman of the Institute of Licensing and the National Licensing Forum. He was lead author for the Greater London Authority’s Night Time Commission for London and a senior adviser to UKHospitality, where Collins focused specifically on late-night and music licensing issues. He succeeds Greg Parmley, who has led the body since its formation in 2020 and is returning to his work with the International Live Music Conference and its in-house magazine. Collins said: “I am delighted to take on this role representing an industry that is a powerful economic performer, catalyst for domestic and international tourism, and a source of soft power for the UK across the globe. Our challenge is to ensure government, policymakers, and regulators fully understand the enormous value this industry creates, and that they continue to support our work.”
 
More than half of consumers seek out sustainability information on favourite drinks brands and venues: More than half (53%) of consumers seek out information regarding environmental and social responsibility on their favourite drinks brands and venues as sustainability becomes more important, according to new research. The 2022 Footprint Drinks Industry ESG Trends Report, in partnership with Pernod Ricard UK, also showed not only do consumers use their influence to support venues and drinks brands that are committed to climate action – 93% said they would choose a pub that had supported the community in the pandemic. According to the report, 56% of consumers consider a brand’s green credentials when considering what to buy. Charles Miers, Footprint co-chief executive and founder, said: “The standout in this year’s report are the voices of consumers, who we surveyed extensively to tease out what they care about and it’s clear they care about sustainability in all its forms. The climate crisis is urgent, but taking action leads to opportunity, as this report demonstrates.”
 
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a fast-growth hospitality business based outside the UK that has big plans in the next few years and is looking for a chief people officer. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “We are looking for someone who can lead a global team of more than 30, build structure, culture and innovation. This is a fast-moving environment with a strong senior management team. We are looking for a character with plenty of resilience and gravitas!” The company is offering a package of circa £200,000 with stock options. Hospitality technology experience would be an advantage or a really strong understanding of the sector. The company is specifically looking for an individual who has grown or scaled a global business at pace. Anyone interested in a confidential chat can email Hollie@corecruitment.com
 

Company News:

Point A Hotels business acquired in £420m deal with plans to double portfolio: Raag Hotels, which owns Point A Hotels, has been acquired in a £420m deal. Tristan Capital Partners’ fund European Property Investors Special Opportunities 6 (EPISO 6) has acquired a majority shareholding in the business. The deal will provide a full exit for the Wellcome Trust, while the other current shareholders, Queensway, a company associated with the Jivraj family, and a company owned by Naguib Kheraj remain as minority partners. The Point A portfolio comprises 1,520 rooms in ten hotels, with 80% of its value in London. Under the new partnership, Queensway will co-invest and act as hotel operator, asset manager and development partner for future sites. The shareholders have committed significant additional equity to fund the next phase of growth of Point A Hotels with the goal of doubling the size of the estate over the medium term. Kristian Smyth, executive director, investments at Tristan Capital Partners, said: “The acquisition of this hotel platform reflects our wider hotel strategy of partnering with best-in-class operators in market segments that are resilient to market volatility with substantial growth potential. Our ambition is to materially grow the platform in the UK and Ireland alongside the Queensway team with two to three acquisitions per year with the objective of doubling the portfolio in the medium term.” Naushad Jivraj, chief executive of Queensway, added: “We are delighted to form this new partnership with Tristan Capital Partners’ fund to continue to significantly grow the Point A platform to provide consumers with a budget boutique offering, in great city centre locations with personal and memorable service.” EPISO 6 was advised by BCLP, Maples, Brodies, PwC, Savills, Artelia and Longevity. Raag Hotels was advised by CBRE, Eastdil, Derek Gammage, DLA Piper, BDO and Voisin Law. Queensway was advised by GSC Solicitors.
 
Parkdean Resorts to spend £140m in biggest ever investment programme, advance bookings at record levels: Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s largest holiday park operator, is spending £140m nationwide at its parks as part of its biggest ever investment programme. The investment will go towards new accommodation, new and upgraded activities and facilities, and installing park-wide Wi-Fi capability. Parkdean Resorts operates 66 parks across the UK, and said advance bookings are at record levels. Steve Richards, chief executive of Parkdean Resorts, said: “By investing in our parks, we’re not only improving the guest experience, we’re also ensuring that holidaymakers keep coming back year after year, spending money in local shops, attractions, pubs and restaurants, and supporting the communities that rely so heavily on tourism. 2021 was a huge year for staycations, and our teams will continue to go above and beyond to deliver phenomenal service for our guests, making sure that 2022 is even better.” The £140m investment includes more than 850 new caravans and lodges, new developments at 16 parks, and hundreds of refreshed and upgraded chalets and lodges with a new look. A total of £6m has been spent on connectivity projects, meaning employee Wi-Fi has now been installed at 65 parks, with direct-to-van Wi-Fi to be available in 50 parks by the end of the year. More than £13m has been invested in the company’s “Parks of the Future” initiative. Three parks – Newquay in Cornwall, Southview in Skegness, and Naze Marine, in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex – will benefit from a host of new activities and upgraded facilities, as well as upgraded and new accommodation options, while Trecco Bay, Europe’s largest holiday park, will receive a further round of enhancements. After launching at Trecco Bay and Camber Sands last year, Thunderbird Fried Chicken will also wing its way to more parks this year.
 
EL&N plans Edinburgh launch: High-class cafe brand EL&N, which last summer made its international debut in the Middle East, is planning to make its debut in Scotland, in Edinburgh. Propel understands EL&N, which was founded in 2017 by Alexander Miller, has lined up an opening in the St James Square development in the Scottish capital. The company currently operates ten sites in London, and four overseas. It has also been linked with an opening in Manchester. Propel understands EL&N plans to open in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia later this year. In the UK, it most recently opened its first airport-based site, at Heathrow. Last year, the business appointed Michael Logos, formerly chief executive of Presman & Colard, the UK and UAE-based franchise and licensing consultancy, as its new group managing director.
 
Marston’s appoints Kai Hepworth as operations director for community food division: Marston’s, the Andrew Andrea-led pub company, has appointed Kai Hepworth, formerly of Bill’s Restaurants and Costa Coffee, as the new operations director for the community food side of the business, Propel understands. Hepworth, who was most recently director of operations at Zip World, was previously operations director at Ten Entertainment Group. He spent more than two years as operations director at Bill’s, and in excess of four as an operations director at Costa. Last month, Propel revealed Sam Wignell, formerly of Boparan Restaurant Group and S4labour, had joined Marston’s as its operations director of premium food. Both Hepworth and Wignell report into Sharon Singh, the company’s operations director for its food-led pubs. 
 
Pho partners with nutritionist to address government's new calories on menu legislation: Vietnamese street food restaurant group Pho has partnered with nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert to address the government's new calories on menu legislation. The TriSpan-backed, 34-strong business, which recently opened in Cheltenham, has teamed up with Lambert to advise its customers and staff about the “pillars of good nutrition and healthy eating – including but not limited to the calorie number”. The company said: “Hoping to remove anxieties and fears that published calories on a menu can generate, Pho and Lambert will work together to communicate the nutritional benefits of dining at Pho. These include preparing everything from scratch, 40% plant-based main menu, and Coeliac Society accreditation (99% gluten-free).” Jules Wall, co-founder of Pho, said: “Dining out is about enjoying tasty food, great company and a little of what you fancy, and that needs to remain everyone’s focus. Our goal is to be a trustworthy place to dine every day of the week without needing to be concerned with calories – so in partnering with Rhiannon, our aim is to help our teams and our customers understand a bit more about nutrition, and allow them to focus on the fun of dining out.”
 
Kerb to relaunch Seven Dials Market’s grab and go destination with seven new traders: Street food collective Kerb will relaunch its Seven Dials Market’s grab and go destination, Cucumber Alley, on Friday (8 April). Seven of the “best and brightest food talent” from the Kerb pool will be offering snacks and sweet treats. Soft Serve Society, which has been operating from Boxpark Shoreditch since 2016, will be opening its first central London location offering its range of ice-cream options, milkshakes and bubble tea. Sammie Le, founder of Yolkin Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches, has conjured up a new dessert offering in the form of crème brûlée crêpe cones with Boolay Crepes. Waffle concept Deeknek will add to its current home in Brick Lane while Taiwanese pancake concept Wheelcake Island will be making a return to Cucumber Alley having since set up in Spitalfields. Ong Ong’s, which is the brainchild of Aaron and Icy Mo, will be offering Asian baked goods, while Oshpaz, founded by Muzaffar Sadykov, will serve its dumplings having first teamed up with Kerb in Peckham in 2018. Meanwhile, Naanstop Express will be bringing its Mumbai street food flavours to a new audience. Simon Mitchell, managing director of Kerb and curator of Seven Dials Market, said: “Seven Dials Market has always been a very special place, and a hot pot of new and talented brands coming together – all under one roof. Cucumber Alley is an extension of this offer and is reflective of what we at Kerb are working to achieve, and that is to support new operators coming to the market and providing an opportunity to grow before expanding into other locations.” Julia Wilkinson, restaurant director at landlord Shaftesbury, added: “The evolution of Cucumber Alley is an exciting next phase for Seven Dials Market and collaboratively, the line-up of operators will add to this best-in-class street food destination in the heart of London’s West End.”
 
Apex Hotels returns to profitability since reopening, ‘maintained financial stability’ through pandemic: Apex Hotels, which operates ten luxury hotels in five UK cities including London and Edinburgh, has returned to profitability since reopening. It also maintained financial stability through the pandemic, despite an 88% drop in turnover, according to its accounts for the year ending 30 April 2021. Turnover dropped from £68.7m in 2020 to £8m, while it reported a pre-tax loss of £16.4m versus a profit of £7m the previous year. The company said: “While the impact of covid-19 on the hospitality sector was severe, the group acted quickly to maintain financial stability.” It received £7.6m in furlough payments and £830,000 in other government grants, and deferred £1.5m in VAT. It also received two tranches of funding through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme worth £20m, a further £1.45m increase in revolving credit facility from the Bank of Scotland (BOS) and extended its facilities with the same bank from December 2021 to December 2024. The company said: “Since the government restrictions have eased after the year end, all ten of our hotels have now reopened and the business has returned to profitability and positive cash generation.” The business also expects its revolving credit facility with BOS to be extended to or refinanced beyond April 2023, when it’s due to expire. The company added: “The group will continue to evaluate further expansion plans as opportunities arise.”
 
Vurger Co to head north with Manchester opening: Vegan fast-food concept The Vurger Co will open its first site in the north west, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, this month. The company, founded by Rachel Hugh and Neil Potts, has taken a unit at Transmission House on the corner of Tib Street and Church Street in the city. The site, which will have 50 covers inside, will become the group’s fourth opening and its biggest to date. Backed by Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni and Miray Zaki of Dismatrix Group, The Vurger Co operates two London stores – the first debuting in Shoreditch in March 2018 followed by a Canary Wharf location eight months later – and a site in Brighton, which opened in 2020. Hugh said: “This is a really exciting time for us at The Vurger Co. We’ve worked hard to establish ourselves in London and Brighton and can’t wait to be part of the thriving restaurant and food scene in Manchester, one of our favourite cities.”
 
Tortilla set to expand delivery operations following long-term Growth Kitchen partnership: Mexican restaurant brand Tortilla is set to expand its delivery operations after partnering with Growth Kitchen, the food tech start-up building smart satellite kitchen networks. The long-term partnership will support the opening of multiple delivery kitchens in the coming years following Tortilla’s Growth Kitchen hub in Balham. “We’re delighted to be partnering with Growth Kitchen, as we continue to find more innovative ways of getting our quality product to our customers as quickly as possible, said Andy Naylor, chief financial officer and commercial director at Tortilla. “It's a great way for us to continue to grow our business, testing new areas while increasing our density in existing markets. In collaboration with the team, we will be able to use multiple data sources to analyse, identify and select a pipeline of potential additional areas that will help drive the expansion of our hubs throughout the UK, and we’re looking forward to seeing where the partnership takes us in the coming years.” Máté Kun, co-founder of Growth Kitchen, added: “Without the right technology in place to steer growth in the right postcodes, it can be risky for restaurants who don’t want to cannibalise sales at their brick and mortar sites. We have helped Tortilla overcome this challenge, and the success we have shared at our Balham hub is allowing us to work together to increase the density of sites in markets where it already has a strong presence, as well as new areas.”
 
Slim Chickens to open Cambridge Circus site next week as part of ambitious roll-out plans: Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) will open its next Slim Chickens site next Wednesday (13 April), in London’s Cambridge Circus. As revealed by Propel in February, Slim Chickens is launching in the former Shake Shack premises for its 18th UK site. The opening forms part of Slim Chickens’ ambitious UK roll-out plans this year. The 3,847 square foot site will feature 122 covers across two floors. Slim Chickens Cambridge Circus will also be the brand’s second location to offer fully operational service robots following on from Guildford, supporting the on-site team with table service and click and collect orders. Satnam Leihal, chief executive of BRG, said: “From listening to customers we know how much they want Slim Chickens to be part of their communities and from speaking with landlord partners we know they want Slims to be part of their developments. We are thrilled to have secured another iconic central London location for Slim Chickens.” Julia Wilkinson, restaurant director at landlord Shaftesbury, added: “We are pleased to be welcoming Slim Chickens to this key gateway location to Seven Dials.” Slim Chickens has openings lined up in Leicester and Milton Keynes while it is understood to be in talks to take on a unit at 224 Bishopsgate in the capital.

Cains Brewery to reopen in Liverpool after nine-year absence following multi-million-pound investment: Cains Brewery, which was formed in Liverpool in 1858 but disappeared from the map nine years ago, is set to return to the city following a multi-million-pound investment. The site, in the city’s Baltic Triangle, was transformed into Cain’s Brewery Village – which includes numerous bars, coffee shops, food and entertainment venues, plus crazy gold concept Ghetto Golf. Two of these – Irish bar Punch Tarmey’s and large-scale bar and gaming arcades ArCains – are both operated by the Andrew Mikhail-led Mikhail Hotels & Leisure Group. And it is Mikhail that is behind reviving the brewery at the Stanhope Street site this spring, in a facility spread across three floors. “The beer they call ‘Liverpool in a pint’ has been missed by many since it disappeared from bars almost ten years ago,” he told Liverpool Business News. “I feel incredibly proud to be bringing this iconic brew back to life. Cains is a resilient brand, and we’re really excited to be bringing Cains Brewery back to life, albeit with a new direction that will bring national attention to Liverpool for all the right reasons.” Cains Brewery, which once operated around 200 pubs, first closed in 1990 when its then-owner, Boddingtons, sold all its breweries to Whitbread. The site and Cains name was acquired by the Dusanj brothers in 2002 and several attempts were made to revive it, but the company collapsed into administration six years later. The brothers bought back the brewery and eight of the original pubs, but the brewery closed once more in 2013, with the brothers still owning the freehold of the site.
 
Former Benito’s Hat CEO to launch debut permanent restaurant for meat-free pizza concept next week: Former Benito’s Hat chief executive Rich Baker is to launch a permanent site for his meat-free pizza concept Flat Earth next Tuesday (12 April). The concept, which Baker co-leads with Sarah Brading, has operated a number of residencies over the past two and a half years, including at The Plough in Hackney. Now Flat Earth is opening its own home, in Cambridge Heath in east London, after securing funding through SWIG Finance – a not-for-profit social enterprise. The site in Cambridge Heath Road will have 35 covers inside with a further 16 outside. Flat Earth creates meat-free pizzas “that are kind to the planet”, which will be available all day alongside a selection of seasonal small plates in the evening. They will be accompanied by wine on tap or in reusable bottles, draught beer and coffee. There will also be a bottle shop that offers a “bottle return” scheme. Brading said: “After a couple of years on the pop-up scene, we are excited to be opening our first restaurant. Our spot on the corner of Cambridge Heath Road and Vyner Street fizzes with creativity and community – we can’t wait to get stuck in.” 
 
SSP Group opens whiskey-led bar experience at Dublin airport: UK-based transport hub foodservice specialist SSP Group has opened a whiskey-led bar experience at Dublin airport. The Whiskey Bread Bar is located in Terminal 2’s US pre-clearance area and offers views across the airfield. The name and concept of Whiskey Bread Bar pays homage to a piece of culinary history that unites both America and Ireland. Whiskey Bread derives from soda bread, which is most commonly attributed to Ireland but has its origins in America due to Native Americans being the first people to use soda to leaven their bread. The bar features a wide variety of Irish and international whiskeys. An online whiskey quiz helps customers navigate the whiskey selection, and gives them an opportunity to create their own whiskey flight. These flights also come with individual tasting notes for customers to take away with them as a souvenir of their visit. To accompany many dishes on the food menu, Whiskey Bread Bar also serves its own tailor-made whiskey-steeped soda bread.
 
Pret pledges to increase support for people in need with 20p donation from select best-selling baguettes: Pret A Manger is donating 20p from the purchase of its best-selling baguettes to go towards new jobs for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, refugees and ex-offenders, as it “ups its efforts to help those in need in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis”. The JAB Holdings-owned business said for the first time, it will donate proceeds from its most popular baguettes to help raise funds for The Pret Foundation, a charity focused on tackling hunger, poverty and homelessness. In addition,10p for every soup purchased will continue to be donated, which Pret said will help it to raise more than £100,000 in April. The funds will go towards the training and support of 75 people needing a second chance through The Pret Foundation’s Rising Stars programme over the next 12 months, giving people an opportunity to work at Pret and rebuild their life. The 75 new roles are in addition to the 50 new roles created for those fleeing the war in Ukraine as part of Pret’s Ukrainian Employment Programme, the company announced last month. Guy Meakin, interim managing director of Pret UK & Ireland, said: “The past two years have been exceptionally difficult, and as a result, homelessness, poverty and hunger are a growing concern. That’s why we’re ramping up our support, looking to take on more refugees and homeless people this year as part of The Pret Foundation’s Rising Stars programme.”
 
Tom Kitchin to replace his former French bistro with new Edinburgh restaurant: Tom Kitchen, Scotland’s youngest Michelin star winner, is set to open a new restaurant in the city to replace his former venue that closed due to flooding. Kora by Tom Kitchen, set to open this spring, will be the chef’s fourth venue in the region alongside The Scran & Scallie, The Kitchin and The Bonnie Badger. It will replace French bistro Southside Scran, which was also owned by Kitchin but was forced to close due to flooding in 2020. Kitchen also previously co-owned the Castle Terrace, which will not reopen after closing two years ago. The name of the new venue comes from the Greek goddess of spring, flowers and vegetation – representing both new beginnings and Kitchin’s passion for working with fresh and seasonal produce. It will include a bar area for those wanting just a drink or lighter meal, and a 65-cover dining space. “I am thrilled to be introducing a new dining venue to the city,” Kitchen told Edinburgh Live. “We are looking forward to bringing our Bruntsfield property back to life with a new concept, creating a genuine neighbourhood restaurant with a real sense of community. This new chapter is a really exciting one for our entire team and also for the city. We can’t wait to get back into the kitchen and start cooking some really fresh and exciting new dishes for our guests.” 
 
Great Northern Group rebrands remaining Copper sites following double sale to RedCat: Nottingham-based Great Northern Group has rebranded its two remaining Copper sites in the city. It follows the sale of Copper City, in Nottingham’s Market Street, and Copper in Woodborough Road, Mapperley, to RedCat Pub Company, the investment vehicle from ex-Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand, earlier this year. Great Northern Group has stuck with the metal theme at the cafe bars in Bingham and West Bridgford by changing the name to Gilt. A spokesman said: “RedCat has bought the brand off us – that's a massive thing to happen to us. It's bitter-sweet after 13 amazing years of being called Copper but you have to move on and it's just a name.” A new menu will be launched to coincide with the name change. Old favourites such as a full English breakfast, steak sandwich and cod and chips remain, alongside new additions including mains of paprika chicken supreme, ribeye steak, ginger chilli chicken and a roasted teriyaki veg bowl. Great Northern Group now operates eight venues in and around Nottingham.

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