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Mon 25th Apr 2022 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Black Sheep Coffee to enter US market this year, UK estate to reach 100 sites, plans drive-thru format: London-based speciality coffee shop operator Black Sheep Coffee plans to make its debut in the US before the end of the year and has selected Texas as its entry point, Propel has learned. In a shareholder letter seen by Propel, the company said it had visited Dallas and Austin to view a series of shortlisted sites; set up a new corporate structure of US entities; met prospective franchisees and started building its teams. Last October, Propel revealed the business had received funding from Dallas Mavericks basketball player Kristaps Porzingi. At the same time, it has begun tendering for various airport sites across the UK, prompted by its success in train stations, and also has plans to launch a drive-thru format in the UK. The company currently has 51 shops in its pipeline that were agreed during the pandemic on “attractive pandemic-adjusted rent terms”. It plans to open them all in the next 12 months and expects franchisees to take at least 25 – having opened its first franchise site in Birmingham, with AC Hotels, last October. It is on track to open its 100th site by the end of this year, with franchise-owned sites set to open in Milton Keynes, Cheltenham, Liverpool, Coventry, Windsor, Newcastle, Cardiff, Peterborough and across Essex. Company-owned site openings will include launches in Edinburgh, Bristol, Glasgow, Canterbury, plus several more in London, and the company is also viewing industrial estates across the country to find a place to build a new roastery. It has raised £5.6m in new equity and £50,000 in debt, which will be used to build pipeline sites that it does not intend to give away to franchisees and to capitalise its new US entities for its entry into Texas. The business said it was the first coffee-led operator to have adopted self-ordering screens, which it has now rolled out across most of its estate. This has led to a 17% reduction in customer complaints about waiting times and an 18% increase in average transaction value. Labour costs for the five shops with the highest screens adoption rate are also 20% lower than for those without. At 31 March 2022, the company said 38 of its 45 company-owned shops showed positive Ebitda, and of the seven that showed negative Ebitda, two were still in ramp up and five were awaiting a settlement that will retrospectively apply to the period. It opened 14 new shops in the period, taking its total number to 49, and entered five new cities. During the year, it hit an “all-time weekly system sales record of £437,000”, achieving 19% Ebitda at shop-level (£278,000) and reaching a positive Ebitda of 7% (£107,000) at company-level in the last month of the period. It also broke its “all-time sales records by the second half of February”.
 
 

Industry News:

Sponsored message – James Nye supports Hospitality Rising, invest today: James Nye, managing director of Anglian Country Inns, is supporting Hospitality Rising. The initiative aims to unite the industry by asking it to invest in and back its plan to change the perception of hospitality for the better in the biggest sector recruitment advertising campaign the UK has seen. Nye said: “It’s no secret there has always been challenges recruiting in hospitality, and they are more evident now than at any other time I can remember in my last 20 years. With Hospitality Rising, Mark [McCulloch] has managed to bring together some of the smartest marketing minds in recruitment to tackle the mammoth problem we are all facing. Hospitality has given me a career and incredible opportunities and friends for life. I have not only invested in Hospitality Rising to help our own recruitment challenges at Anglian Country Inns, but because I want to help support the industry that has given me so much. It is great to see the support from such a wide range of leading operators who have backed this project already. Hospitality has always been good at collectively solving the challenges it faces, and the more people who join Hospitality Rising, the more impact we will have on this legacy issue.” Invest in Hospitality Rising now from just £10 per employee here. If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com.

Host of burger concepts set to join updated Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies: A host of burger concepts are among the 31 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 (29 April), at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, features Black Bear Burger, which is operated by husband-and-wife team Liz and Stew Down, and has a site at Boxpark Shoreditch, a sit-down restaurant in Brixton Village and its newest venue, at Market Halls’ Cargo Canary Wharf. Also added this month is Ayrshire-based Meat in the Middle, which is owned by brothers Ross and Mark Gilmour and operates sites in Ayr, Falkirk, Irvine, Kilmarnock and Paisley, with a new site in Princes Street, Ardrossan, set to open in the coming weeks. In addition, Brixton-based restaurateurs Michael Lythgoe and Cidalia Rodrigues, who operate restaurant-nightspot Chip Shop, which features burgers and wings alongside street art and hip-hop DJs, have now opened a second site called Brix, will be featured. Also included this month is plant-based fast-food concept Bvrger, which was founded by friends Jeremy Ford-Young and Paul Brothers in 2020 and has sites in Spitalfields Market and Kensington. Premium subscribers will also receive a 2,607-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 next edition of the New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Friday, 6 May, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The next edition also includes a 11,130-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to 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. Premium subscribers also receive the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, which is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and will be updated every two months. The first edition features 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.

Davies – this is a very worrying and concerning time for the industry: Tom Davies, chief executive of Henley pub company Brakspear, has said with energy prices rising, food inflation and staff shortages, that this is “a very worrying and concerning time for the industry”. Talking to the Henley Standard, Davies said: “There is no energy cap like there is for domestic use, and that means we are fully exposed. Energy prices, as well as food inflation and staff shortages, make this a very worrying and concerning time for the industry. Prices are going to have to go up to cover the costs, and at a time where the cost of living is going up for everyone, there is no other choice, as we have seen in pubs and food providers across the country. Hopefully the energy prices will come down again in the medium term, but that is not helped by what is going on in Ukraine. In the short term, the situation is really concerning, and our bills have been going up significantly and have definitely more than doubled.” He added: “Staff shortages due to Brexit are still a big problem for us. Along with other businesses in the industry, we are struggling to find waiters and kitchen staff, and that is having an impact on our ability to trade.”

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with an international hospitality business that is looking to recruit a chief people officer. The role is London based with international responsibility and will report directly into the chief executive. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for a talented and ambitious executive level people director/chief people officer. This business has big plans for the next few years and is hoping to take on board someone who can help build structure, develop the culture and drive innovation. This is a fast-moving environment with a strong senior management team and aspirations to grow globally. We are looking for an individual who is resilient and proactive in their approach to work and who understands start-up vision. Hospitality or tech experience is a real advantage, or a strong understanding of the sector is needed. The business is looking for someone who has extensive international experience and a proven track record on supporting a scaling business.” There is a negotiable salary plus a shares and bonus package offered. For more information and to apply, email Hollie@corecruitment.com
 

Company News:

Gravity to invest £10m in flagship Liverpool multi-entertainment concept: Experiential leisure operator Gravity will invest £10m in a large multi-entertainment concept over two floors at the Liverpool ONE destination in Liverpool. The 100,000 square-foot site, which will span the two upper floors of a former Debenhams store, is set to open this autumn. It is an evolution of the 80,000 square-foot Gravity Southside destination the company opened in Wandsworth last summer but will be its first to feature an outside rooftop space. It will house a unique e-karting experience, bowling, urban golf and food and beverage offerings, with a bar and live entertainment. The Liverpool site will become the company’s flagship in its portfolio of 18 venues across the UK, with further openings on the horizon. Michael Harrison, co-founder and chief growth officer at Gravity, said: “This is our biggest investment yet, and we are delighted to be collaborating with Grosvenor at a destination that has continued to perform positively, despite the recent market challenges. As a business, we are getting stronger all the time, and we have no doubt that we will control one million square feet of the high street within the next two years. Gravity is at the forefront of the trend for more leisure-led hospitality experiences and has become a household name. We are particularly excited about Liverpool ONE as it is our debut in the heart of a city centre. As a company committed to pushing the boundaries of leisure and active entertainment, we can’t wait to integrate other traditional experiences with technology, as we have done with our e-karting and AR bowling.” Gravity, which has set a revenue target of £20m for 2022, took its first steps into Europe in December when it signed a franchise deal for a multi-attraction venue in Leipzig, Germany. In February, it also got the green light to construct a £2m e-karting experience at Xscape Yorkshire in Castleford. Metis and Stärka acted for Liverpool ONE, while Savills represented Gravity.

Fat Hippo plans London launch, eyes 12 new sites by end of 2023: Better burger brand Fat Hippo is in talks to secure its debut site in London, as it looks to open up to 12 new sites by the end of 2023, Propel has learned. Mike Phillips, who founded the ten-strong business in Newcastle in 2010, said the company planned to open six sites this year and the same number in 2023, as it gets in a position for an opening every two months. The company has already lined up openings in Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff for this year, with a site in Edinburgh slated for 2023. Phillips said he hoped one of the openings this year would be in the capital. He told Propel: “We are in talks on a couple of sites and hope to have something lined up this year. It is a competitive market, but we feel our concept has more of a niche offering that will allow it to stand out.” Phillips said the company had a facility in place to fund its expansion plans, which would target both city centre locations and suburban areas. He said: “We are comfortable operating in both types, with our sites in Headingley and Jesmond proving the brand works in suburban areas.” The company recently secured the former Fillet of Soul site on Birmingham’s Bennetts Hill for an opening later this year. It made its Scottish debut last July with a concession site in the newly launched Lane7 site in Edinburgh’s St James Quarter and has secured a standalone opening in the Scottish capital, in George Street. As previously revealed by Propel, the business is also set to open in St Vincent Street, Glasgow, at the end of spring, and will make its Welsh debut later this year with an opening on the ex-Bub’s Bar and Kitchen site in Cardiff’s Church Street. The company currently operates three concessions sites, but Phillips said the upcoming openings would be standalone restaurants rather than further concessions.

The Real Greek to open in Gloucester, eight Franco Manca sites in build or signed: The Real Greek, the Fulham Shore-owned brand, is to open a site in Gloucester later this summer, Propel has learned. The brand, which recently opened its debut site in the north east in Newcastle’s Eldon Square scheme, has secured the former Carluccio’s site at Gloucester Quays. It will become the 25th site to open under The Real Greek brand and 12th outside the capital. At the same time, sister brand Franco Manca has started the build for an opening in Manchester’s Trafford Centre, in the ex-Giraffe site – next door to what has the company described as a “very busy new The Real Greek”. Franco Manca also has sites signed or in build in Canterbury, Kingston, Didsbury, Manchester (King Street), Peterborough, Lincoln, and Edinburgh (Stocksbridge). Openings are also being lined up in Chichester, Esher, Salisbury, Liverpool, Cardiff, Windsor and Lewes. Earlier this month, Fulham Shore reported it expects revenue, Ebitda and adjusted headline Ebitda for the financial year ended 27 March 2022 to be ahead of last year’s figures and “comfortably ahead of market expectations”.

Stem & Glory plans £1.4m fundraise for two more sites: Vegan restaurant Stem & Glory is planning a £1.4m fundraise for its fourth and fifth sites, Propel has learned. The company is aiming to raise the funds through the SeedLegals platform in the next few months. Last month, Stem & Glory closed a £500,000 fundraise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to support the opening of its third site and develop its supermarket ready meal range. Now the business, which was founded by Louise Palmer-Masterton and is set to launch its third site – and second in London – in Broadgate in late summer, is eyeing further growth. “We’ve got a few irons in the fire and we’re really in the mood to go for it,” Palmer-Masterton told Propel. The Broadgate opening will add to its sites in Cambridge and London’s Barts Square, which are both profitable and continue to trade well. Stem & Glory, which is now officially a carbon neutral business, is also growing with direct-to-consumer products such as ready meals and retail merchandise, which it successfully piloted during the lockdowns. Palmer-Masterton previously told Propel the business was looking to add one site per year to the portfolio but “could possibly step that up”. 

Clays planning further expansion in London and overseas: Clays, the indoor virtual clay pigeon shooting experience, is planning to open further sites in London and to expand overseas. The company, which was founded by Tom Snellock, opened its first site in the City at 55 Moorgate last November. Spanning two floors, the 11,000 square-foot venue comprises 12 “pegs”, which can be booked by groups of up to 20 people for a 90-minute session. Talking at Propel’s recent Multi Club event, Snellock said that the company was looking at further expansion in the capital and overseas, and it had signed the IP on its hardware and game for the US, Canada, Europe, China, Japan and Australia. Snellock called the move a “defensible moat” on its plans to become a global brand. The business secured £3m of funding from family and friends to launch the concept, with the fundraise closing in February 2020. The business, which is chaired by Stephen Partridge-Hicks, co-founder of Gordian Knot, a London and New York-based asset management company, attracted 64 investors, who made an average investment of £50,000. The investor group was made up of 60% of people who don’t shoot, while 35% were women. Snellock told Propel that the business had served over 37,000 guests to date, with a further 13,000 already booked over the coming months.
 
Mission Mars secures Sheffield site for Rudy’s: Mission Mars, the Albert’s Schloss operator led by Roy Ellis, is to open its first site in Sheffield, under its fast-growing Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza brand. The nine-strong brand will open at 40-44 Division Street later this summer. Last month, Ellis told Propel that he has seven sites for Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza in legals, including in Preston and Sheffield. A new restaurant opening in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester this summer will also feature a pizzaiolo training academy. The company is also set to open a site in Chorlton and is seeking to open further Rudy’s sites in Birmingham and London. Propel understands Rudy’s is also close to securing a second site in Birmingham, to join its existing restaurant in Bennetts Hill. Ellis said Rudy’s sales were up 30% on pre-covid levels, 20% of which he attributed to delivery through Deliveroo.
 
Bob & Berts eyes north west of England expansion as it plans ten openings a year: Coffee brand Bob & Berts has set its sights on further growth in the north west of England for the next phase of its ambitious expansion, as it plans to open up to ten new stores each year. The BGF-backed business was founded in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, in 2013 by Colin McClean. Following a £2m investment from BGF in 2017, the business has grown to 24 sites across the UK, and in the last 12 months, opened its first three sites in the north west of England. The sites – in Lancaster, Kendal and Preston – are all experiencing strong sales. Bob & Berts has made a significant investment in its 25th store, a 3,500 square-foot site in Bury’s The Rock shopping centre, which will open later this month. The independent chain, which currently has five sites in Scotland, will also open its sixth, in Perth, in May. For the next phase of expansion, the business is looking at other north west locations including Southport, Lytham St Annes, Blackpool and Carlisle. McClean said: “From day one, we’ve set out to do things differently to other coffee shop chains that you’ll find on your high street, and it’s this approach that’s proving ever popular with our growing customer base. We’ve built a solid foundation in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and since we opened the first three sites in England, we’ve been extremely pleased with their performance.”

XP Factory expects to have 27 Boom Battle Bar sites open by end of 2022: Experiential leisure business XP Factory has said it expects to have 27 Boom Battle Bar sites open by the end of 2022, with several launches planned in the next couple of months. Boom Battle Bar currently operates 11 sites, two owner-operated and nine franchises, with a further ten currently in build. XP Factory, which acquired Boom Battle Bar in November, stated: “Of these ten sites, seven are at or near build completion. Once opened, the enlarged estate of 21 sites will comprise six owner-operated and 15 franchise venues. Further sites are well progressed and expected to commence build over the summer and ensuing months. Trading performance across both owner-operated and franchise sites is validating the board’s box-economics expectations for both sales and profitability.” XP Factory said co-located sites for Boom Battle Bar and sister brand Escape Hunt are to open soon in Exeter, Edinburgh and Oxford Street in London. Richard Harpham, chief executive of XP Factory, said: “We are delighted at how well Boom Battle Bar has been integrated into the group. It has been an extremely busy period for site development, and we have an exciting run of openings in the coming weeks and months that position us well to deliver on our estate targets for the end of the year. The recent performances from our new Boom sites have validated our expectations for the site level profitability we believe is achievable. In addition, Escape Hunt performance has exceeded expectations for the first quarter, giving us confidence for the execution of our strategy.”

Center Parcs owner lines up Barclays to prepare £4bn sale: The owner of Britain’s biggest chain of upmarket holiday villages is lining up bankers to oversee a review of its options, which could pave the way for an auction valuing it at £4bn. Sky News reports that Brookfield Property Partners, the Canadian property giant, is close to appointing Barclays to advise on the future of Center Parcs UK – an investment it has held since 2015. An outright sale, the disposal of a minority stake or a public flotation are all potential alternatives. Center Parcs UK recently recorded the most profitable half-year in its history, in spite of pandemic-related operating constraints. Barclays is a significant lender to the company and is said to have been particularly supportive during the early part of the pandemic. It has yet to be formally hired by Brookfield, but an insider said it was highly likely to win a role on a strategic review of Center Parcs UK. Center Parcs is one of the most famous brands in the British leisure industry, drawing millions of visitors annually to its five UK sites and the latest addition to its portfolio, at Longford Forest in Ireland. Center Parcs declined to comment.

Costa trials new recyclable lids ahead of planned UK rollout: Costa Coffee, which is owned by Coca-Cola, has begun trialling new recyclable fibre lids ahead of a planned UK-wide rollout in early 2023. The lids are available at 150 Costa stores across the UK while stocks last. The trial starts just a month after Costa committed to halving carbon emissions per coffee serving by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2040. The trial will gather feedback on the new lids, which will also be trialled in select Costa Express machines this summer. The lids will be available across small, medium, and large takeaway cup sizes and have up to 50% lower carbon footprint than the current polystyrene plastic ones. Costa recently extended its UK trial of a blockchain technology-powered reusable cup scheme BURT (borrow, use, reuse, takeback), which allows consumers to borrow a reusable cup and return it on their next visit. It also relaunched its loyalty scheme with a sustainability focus last year, rewarding consumers with a free drink after only four purchases when using a reusable cup, compared with eight in a takeaway cup.

Mac & Co opens seventh site and first outside London: A restaurant brand dedicated to serving different flavours of macaroni and cheese has branched out of London for the first time for its seventh site. Mac & Co, which operates six restaurants in the capital, has arrived in Manchester’s Arndale Centre for its first regional opening. There are nine types of mac and cheese to choose from, including buffalo blue, barbecue pulled pork, crispy chilli chicken and chicken and chorizo. Vegetarian options include buffalo mozzarella and green pesto, and roasted mushroom and truffle.

Big Smoke Brew Co to open site at Luton airport: Surrey-based brewer and retailer Big Smoke Brew Co is opening a Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen craft beer and restaurant at Luton airport in June. The company has again joined forces with Airport Retail Enterprises (ARE) for the venture following the opening of their first venue at Heathrow airport terminal two. The Luton bar will feature Big Smoke’s core range of beer and house gin, alongside a selection of premium beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks, while a food menu has been curated with the airport traveller in mind, featuring a wide range of seasonal options for all-day dining. Rich Craig, who launched Big Smoke Brew Co with his business partner James Morgan in 2014, said: “We are thrilled to be opening a new Big Smoke restaurant at London Luton airport, bringing our signature home-cooked food and craft beer to more global travellers.” London Luton airport chief commercial officer, Jonathan Rayner, added: “With demand for air travel returning, the arrival of Big Smoke at London Luton Airport is well timed ahead of what’s expected to be our busiest summer since 2019.” Big Smoke Brew Co operates 13 sites, including eight in a joint venture with Punch.

PureGym plans to double size to more than 1,000 sites, reports £308m turnover as memberships reach pre-covid levels: PureGym, Britain’s biggest health and fitness club operator, has said it plans to double its estate size to more than 1,000 sites in the medium term. This follows a £300m investment from private equity firm KKR in December, to support further expansion. The company added 28 new sites to its portfolio last year, taking its footprint up to 512 gyms across the UK and Europe. It also reported total revenue of £308m for the year ending 31 December 2021, up 11% from £277m in 2020, with its UK revenue increasing to £194m from £142m. Total adjusted Ebitda for the group increased to £40m from £13m the previous year. PureGym has also reported a strong start to 2022, with a net member gain of more than more 160,000 across January and February. Total Group membership at the end of February was back to the December 2019 level of 1.7 million. PureGym Group is also behind Denmark-based Fitness World and Basefit in Switzerland.

Roxy Leisure confirms Sheffield launch: Roxy Leisure, the operator of the Roxy Lanes and Roxy Ballroom concepts, has confirmed it will open a Roxy Ballroom site in Sheffield. As revealed by Propel in November, Roxy Leisure is opening the site in Wellington Street in the summer. It will be the latest addition to Heart of the City, the £470m regeneration scheme in the city centre. Roxy Ballroom will be based underneath Telephone House, which has recently been refurbished, and close to New World Trading Company’s recently opened restaurant and bar, The Furnace. Joel Mitchell, brand development manager at Roxy Leisure, said: “This is an incredible location, and we can’t wait to bring the Roxy experience to the city very soon. Roxy and Sheffield are a perfect fit for each other, and we are excited to finally come to a city that we have wanted to be in for a long time.” Last month, Roxy Leisure said it planned to open six sites in 2022, as it confirmed an opening in Bristol. It has plans for further sites in York, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Gareth Bale and The Depot get go-ahead for Bristol opening for Par 59 concept: Football star Gareth Bale and Welsh independent entertainment brand The Depot have been given the go-ahead to open a site in Bristol for their new mini-golf bar and restaurant concept, Par 59, despite objections. Propel revealed last month the venture, which goes under the umbrella name True Swing, had lined up a site in Millennium Promenade, in the city’s Harbourside area, for an opening in the autumn. Permission has now been granted by Bristol City Council, despite neighbours arguing it should not be allowed because of its location in the city centre cumulative impact area. In March, Bale’s company, Elevens Group, and The Depot opened the first Par 59 at the 23,000 square-foot site of the former Liquid/Life nightclub in St Mary Street, Cardiff. It is understood the concept is working with Cardiff-based property advisors Fletcher Morgan to build a pipeline of new openings, with sites in Exeter, Bath, Newcastle, Southampton, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh under consideration. It is also thought the business will look overseas, with an opening in Dubai on its target list.

200 Degrees opens Barnsley site: Nottingham based coffee roaster, 200 Degrees, has opened its 16th site, in Barnsley. The 101-seat coffee shop, which includes an outdoor seating area for up to 25 people, is in Cheapside, at the entrance to The Glass Works shopping concourse. 200 Degrees director, Tom Vincent, said: “We are thrilled to be coming to Barnsley and can’t wait to become ingrained in the community. I am personally quite excited at the thought of being able to sit down in a cosy corner of our shop, gazing out at the Kes statue through the window. What better way to enjoy a coffee than taking some time to reminisce on childhood memories?” Site number 17 is set to follow next month in Nottingham’s Milton Street, its third venue in the city. Co-founder Rob Darby said last month that 200 Degrees is aiming to add roughly five stores a year to its estate.

London-based anime-themed ramen restaurant set to reopen following relocation: Uzumaki, the London-based anime-themed ramen restaurant, is set to reopen in June following a relocation to a bigger site. Having opened at 6 Holborn Viaduct during lockdown, the restaurant has temporarily closed while it moves to the former Malabar Junction site at 107 Great Russell Street, off Tottenham Court Road. The restaurant became known for its anime murals, merchandise and cosplay events. Its menu includes build-your-own ramen bowls, sushi and sashimi sets.

Boutique fitness brand Trib3 set for Nottingham opening: Boutique fitness brand Trib3 is to launch a new site in Nottingham in May – one of four pipeline openings that will take the brand’s global estate to 17 sites. Trib3 currently had seven UK sites, with ones in Liverpool and Ealing “coming soon”, as well as four in Spain (plus another “coming soon” to Madrid) and one each in Finland and China. The 45-spot Nottingham studio, situated in Carrington Street, will feature an on-site protein mixology bar. Trib3 franchise partners and brothers, Phil and Mike Christofis, told West Bridgford Wire: “We spotted a gap in the market and decided to make the jump from our ‘nine to five’ to Trib3. It’s our first business in the industry, but it has always been a goal of ours to turn our passion into something positive.” Kevin Yates, chief executive of Trib3, added: “Our UK expansion is progressing well, and I am delighted to be partnering with Phil and Mike to open here in Nottingham.”

Ruby’s of London doubles up with Tunbridge Wells site: Artisan vegan patisserie and cafe, Ruby’s of London, has doubled up with an opening in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Founder Ruby Amarteifio has launched the outlet in Monson Road in the grade II-listed building formerly occupied by Patisserie Valerie. It sells sweet and savoury products along with special occasion and celebration cakes as well as coffee, tea, juice and “high-end pantry and gift items”, reports Kent Live. Amarteifio founded Ruby’s in 2010, starting with a stall at Greenwich Market, selling plant-based cakes and bakes. She opened Ruby’s of London in July last year, back where her business journey began.

Shropshire-based brewer and retailer planning to open second micropub: Shropshire-based brewer and retailer Bloody Good Brews has submitted plans to open a second micropub in the county. The company, which operates The Coracle in Ironbridge, as well as selling its brews online, plans to convert a disused cafe in Wellington into The Boot. It would replace the former Maddie’s Cafe site at 2 Market Square. Plans have been lodged with Telford and Wrekin Council, which are currently subject of a public consultation. “The development will focus on the sale of high-quality beer, offering four different real ales, real cider, and nine draught ales and lagers, most of which will be on a constantly rotational basis,” a statement from Bloody Good Brews said. “The development will appeal to visitors to the area. However, we also hope to make the pub an important part of the local community.”

Hereford cafe set to double up with second site: A Hereford cafe will be opening at a second site next month, in the city’s Maylord Shopping Centre. The Life and Soul Kitchen, currently based at Three Elms Trading Estate, aims to support adults with learning disabilities. The new site will be based in the former BB’s Coffee and Muffins unit. A Facebook post said. “Opening on Tuesday, 3 May, this fantastic new location will give us opportunity to support even more adults with learning disabilities. Having two sites will also allow our adults to work in different locations, meet new people and, in turn, gain more confidence.” Meanwhile, Herefordshire pub The Grange, in Mortimer’s Cross, has added a deli and farm shop to its restaurant and rooms. The pub has been run by the Goodwin family since 2014. Annaly Goodwin said: “We took the time during lockdown to work out how to adapt and move forward to develop our vision.”

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