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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 11th Sep 2023 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Exclusive – St Austell acquires The Bath Pub Company: St Austell Brewery has acquired The Bath Pub Company, Propel has learned. The deal, for an undisclosed amount, sees St Austell take over the operation of The Bath Pub Company’s four sites, further growing and strengthening its 184-strong West Country pub estate. The Locksbrook Inn, The Moorfields and The Hare & Hounds bring the total number of sites in St Austell’s managed pub estate to 43. The Marlborough Tavern is now part of the company’s leased and tenanted estate and will continue to be operated by Justin Sleath, The Bath Pub Company’s co-founder and commercial director. St Austell chief executive Kevin Georgel said: “We’re proud to become the new owners of such a high-quality and well-respected pub company in Bath. We are fully committed to developing the quality and size of our pub estate. As such, we are investing significantly in our existing pubs, while also acquiring new sites and businesses such as The Bath Pub Company. The Locksbrook Inn, The Moorfields, The Hare & Hounds and The Marlborough Tavern all have a strong alignment with our long-term plans and are a perfect fit for us in terms of market and consumer positioning.” Joe Cussens, managing director and co-founder at The Bath Pub Company, added: “Justin and I are very confident that, as a company which shares our values, St Austell is the custodian best suited for the next stage of The Bath Pub Company’s development. We’re very proud of the business as it is today and know St Austell has the resources and know-how to grow it further to release the full potential of the pubs in the years to come.” The acquisition further strengthens St Austell’s presence in and around Bath, where it already owns four tenanted pubs – The Griffin, The Swan, The Hop Pole and The Salamander. The company also acquired Bath Ales in 2017, a deal which included a brewery in Warmley and a local distribution network. Earlier this year, St Austell announced a joint venture with the directors of ETM Group to launch a series of premium sports bars in the West County – Ludo Sports Bar & Kitchen. The first Ludo site opened in Bath this summer.

Industry News:

Latest Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage featuring 730 companies to be released on Friday: The latest Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage will be published for Premium subscribers on Friday (15 September), at midday. A total of five companies have been added to the database, which now features 730 companies. This month’s edition also includes 25 updated entries. The companies, listed in alphabetical order, will have their most recent results reported as well as broader information around Ebitda, plans and trading style available. The database merges Companies House information, interviews and other public information to provide an easy to reference and exhaustive guide to the sector. Premium subscribers also receive access to five other databases: the Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate; the New Openings Database; the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; and the UK Food and Beverage Franchisee Database. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription. Premium subscribers are also being given exclusive access to the recording and slides to Propel Multi-Club Conferences. They also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett.

The Alchemist talent and culture director to speak at Propel Talent & Training Conference, open for bookings: The Alchemist talent and culture director Hannah Plumb will speak at the Propel Talent & Training Conference. The all-day conference takes place on Tuesday, 3 October at One Moorgate Place in London and is open for bookings. Plumb will talk about the opportunities and challenges of building a people culture in a different country. The conference will showcase examples of outstanding people culture among companies within the sector and how the industry is attracting talent. For the full speaker schedule, click here. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for operators and £395 plus VAT for suppliers and can be booked by emailing

New government-backed employment programme launches to help fill vacancies in hospitality sector: Job seekers are now able to access a new government-backed employment programme designed to fill vacancies in the hospitality sector. The pilot scheme, set to launch in Liverpool before being rolled out to other major cities across England and Wales including London, Manchester and Birmingham from October, will see benefit claimants gain an industry recognised accreditation, endorsed by sector companies including brewer and retailer Greene King, Marriot Hotels and ACC Liverpool. The Hospitality Sector-based Work Academy Programme combines a unique programme of learning launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in collaboration with UKHospitality. The scheme is designed to provide tailored training for job seekers from industry experts, helping them move into careers in the sector. Benefit claimants will complete qualifications and accredited training in areas such as health and safety, food safety, licensing and conflict resolution to add to their hospitality skills passport – a digital pass that can be added to CVs. They will also complete work experience placements with some of the industry’s largest employers, and the programme will culminate with a guaranteed job interview for all participants. Minister for employment, Guy Opperman, said: “This innovative collaboration between DWP and UKHospitality is a national first and underscores our commitment to work with industry to address challenges, fill vacancies and grow the economy. The standardised and industry backed hospitality skills passport will help bridge the gap for those looking for work in the hospitality sector, helping jobseekers to boost their skills and kickstart their careers.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “Hospitality is a fantastic sector that offers a diverse variety of career opportunities, which is why it’s so well suited to helping people back into work. We’re delighted to be partnering with the government to help run this exciting programme, which we hope can be a real positive for both job seekers and businesses.”

Heatwave a ‘huge relief’ for hospitality sector after miserable summer: The September heatwave has come as a “huge relief” for the hospitality sector after a miserable July and August, leading industry figures have said. City AM reports that soaring temperatures over the past week have “brought back the feelgood factor” for business owners across the industry, they added. Clive Watson, co-founder of City Pub Company, which runs 43 pubs across the southern half of England and Wales, told the PA news agency: “After a pretty wet July and August, it’s a huge relief that we’ll be getting some good weather. I was in London last night and I’ve never seen it so busy – people were spilling out onto the streets and staying out so late. They were catching up after a miserable summer. Up to now it’s been lacklustre, and we got a bit despondent about it. We can double our trading in good weather and the enthusiasm of our customers doubles too.” Rob Pitcher, chief executive of Peach Pubs, which has 20 venues, and Revolution Bars, which has 69 venues, said the heatwave is providing a “very welcome boost after a miserable summer”. He said: “This fantastic late summer weather has seen the great British public flocking to the beer gardens of our lovely Peach Pubs and the rooftop bars at our Revolution and Revolution de Cuba bars in the city centres.”

Glasgow’s LEZ could be followed by congestion charge: Glasgow could follow the introduction of its low emission zone (LEZ) with a congestion charge. Glasgow’s LEZ came into force in June, despite concerns over the negative impact it would have on the city’s hospitality industry. The council’s deputy leader Ricky Bell has now said it is discussing with the Scottish government the possibility of a congestion charge similar to the one in London. “There’s been a lot of talk about a tourism tax and we need to think about that [and whether] our tourism economy is strong enough,” he told The Herald. “The other one that is a real biggie for us, but we are still in the very early stages, is [if] should Glasgow have a congestion charge.” Hisashi Kuboyama, Glasgow representative of the Federation of Small Businesses, said a “thorough impact assessment” would be required to ensure businesses were not adversely affected by a congestion charge. He added: “If introduced, it could potentially have a negative impact on footfall and trade in the city centre, and therefore on small businesses, so they need to be consulted about it.” It follows Glasgow’s council saying it is also looking at charging “non-Glaswegians” for visiting the city’s attractions, the majority of which are currently free. 

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a visitor attraction in London that is looking for a commercial manager. A COREcruitment spokesperson said: “You will be responsible for providing strong commercial leadership to deliver commercial development and growth for the site and facilities. You will be responsible for meeting and exceeding a multimillion-pound revenue target across multiple attractions; be highly comfortable managing P&L with demonstrable experience of delivering revenue and margin growth through innovative product development and promotional strategies; seek and promote innovative ways of increasing revenue to maximise profitability; develop an attraction growth strategy looking at commercial opportunities in relation to products, services, experiences, and events across the site; and much more.” The salary is up to £60,000 and the position is based in London. For more information, email

Company News:

Dunkin’ outlines UK expansion plans to grow to 40 stores by end of 2023 and double estate in next two years: US coffee chain Dunkin’, which is owned by Inspire Brands, has outlined plans to add ten sites to its 30-strong UK estate by the end of 2023 and double its store count in the next two years. The first Dunkin’ UK store was opened by the licensee, QFM Group, in St Johns, Liverpool in May 2016. This month sees the brand open a new flagship store, and second London location, in Soho’s Wardour Street. Following the opening, five further stores are planned in north west London before the end of the year as part of an aggressive expansion plan. So far in 2023, Dunkin’ UK has sold some 1.4 million drinks and 2.2 million doughnuts. “Opening a flagship store in London is a major milestone for the brand as part of its international growth strategy and it will help to bring us closer to our mission of energising the world through great-tasting coffee and doughnuts.” said Michael Haley, president and managing director, international at Inspire Brands. Arjun Patel, director at QFM Group and licensee of the Dunkin’ brand in the UK, added: “We are thrilled to be on this journey with Dunkin’ in the UK, expanding our footprint in the capital. We have had real success in the north of England since opening, and to support our great location in Baker Street, additional new store openings in the capital this year will enable more Londoners to access the iconic brand.” Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ is the largest coffee and doughnut brand in the US and has 13,200 sites in 38 different markets around the world. QFM Group features in the UK Food and Beverage Franchisee Database – the first time that profiles of 100 of the top food and beverage franchisees have been available in one place in the UK. This exclusive new database was sent out for the first time last month to Premium subscribers and will be sent out again bi-monthly, including new entries and updates to existing entries. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription. 

Tim Martin scoops up almost £7m in Wetherspoon shares: JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has scooped up almost £7m in the company’s shares. Martin, who founded the business in 1979 and remains its largest investor, bought almost a million shares in the FTSE 250 company at the start of September for £7 each, reports The Daily Mail. Martin declined to comment on the reason for his purchase, which raised his stake in the company to 24.65%. It comes as Wetherspoon prepares to cut the price of all food and drinks by 7.5% on Thursday (14 September) to highlight the benefit of a permanent VAT reduction in the hospitality industry. Prices at the pubs will be reduced for one day only to mark Tax Equality Day, while in Scotland, prices will be reduced on food and non-alcoholic drinks in line with Scottish licensing laws. Martin has been a critic of the fact that all food and drink in pubs is subject to 20% VAT while supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, which he said allows them to sell alcohol at a discounted price. Martin called the disparity “the biggest threat to the hospitality industry” and urged the chancellor to “create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets”.

Patty&Bun plans to undergo CVA: Patty&Bun, the better burger concept led by Joe Grossmann, is planning to undergo a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which could lead to the closure of some of its nine-strong estate. Propel has learned that the business, which was founded by Grossmann in 2012, is working with specialist insolvency firm Valentine & Co on the process after being impacted by rising costs and the ongoing train strikes. It is thought that a vote on the CVA could take place later this month. Earlier this year, the company closed its site in Portobello Road, Notting Hill, which opened last summer. Last August, the company opened its biggest site yet, in London’s Canary Wharf. It currently operates eight sites in London and one in Brighton, plus concessions in the two Swingers sites in the capital. Propel understands that offers have already been sought on the brand’s site in Old Compton Street.

Breal Group adds to London bar estate: London investment firm Breal Group, which has so far this year acquired Brew by Numbers, Black Sheep Brewery, Brick Brewery and Vinoteca, has further added to its estate in the capital with the acquisition of another ex-We Are Bar Group site. Propel revealed last month that Breal Group had acquired a pair of former We Are Bar sites in London as it looks to build a portfolio of hospitality businesses. The investment firm acquired the ex-Jamie’s Wine Bar in Adam’s Court and The Bolthole in Suffolk Lane, both in the City, out of administration for a total consideration of £100,000. Propel revealed last September that the seven-strong We Are Bar business had been placed in administration. Propel now understands that the investment firm has added a third ex-We Are Bar site to its portfolio, with a deal for the ex-Jamie’s Wine Bar in Ludgate Hill. It is understood that Breal will soon relaunch the Adam’s Court site under the name Andrea Bar, with the Ludgate Hill site set to follow soon after. Two of the other former We Are Bar sites – in Tudor Street and Fenchurch Street in the City – have been taken on by Ellipsis Bars, a new vehicle from Roger Payne and Simon Vardigans, the latter having previously controlled the We Are Bar business before it fell into administration. 

92 Degrees launches £3m funding round: Independent coffee roaster 92 Degrees has launched a new £3m funding round as it plans further growth across the UK. The company – which operates sites in Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, London, Edinburgh and Southport – has launched a new fundraise with a target of securing £3m in a “small Series A, rolling close investment round”. The raise, which launched last month, will support the group’s continued fast expansion and will be concluded at the end of this year. Giving an update, co-founder and chief executive Jack Brewitt said: “Fast forward to today, and I’m delighted to announce that we've successfully closed circa £1m in funding from our existing investors. Their unwavering support and belief in our vision is a testament to our incredible team and the work we have done so far! At the end of this month, I will be inviting new investors to join us in this investment round.” Earlier this summer, the business opened its first site in Scotland after acquiring the ex-Henderson’s vegetarian cafe at 92 Hanover Street, Edinburgh. Last June, the 11-strong business secured £1.4m of private investment to aid its growth plans. It is thought the company plans to grow to 24 sites by the end of next year and currently has four sites in legals. It is thought this includes its first transport hub site, in Liverpool’s Lime Street station, and a second lined up in Glasgow’s Queen Street station. At the same time, the business is understood to be gearing up to further increase its presence in Leeds, with openings lined up in the city’s Boar Lane and Wellington Place. 

Mowgli confirms plans to open in Bury St Edmunds: Mowgli, the Nisha Katona-led, Indian street food concept, has confirmed it is opening a site in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Last month, Propel revealed Mowgli was looking to add the former Bill’s in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, to its opening pipeline. The TriSpan-backed, 18-strong business has confirmed that the new site will open this November, along with openings already lined up in Bristol and Chelmsford. A site in Knutsford’s King Street is now scheduled to open early next year. The 18-strong group most recently opened in Beverley’s North Bar Within. It has also applied to take on part of the former Cafe Royal, in Newcastle’s Nelson Street, and to open in the former Two Seasons store in Lincoln’s High Street.

Team behind Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen to open new Leadenhall Market site: One Circle Events, the company behind Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen, is to open a further site in London, in Leadenhall Market. Propel understands that the business will open the Golden Goose, with a menu overseen by chef James Donnelly, offering a range of small plates, cocktails and other drinks, at 13-15 Leadenhall Market, later this year. One Circle Events also operates The Loft in Spitalfields, Merchant & Weaver in Old Spitalfields Market, Hay’s on the River in Hay’s Galleria, and bars across numerous festivals. Adam Bowers, of onepoint2, acted on the Leadenhall Market deal.

Burhill Group sees turnover grow but profits fall due to increased costs: Burhill Group – owner and operator of 22 golf courses, 14 adventure golf courses, five ninja challenge facilities and two gyms – saw turnover grow in the year to 31 December 2022 but profits fall due to increased costs. Turnover was up from £39,239,398 in 2021 to £54,677,796. But its pre-tax profit fell from £7,112,233 in 2021 to £6,584,757 as costs increased by £6,167,582. It also received £20,537 in government grants compared to £2,429,198 in 2021. An interim dividend of £7 per share was paid in October 2022 and a final dividend of £5 per share was paid in June 2023 (2021: nil). Director James Conlan, in his statement accompanying the accounts, said: “Turnover benefited from the opening of a new Mr Mulligans site in Worcester and positive contributions from its new Ninja adventure park businesses in Sheffield, Southampton, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Swansea. The reduction in profit reflects the positive revenue trend being offset by inflationary cost increases including the exceptional impact of electricity price increases.” Conlan said this included an estimated £1.2m of additional electricity costs, and that the company has a £10m revolving credit loan facility on demand, plus a further £5m accordion facility available from HSBC. “The group will continue to seek appropriate earnings enhancing opportunities through acquisition and business development,” he added. “The group also continuously assesses opportunities to sell its stock of properties held for resale, and where appropriate, seeks to obtain relevant planning permissions in order to maximise disposal value. The golf and Ieisure market in the UK remains very competitive in these times of economic uncertainty. The relatively slow growth in the core golf business underlying customer base continues to be dealt with through product innovation within the company and via various golf industry wide initiatives designed to increase golf participation.”

Foodco opens 66th UK Muffin Break and second in Northern Ireland, Cheltenham up next: Foodco has opened its 66th Muffin Break in the UK and second in Northern Ireland. It has opened in Belfast’s Castle Court Shopping Centre, joining its other location in the country, at Buttercrane Shopping Centre in Newry, which opened earlier this year. Scott Nicholas, national operations manager of FoodCo UK said: “We are thrilled to be opening our second Muffin Break Café in Northern Ireland in CastleCourt Shopping Centre, bringing premium coffee and fresh baked goods to Belfast. The response from shoppers to our Newry café has been incredible and we’ve been working hard to find the perfect location in Belfast.” Up next for Muffin Break is an opening in a former vape shop at 195 High Street in Cheltenham. Foodco also operates Jamaica Blue here, and in July opened its largest UK site yet for the coffee concept – and 20th overall – in Belfast’s Corn Exchange. Propel revealed in December that Foodco planned up to 14 new UK stores in 2023 – including at least eight Muffin Breaks and four Jamaica Blues. It has since launched four new Muffin Breaks and two new Jamaica Blues.

Hollywood Bowl opens new Birmingham site: Hollywood Bowl, the UK’s largest ten-pin bowling operator, has opened a new site in Birmingham. It has opened at the Merry Hill retail and leisure destination, occupying 36,000 square feet on the upper level. It features 24 dedicated bowling lanes, including six VIP lanes, as well as family-friendly food and drink options, a bespoke cocktail menu and an amusement arcade area. Laurence Keen, chief financial officer at Hollywood Bowl Group, said: “Our expansion plans and brand positioning are always carefully considered, and with Merry Hill’s community-focused approach and excellent tenant line-up, it was a natural decision for us to come here.” It comes as landlord Sovereign Centros reported restaurant sales at Merry Hill have risen 21.4% in the last 12 months, while footfall through its dining area has gone up by 107% versus 2019, helped by a recently opened Wagamama. “The recent opening at Merry Hill has been positive for Wagamama, trading ahead of expectations, and we’re excited to be in this part of the leisure hub,” a Wagamama spokesman said. JLL Retail Partners represented Merry Hill while Bruce Gillingham Pollard acted for Hollywood Bowl.

Sandbox VR lines up Bristol opening: Immersive social experience concept Sandbox VR, which opened its largest global venue and first UK site outside of London, in Birmingham, last month, is lining up an opening in Bristol. Propel understands that the concept, which made its UK debut last summer, in The Post Building in London’s Museum Street, is set to take space in the city’s Cabot Circus scheme. Last month, Sandbox VR opened a 13,000 square-foot space at Hammerson’s Bullring & Grand Central in Birmingham city centre, featuring seven different interactive worlds. There is also a dedicated area that can be hired for private events, while a robotic bartender can serve up to 80 drinks per hour. Since launching in Hong Kong in 2017, the concept has grown to more than 30 locations in five countries around the world. In January, VR Entertainment Group, which is leading the company’s UK roll-out, said it plans to open 30 venues in the next six years and has been linked with taking the space in the St James Quarter scheme in Edinburgh, previously lined up for Toca Social. 

Reel aiming to launch two new sites by end of 2023, open to further expansion ‘when opportunity is right’, £3m insurance pay-out helps pay back some loans: Independent cinema operator Reel is aiming to launch two new sites by end of 2023 and is open to further expansion “when the opportunity is right”. A £3m insurance pay-out has also helped it pay back some of its loans from the pandemic, the company revealed in its accounts for the year ending 29 December 2022. Director Suman Suri said: “The company is looking to develop the business with four new schemes in the pipeline. It is hoped at least two of the four will open before the end of the current financial year. No new cinemas were opened during 2022, with the directors focusing their efforts on getting all sites fully operational and open again post covid-19. While the directors expect the operating environment to remain challenging for the foreseeable future, it has been pleasing to note the strong response from cinema goers to the major film releases so far in 2023, which gives the directors confidence in the strategy of expanding the circuit of modern miniplex cinemas when the opportunity is right.” Suri said the directors have “made headway” in their business interruption insurance claim and had so far received £3m as a result of enforced closure during covid-19. “At this stage, it is not yet known if any further proceeds will be received, although active discussions continue,” he added. “These proceeds have enabled the directors to make the decision to repay an element of the borrowings drawn down as a result of covid-19 along with investing in pipeline sites.” It comes as the business reported turnover of £13,314,020 for the period, up from £8,461,667 in 2021. This compares with £11,061,887 in the last full year before covid, ending 26 December 2019. Of this, £6,749,277 came from cinema sales (2021: £3,781,639) and £4,747,345 in concession sales (2021: £3,600,950). This compares with £6,722,161 in cinema sales and £3,122,552 in concession sales in 2019. Its pre-tax profit increased from £49,047 in 2021 to £2,454,860 (2019: £269,615). It received £123,240 in government grants compared with £2,745,827 in 2021. No dividends were paid (2021: nil). The business currently operates 15 cinemas and has previously said it will open in Farnham, Surrey, early next year.

Costa urgently recalls four products over small stone fears: Costa is urgently recalling four types of sandwich and wraps over fears they contain small stones. The company has put a “do not eat” warning on the products due to the “possible presence of small stones”, which it fears could present a choking hazard. Officials at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which published the alert, warned the food is “unsafe to eat”. The Costa Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap, Southern Fried Chicken Wrap, Chicken Salad Sandwich and BLT Sandwich are all affected. All the products being recalled have been stamped with a use by date between 6 and 8 September. No other products at Costa are affected by the recall. Customers who have bought these products are being urged to return them to the store they bought it from for a full refund. Costa has also issued a recall notice to its customers. It said: “Customer safety is of paramount importance to Costa and we take all issues regarding the production of our food extremely seriously.”

London’s ‘first Korean Omakese dining experience’ coming to Kensington: London’s “first Korean Omakese dining experience” is coming to Kensington. KGK is set to open at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel on the corner of Courtfield Road and Ashburn Place in South Kensington, owned and operated by the hotel group. Offering Korean grill with seasonal specialities chosen by the chef, dishes will include KGK king kalbi, Japanese wagyu rib eye steak, Korean beef tartare and pork belly su-yuk with ssamjang. Each table has an in-built tabletop grill for the traditional Korean method of grilling meat over a hot grill in the centre of the table, with diners given chopsticks and tongues to grill. There will also be sides, salads and shots of soju, a rice-based spirt made in Korea. Lunchtime set menus range from £22 to £25, while an evening à la carte menu is around £65, and there are also plans to add a karaoke room in the future.

Bob & Berts to open third Belfast site: Cafe brand Bob & Berts is to open its third site in Belfast. The company, which is backed by the British Growth Fund (BGF), will open the outlet in November in Ann Street for its 29th store to date. The site will have just over 100 seats over two levels. The business, which will shortly make its Yorkshire debut with an opening in Wakefield, previously said it has identified a strong pipeline of new sites, with a special focus on the north of England. Founded in Portstewart in Northern Ireland in 2013 by Colin McClean, the business is growing across the UK following a £2m investment from BGF in 2017 and reported 58% sales growth in the 12 months ending 30 June 2022, reaching £17.8m. In July, co-owner David Ferguson said the business had a long-term goal of 70 stores.

Maven Leisure opens at Islington’s Angel Central for fourth site: Maven Leisure, the venture from ETM Group’s co-founder Ed Martin, chief financial officer Landen Prescott Brann and non-executive chairman Graham Turner, has opened its fourth site. The company has partnered with CBRE Investment Management to launch Northwood at Angel Central, for the area’s first purpose-built sports bar. The 3,600 square-foot unit is on Angel Central’s first floor, featuring 12 UHD screens and AV systems to show all major sporting fixtures. Dishes such as Neapolitan style pizzas, burgers and sweet and spicy wings can be enjoyed inside or on the south-facing terrace. Ed Martin, chief executive of ETM Group and Maven Leisure, said: “We are proud to have opened Angel’s first dedicated sports bar and kitchen and look forward to being a part of this diverse community. Our goal has always been to run bars that are the first port of call to watch sports in the capital and we are excited for it to become a true local treasure.” Maven Leisure/ETM Group dealt direct while CBRE and Colliers acted for Angel Central.

Family-owned Lake District hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant boosts turnover but profit falls in ‘challenging year’: Family-owned Lake District hotel Gilpin Lodge, which includes Michelin-starred restaurant Source, has reported turnover increased to £8,155,801 for the year ending 31 December 2022 compared with £6,024,320 the year before. Pre-tax profit was down to £530,227 from £829,750. Direct costs increased from £803,000 to £1,305,000 while administration expenses were up from £4,594,000 to £6,038,000. Occupancy remained at 96% while average room rate increased to £418 from £410 the previous year. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “It was a challenging year with considerable increases in rates, wages, social security, recruitment, energy, staff transport food and beverage. This was compounded by senior management changes, resulting in high staff turnover, recruitment expenses and reduced restaurant covers due to staff shortages. This was resolved by the end of 2022, with a Michelin star retained and the teams stabilised under new head chefs. Capital projects totalling £961,000 included refurbishment of the garden suites and the addition of a new spa, vertical farm, laundry and estate building. All projects incurred post-covid cost increases and supply issues.” An interim dividend of £66,742 was paid (2021: £180,607). The business was founded by John and Christine Cunliffe in 1988, with their son, Barney, and his wife, Zoe, running it on a day-to-day basis. Source was awarded its Michelin star in 2016. 

Glasgow kebab restaurant opens second site: Glasgow kebab restaurant Shawarma King has opened a second site in the city. The business, which already has a presence in King Street, has opened a second location on Paisley Road. It is located next door to one of owner Majed Badrekhan’s other businesses, Kings Lounge, which opened last year in the former Elite shisha lounge premises. “This shop is around nine years old, and we are all family,” Badrekhan told the Glasgow Times. “Me and my four brothers work in there, and my dad. We are from Syria – we started to work here when we arrived in Glasgow, and this shop was the best place for us to all work together. We all have experience and we already had our recipes.”

Suffolk pizzeria set to double up: Suffolk pizzeria On the Hill is set to open its second site. The first On the Hill launched in Diss in 2021, which will be followed by a second restaurant, in Ixworth, on Sunday, September 17. Owner Adam Lees told the Sufolk News: “Having the restaurant in the first place was a lifelong dream, but having the success of the first one has just been incredible. Doing it all again is really exciting. In Diss, people are on first name terms with us and know us, and it is that atmosphere we want to recreate. We know people are going to have a great time when they come in, and we really hope to carry on this trend in Ixworth.”

Nottingham Vietnamese restaurant opens second site: Nottingham Vietnamese restaurant Viet80s has opened a second site in the city. Viet80s restaurant, which stands on the corner of Maid Marian Way and Friar Lane, opened in 2021. Owner Iris Nguyen has now opened Viet80s Coffee on Friar Lane, offering hot drinks and Vietnamese street food. “In Viet80s restaurant, we bring the atmosphere and cuisine of Vietnam from the 80s and the spirit of hospitality of the Vietnamese people,” she told Nottingham Live. “At Viet80s Coffee, customers will enjoy special drinks with unique Vietnamese flavours and the customer will have completely different experiences of street food. We want to spread, conserve and introduce Vietnamese customs and traditions to the world.” Dishes include banh mi (a traditional Vietnamese baguette), caramelised pork belly and sticky rice, and fried snails, while among the drinks will be coconut coffee, cappuccinos and fruit teas.

Berkshire Japanese restaurant set to double up: Berkshire Japanese restaurant Osaka is set to open a second site, in Buckinghamshire. The first Osaka opened on the Riverside Mall Level of Reading’s The Oracle shopping centre in 2020, in the former Cafe Rouge site. Owner Ka Man Lam will open its second site, in High Wycombe’s Eden Centre, this autumn, although no opening date has been set. Opening in the former GAP unit, it will offer sushi, ramen, Katsu curry and noodle dishes.

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