Leon completed its final new opening of 2016 on Tuesday (6 December)—at London Bridge station. It is the brand’s ninth opening of the year and its 43rd restaurant in total. The 36-cover site is part of a major overhaul of London Bridge. Brand and marketing director Kirsty Saddler said: “At LEON we want to help everybody to eat well and live well. Where better to do that than at the heart of a bustling train station serving 56 million passengers a year?”
US better burger brand Shake Shack opened its latest new restaurant on Thursday (8 December), at the Corner of Wardour Street and Coventry Street in London. Shake Shack Leicester Square will sell the brand’s trademark beef burgers, hot dogs, crinkle fries and frozen custard, plus beer and wine. Chief executive Randy Garutti said: “We’re thrilled to bring Shake Shack to the bustling, iconic centre of Leicester Square, where both Londoners and guests from around the world come to gather. Since we opened our first Shack in Covent Garden three years ago, we’ve been amazed at the response, and we’re looking forward to bringing Shake Shack closer to more London neighbourhoods next year with Victoria Nova and Canary Wharf.”
JD Wetherspoon has a substantial new opening on Tuesday (13 December)—the Caley Picture House pub on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. It is a listed building once occupied by a cinema, nightclub and live music venue, though it has been closed since late 2013. The pub will be open from 7am to 1am seven days a week.
Mash Inns, a new joint managed pub venture between the Laine Pub Company and Enterprise Inns, opened its first pub on Wednesday (7 December): the Ladywell in Lewisham in south east London. The pub will be run as part of Laine’s London group. A second opening, the Albion in Hove, will follow in the new year. Laine CEO Gavin George said: “We’re excited to be opening our first site in the Mash Inns venture because we see the combination of Enterprise’s wonderful building and Laine’s imaginative retail offering resulting in a successful pub and a valued asset to the community.” Enterprise Inns’ managed investment operations director Nathan Wall said: “The Enterprise Inns team are delighted, Mash Inns was the second Managed Expert business we created and we are pleased to be getting its first site launched.”
The Laine Pub Company has meanwhile acquired the lease of the Honor Oak pub in Forest Hill, from the Camden Dining Group. Along with the Ladywell and the development in 2017 of the Fellowship in Bellingham, it will take Laine’s total number of pubs to 11.
Enterprise Inns has meanwhile signed a sixth managed investment deal with Hugh O’Boyle and Caroline Jones to launch a new brand, Dirty Liquor. The first sites will open in the new year.
The New World Trading Company is planning to launch a sister site to its Smugglers Cove concept in Liverpool, in a bar on Bridget Street near to Birmingham’s Mailbox. The Birmingham Mail reports that plans have been submitted with a scheduled opening of October next year, though the project is at an early stage.
The Craft Beer Co opened its eighth pub on Wednesday (7 December), near London’s Limehouse station. It succeeded the Railway Tavern there.
Turtle Bay has set 29 January for the opening of its new restaurant in Croydon. It has taken over part of the old Tiger Tiger nightclub there. Turtle Bay is spending £800,000 on the refurb.
Manchester-based chicken concept Yard & Coop has acquired a site in Liverpool ONE. It will be a 200-cover restaurant over two floors and 6,400 square feet, and should open before Christmas. Co-founder Laura Morris said: “We’re incredibly excited to join the Liverpool ONE family and have spent lots of time developing a space that we can feel really proud of.”
A new all you can eat buffet concept called Panda Mami has just opened on Newgate Street in Chester, taking on a unit previously occupied by Chinese and Thai operators.
Cote has submitted a planning application to launch in Shrewsbury, local media report.
Healthy eating operator The Skinny Kitchen is planning to open three new sites in Northern Ireland. The Belfast Telegraph reports that the first will open under franchise in Belfast early in the new year.
Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is opening a pub in London under its Goose Island Beer Co. The Vintage Ale House will launch in Balham next Friday (16 December), and will sell craft beers and food.
Bottles, a new wine bar and merchants that uses dispensing machines, has opened at the Mailbox in Birmingham. It is selling food, craft beer and hot drinks as well as wine.
Healthy eating brand Crussh has opened a new concept store on New Street Square in London. It has adopted a new brand identity, and has revamped layout to make customer journeys quicker.
Nando’s opened its latest new restaurant at the Teesside retail park on Wednesday (7 December).
Thai brand Giggling Squid will open in Farnham in mid-January. It will be the group’s 19th restaurant.
Gino D’Acampo’s casual dining venture My Restaurant opened on Park Row in Leeds this week. It is a 150-cover restaurant over two floors, and is the third for the brand after London Euston and Manchester Corn Exchange.
Le Bistrot Pierre opened its 17th restaurant in Altrincham last Friday (2 December). Its location is in the Stamford Quarter, with 170 covers over two floors. Co-founder Rob Beacham said: “It’s an exciting time for us to be opening in Altrincham. With the festive season well underway, we’re excited to be located in the Stamford Quarter at the heart of shopping and a revival of the town’s food and drink scene.”
Glasgow-based Bar Soba is considering openings in Aberdeen, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester, the BBC reports. It follows a £3m investment by the Business Growth Fund. Bar Soba already has five branches across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leeds.
The Restaurant Group’s Chiquito brand opens at the West Truro Retail Park on Saturday (10 December). It is Chiquito’s first restaurant in Cornwall and its 69th location in all.