US burger chain Smashburger has lined up five more new openings as it continues its push into the UK. It follows the official UK debut of the brand in Milton Keynes yesterday (25 May). The five new locations for the UK franchise operator, MSG, are in the Lanes area of Brighton in July; the intu Eldon Square shopping centre in Newcastle in the autumn; the Sauchiehall centre in Glasgow at the end of the year; the Junction 9 Retail Park in Wednesbuy in early 2017; and SouthGate Street in Bath at a date to be confirmed. UK franchise owner Tim Lowther said: “There's a £2.8 billion burger market in the UK and we believe there’s massive room for growth for the right brand.”
A new modern carvery concept is being launched in London by Euphorium Bakery founder Daniel Bear and Atif Amin, a finance director of companies including Chilango, Hakkasan and Ping Pong. They have set up Carve, a concept that will serve ‘carvepots’ from breakfast to dinner, with consumers able to electronically order and pay in advance from touch pay stations. The 134 square metre restaurant will be located on Tooley Street. Carve wants to get to around 30 branches in London over the next three to five years. Bear said: “For years the concept of carvery has had a bad rep but we aim to put it back on diners’ foodie lists. Carve is food for the way we like to eat now—high protein, fresh, fast guilt-free food. We’re focused on food not service, we put our money into ingredients and hand carve everything in full view, there’s no backstage. Cash-free payment and one-price ensures an efficient customer journey and we are confident that this will be embraced by increasingly health-conscious time-poor Londoners.”
Harry Ramsden’s launched a new city-centre format in Edinburgh on Monday (23 May). Harry Ramsden’s City has an urban design and wider than usual menu of grilled seafood and meat and rotisserie dishes. It is a 3,000 square feet restaurant on Hunter Square. Also in Edinburgh, Harry Ramsden’s opens the first branch in its new pub format in South Queensferry tomorrow (27 May). Harry Ramsden’s at The Three Bridges is the result of a partnership with Punch Taverns, and will sell food from breakfast through to dinner. Ramsden’s chief executive Joe Teixeira said: “We relish this opportunity to enter into new markets and pride ourselves in selecting great locations, surroundings and cities which hold truly international appeal. For those reasons, we believe Edinburgh is the ideal place from which to unveil our newest models and further extend the modern day face of Harry’s to a new generation of customers.”
City-based healthy on-the-go operator POD has completed on a new store on Kingsway. It will be its 23rd site in all. The company says it is nearing completion on several more sites.
Cabana is to set up a Brazilian-style beach on the South Bank this summer to host a street food offer served from a recreated ‘Bonde’—modelled on trams that can be found in Brazil. Cabana will also be setting up a ‘Posto’ bar, modelled on the lifeguard towers in Rio. It will be open from late May until the end of September, helping Cabana to take advantage of interest in Brazil around the Rio Olympics.
The Salt Yard group is to open a new restaurant in the St James’s Market development in London later in the year. It will be an all-day concept called Veneta, a 110-cover operation inspired by Venice. The Salt Yard group also runs Salt Yard, Dehesa, Opera Tavern and Ember Yard.
Canada-based coffee chain Second Cup is to open five sites in the UK over the next few months. Locations include Putney, Harrow, Kensington and Cardiff, joining existing Second Cup sites on Portobello Road in London and in Manchester and Birmingham. Second Cup has around 160 sites internationally.
Burger & Lobster will open its tenth London site at West India Quay next Thursday (2 June). It has an outdoor terrace adjacent to the main restaurant.
Cote has just opened its latest new restaurant in Peterborough. It is a 148-cover site on Church Street near the Cathedral.
Fast-growing Thai brand Giggling Squid has just opened in Bury St Edmunds. It is its 15th restaurant in all.
Bill’s has just opened in Sevenoaks in Kent. It is on London Road in the town.
Le Bistrot Pierre will open on Gas Street in Birmingham on 1 July. It has restored the old headquarters of the Birmingham Canal Company, retaining many original features and creating a 120-cover restaurant. It is Le Bistrot Pierre’s 15th venue in all, and its third opening in the last year. Co-founder Rob Beacham said: “This stunning building has such a fantastic story to tell; we’re proud to restore it and keep the city’s rich heritage alive.”
Leon opened at Westfield London on Monday (23 May). It is its third new opening of 2016, and its most westerly location to date. Leon now has 36 restaurants in all.
The Bath Pub Company has just opened the Locksbrook Inn in Lower Weston in Bath. It was formerly known as the Dolphin Inn. It is the company’s fourth pub in Bath.
Balans Soho Society will open a sixth site on Seven Dials in Covent Garden in the next few weeks. The 60-cover unit will be open from breakfast to late night, from 8am to midnight seven days a week. The brand already operates restaurants in Soho, Kensington High Street and the two London Westfield centres, plus a café on Old Compton Street.
Coffee shop group Grind has opened its latest new site on Royal Exchange. It is its seventh site in all, joining Shoreditch, Soho, London Bridge, Holborn, Soho Radio and Covent Garden. Grind is marking the launch with a coffee giveaway tomorrow (27 May).
The Alchemist bar and restaurant concept from Living Ventures opens in Alderley Edge soon. The existing operation on the spot, Grill on the Edge, will close on Tuesday (31 May).
The Handmade Burger Co says it will open five new restaurants this year, including in Bristol and Glasgow. It now has 25 sites around the UK.
Burger brand Meatcure will open a fourth site in Bedford next month. It already has locations in Market Harborough, Leicester and Leamington Spa.
ASK Italian has just opened a major new restaurant at the O2 Arena in London. It has more than 150 covers.
Café Northcote, the new casual venture from the team behind Northcote and Ribble Valley Inns, will open in Blackburn on 8 June. It is situated in Blackburn’s new Cathedral Quarter development and is a 78-cover site. It will operate from early morning to late afternoon, and into the evenings at Christmas and other peak times.
The Gusto restaurant brand will open in Leamington on 9 June. It is the group’s first restaurant in the Midlands and will be a 160-cover site over 4,000 square feet in the town’s Regent Court.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen will open at the Clarks development in Street in Somerset, according to the Western Daily Press. It wants to take over a Burger King unit there.
Zizzi is to open at the St Stephen’s shopping centre in Hull, local media report. It is taking space in an old bingo hall that is currently being converted there.
Upmarket burger concept Mu Mu plans to open in Leicester later this year. It will be a third site for the brand after Kettering and Northampton.
Geronimo Inns has reopened the White Horse on Exchange Square in the City after a major refurbishment.
Prezzo has picked up a site in Thornbury in Gloucestershire. It plans to move into an old department store in the next couple of months.
Redcomb Pubs is to launch a new casual dining concept called Lock House at the Paddington Basin development in London. It has taken on a 3,700 square feet site via Shelley Sandzer, and will invest around £1.3m ahead of an opening in September. Redcomb plans to open more versions of the concept in the years ahead.