New openings round-up

Franco Manca has acquired another two London sites as it continues its rapid expansion. They are on Kentish Town Road and in Kilburn, and are 60 and 85-cover units respectively. The deals were secured by Shelley Sandzer.

London pub group Draft House has launched its new Draft House Chancery, close by Chancery Lane station. Its features include tanks for unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell, plus a private Tank Room. Draft House is also soft launching its next new opening at Old Street Roundabout from next Wednesday (11 May).

John Lewis’ Oxford Street flagship store is teaming up with the Background Bars’ pop-up operation on a rooftop venture called The Gardening Society this summer. It will host three food operators, each occupying the space for one month: Clapham restaurant The Dairy, street food venture B.O.B’s Lobster second and Carnaby barbecue restaurant Shotgun last. Background Bars will supply a cocktail menu. The Gardening Society will run from 27 May to 4 September, and will be in a space built by gardener Tony Woods, including lawned and covered areas. It will open from midday every day, until 11pm on Thursdays to Saturdays, 8pm on Mondays to Wednesdays and 6pm on Sundays.

Costa has launched three new concept stores called ‘Seriously Summer’ today (5 May): on Great Portland Street in London, Briggate in Leeds and Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. They have been refurbished with tropical décor an features like sub loungers and fake grass, and are intended to make more of Costa’s summer menu choices like smoothies, iced coffees, salads and wraps. The stores will keep their summer looks until 27 June.

Smashburger has submitted a planning application to open on SouthGate Street in Bath as it continues its pus into the UK. A decision on the application is due late next month.

Bar, restaurant and nightclub group Columbo has acquired Camden’s Barfly venue. It becomes Columbo’s third live music venue in north London, and will be refurbished while continuing in its current form. Columbo now has ten sites in London in all.

The Deltic Group will open a PRYZM club in Birmingham in 17 June, swiftly followed by one in Nottingham on 1 July. The openings bring Deltic’s total number of Pryzm venues to seven, joining sites in Bristol, Kingston, Leeds, Brighton and Cardiff. The Nottingham club currently operates as Oceana.

Thai Leisure Group will open a Chaophraya restaurant in Aberdeen—its second site in the city. It has taken on the Monkey House bar run by Epic Group in Aberdeen, and will reopen it in August. Thai Leisure Group already has a Thaikhun restaurant on Union Square in Aberdeen.

YO! Sushi has set next Thursday (12 May) for the opening of its latest new restaurant on Grainger Street in Newcastle. It will seat 69 people. The brand had moved out of Fenwick’s in Newcastle as part of a revamp of the store.


Turtle Bay will open in Solihull towards the end of the month, local media report. It has taken on a 210-cover restaurant there.

The Alton Towers resort opens its new ‘rollercoaster restaurant’ in the next few weeks. The widely publicised concept will see food delivered to diners via spiralled tracks and loops that mimic a rollercoaster. Dishes have been tested to make sure they can withstand the journey.

JD Wetherspoon has been given permission to launch a large pub at the Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate. It is expected to open next summer.

Barbecue operator Hotbox is launching a Chuck Burger restaurant on Commercial Street in Spitalfields. The Chuck Burger concept has previously operated as a street food venture at locations including Hawker House.

Strut and Cluck, a new turkey based restaurant concept, will open on Commercial Street in Shoreditch in June. It has previously operated as a pop-up in Shoreditch. Its turkey dishes will have eastern Mediterranean influences.

Cote has acquired a site on Worcester’s High Street. The unit, previously occupied by the Edwards Bar and Kitchen operation, should open in the autumn.

Las Iguanas opens at the Quayside in Newcastle on Monday (9 May).

Carluccio’s is to join the list of operators at the WestQuay shopping centre in Southampton. It should open on the lower level of the development in the summer.

Campari is launching a two-week pop-up called The Negroni Bar from 11 to 21 May. It will be housed in the Red Gallery in Shoreditch, featuring what Campari claims will be the biggest selection of Negronis in the world. It follows Campari’s ‘Red Night District’ activity in east London last year.

Various street food operators are returning to RED Market on Old Street in Shoreditch from 25 May to 28 August. Operators will include Yeah Burger, Le Bao and Crabbie Shack, plus more on rotation, and the market will be themed around ‘The Last Days of Shoreditch’.

Mitchells & Butlers has opened a Harvester restaurant in Shrewsbury. It is the result of a conversion of an old Orchid pub site.

Chimichanga has signed for an opened in Bracknell’s Lexicon development. It has taken a 3,400 square feet site, and will join brands including Nando’s, Wagamama and Gourmet Burger Kitchen there.

Intertain has reopened its Walkabout pub in reading after a £400,000 refurb. It continues a series of investments in its Walkabout estate.

Brakspear has reopened the George Townhouse pub and hotel in Shipston-on-Stour after a major refurbishment. It acquired the site—one of eight managed pubs—last spring.

Young’s gives an official opening to The Loft in Wimbledon next week. It is on the site of its Alexandra pub on Wimbledon Hill Road.


Ramen group Tonkotsu is to open a new upmarket restaurant called Anzu at the St James’s Market redevelopment later this year. It will be modelled on Japanese brasseries and have a 2,000 square feet site on the southern side of the Market. Salt Yard is among other operators already signed up for the development.

Pret a Manger opened at Manchester airport late last week. It is Pret’s tenth airport location in the UK.

London-based Burger & Lobster has signed for an opening at One Bryant Park in New York—a second site in NYC. It is a 150-cover restaurant and should be open in the autumn.

BrewDog opened in Malmo in Sweden yesterday (4 May), with a Warsaw bar following today (5 May).