New openings round-up

Loungers has opened its first new site of 2017—the Renato Lounge in Mere Green in the Midlands. It is a sixth location in the greater Birmingham area for the brand, as it seeks to reach the milestone of 100 locations in the spring. Chief executive Nick Collins said: “The opening of Renato Lounge takes Birmingham level with Bristol in terms of number of sites, and we believe there is potential for more in the city. The year ahead is extremely exciting for the business.”

Mitchells & Butlers is launching a new casual steakhouse concept called Son of Steak, with the first restaurant to launch on the site of its Harvester on Trinity Square in Nottingham. It should open in mid-March. M&B has described the new brand as “Giving steak lovers good food without the fuss, at an affordable price.”

Leon has set 8 February for the opening of its latest new branch on Shaftesbury Avenue. The Evening Standard reports that it will be using dancing and singing auditions to recruit staff, with successful candidates given the opportunity to sing show tunes in store. Those working in nearby theatres will get a 15% discount on food.

Tasty PLC continue to seek new sites across the UK for its Wildwood brand. Click here to read a Q&A with David Street, Property Director at Tasty PLC.

Drake & Morgan has signed for two more locations as it continues to expand—The Listing in the Cannon Green development in the City and The Allegory in the Principal Place scheme close by. They should both open in the autumn. Before that, Drake & Morgan will open new bars and restaurants in West India Quay in London and St Peter Square in Manchester.

TGI Friday’s plans to be open at the WestQuay development in Southampton towards the end of February, local media report. It will be a second location in the town for the brand, and is adopting its new concept look. Property director David Carroll said: “We are so excited to open our second restaurant in Southampton… what’s even more exciting is how different this new Fridays will be for locals, and we can’t wait to open our doors.”

Five Guys has submitted an application to open in Croydon, the local newspaper reports. It wants to open on a site on the high street that was previously run as a Yates’s pub before closing in mid-2015.

Hippo Inns, the collaboration between Enterprise Inns and Geronimo co-founder Rupert Clevely, has chosen the Eagle in Notting Hill for its eighth opening. It is an old Truman’s pub and should be ready to open in late February. Hippo is also readying the launch of the Eagle in Ladbroke Grove in the next few weeks.

Le Bistrot Pierre is considering an opening in Middlesbrough, according to the local Gazette. It is the latest of several brands to be linked to the town as it seeks to attract more restaurant operators.

Stonegate Pub Company is relaunching the Cider Press on Gloucester Road in Bristol as a new-style cider emporium on Friday (27 January). It will have around 30 ciders, and the opening follows a £260,000 spend from Stonegate.

PizzaExpress has opened at the Gretna Gateway complex near Gretna Green. It is a 3,000 square feet restaurant.

Le Comptoir Libanais has just opened on Gloucester Road in Kensington. It is the brand’s 17th restaurant in all.

Local media report that Cote has applied to open on Grainger Street in Newcastle. It wants to create a 120-cover restaurant there. Cote meanwhile opened a 130-cover site in Hale this week.

Brasserie Blanc is readying the launch of its latest new restaurant, at the Fulham Reach development in Hammersmith. It should be open in March, alongside a new pub restaurant from Fuller’s called the Blue Boat. White Brasserie Co will meanwhile open a pub called the Jobbers Rest in Upminster in March.

EI Publican Partnerships says it has reached the milestone of 200 pubs operating under its Beacon managed tenancy model, with the launch of the Red Lion in Frodsham.

Casual Dining Group is to launch a Belgo on Deansgate in Manchester, succeeding its La Tasca restaurant there. It continues an expansion for the Belgo brand beyond London.

Thai café concept Rosa’s has set 28 February for the opening of its eighth location, on Atlantic Road in Brixton.

Miusan, a new pan-Asian restaurant, cocktail bar and nightclub, has just opened on Inverness Street in Camden Town. The concept has been developed by Chris Singam, owner of the Cottons Caribbean restaurant group in Camden, Notting Hill Gate and Boxpark Shoreditch.

Cocktail bar entrepreneur Tony Conigliaro and his Drink Factory team will open a third London venue on 9 February—called Untitled on Kingsland Road in Hackney. It joins 69 Colebrooke Road and Bar Termini in his group. The new venue will feature 12 new cocktails that incorporate sight and smell as well as taste, and is taking its inspiration from Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory. It will be open from 5pm to 1am from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and until 11pm on Sundays.

Marco Pierre White is opening another branch of his Steakhouse Bar & Grill restaurant concept in Plymouth. The 160-cover site will form part of the Holiday Inn in the city, which will relaunch as a Crowne Plaza in April.

Shoreditch restaurant The Frog will launch a sister site in Covent Garden in the summer. It will be open all day for food, plus cocktails in a basement bar.

Hollywood Bowl reopened its Bowlplex at Marina Brighton late last week, after a £400,000 refurb. It continues an investment programme that is putting more emphasis on the brand’s food and drink offer, which includes American classics like burgers, hot dogs, shakes and cocktails.

Baygo, the Caribbean food operator has instructed a commercial agent to find new sites in London. They are targeting areas such as Holborn, Soho and Moorgate. Click here to view their requirements.