New openings round-up

Liberation Group, the pub and brewing company based in the Channel Islands and west country, has reached the milestone of 100 pubs with the acquisition of the Methuen Arms in Corsham in Wiltshire. It has 14 bedrooms as well as bar and dining areas. Liberation has now set a target of 200 pubs. Chief executive Mark Crowther said: “We are delighted that the Methuen Arms is our 100th pub. It is special and is a perfect example of the high-quality estate that we are building in the West Country.”

Côte will open its latest new brasserie in Chester on Monday (27 March). It is located in a Grade II listed building on Bridge Street and has 140 covers following a £1m investment. Chief executive Alex Scrimgeour said: “Chester is a thriving city in the north west that’s unique in its character and charm—we’ve wanted to introduce people in the city to Côte for some time but needed to find the perfect location. We’re confident we’ve found it on Bridge Street and look forward to welcoming Chester residents and visitors into our new brasserie.”

Mitchells & Butlers has launched the first site of its new Son of Steak fast casual concept in Trinity Square in Nottingham. It is a pilot site and M&B will measure its success before deciding whether to launch any more. Divisional director Dennis Deare said: “We’re pleased to take the opportunity to open a new steak offer and explore serving steak in a fast casual environment… it’s all about the simplicity—expert cooking and good food without the fuss.”

Fuller’s has opened the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill after a major 15-month refurbishment. It has restored various Victorian features, landscaped a garden area with outside bar, fire bit and barbecue, and added an outbuilding called the Workshop for private hire. The pub also has 12 bedrooms, each named after one of the 12 men to have walked on the moon. Fuller’s Inns managing director Jonathon Swaine said: “The Half Moon has set a new standard, not just in Fuller’s but for the wider industry in how to sympathetically refurbish a historic pub. The Half Moon has a history and heritage that deserves to be recognised and respected, and I truly believe we have succeeded in doing that.”

Nando’s, Zizzi, Chiquito and the Handmade Burger Company have all agreed openings at the CQ2 leisure development in Banbury. They will be part of an extension to the Castle Quay shopping centre in the town, which will also include a cinema, supermarket and hotel. Two more restaurant operators are also being lined up. The development is due to complete in late 2018.

JD Wetherspoon will open its latest new pub and hotel, the Bottle Kiln in Dovercourt, on Tuesday (28 March). It will also launch the William Adams pub in Gorleston in Norfolk in July, local media report.

Le Bistrot Pierre opens its new restaurant in the Mere Green Mulberry Walk development in Sutton Coldfield on Friday (24 March).

American better burger concept Smashburger has opened its fourth UK site in Bath.

Byron has just opened at the Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich.

The Fulham Shore group’s Real Greek brand has confirmed an opening within the Debenhams store at the Oracle shopping centre in Reading.

Tex Mex brand Taco Bell will open at the St John’s centre in Leeds. It is part of revamp plans for the centre as it seeks to compete with other retail developments in the city.

Plans for a new-build Marston’s pub in Grimsby are likely to be approved soon, the Grimsby Telegraph reports. The development would also include a Costa Coffee branch.

Las Iguanas and Jackson & Rye have both acquired restaurant units at the Somerset House building in Birmingham, according to the city’s Mail.

The White Brasserie Company is lining up a pub restaurant opening in Reigate, according to local media. The company hasn’t yet confirmed the launch.

The Burning Night group is to launch a FirePit Smokehouse and Sports Bar concept in Bingley in Yorkshire. It will open next month following a £1m investment. The group already runs a branch of its Potting Shed bar and grill concept in the town.

Miller & Carter will reopen its Aylesbury restaurant in late April after a major refurbishment. It has also just launched in Enerby in Leicestershire following a rebranding of its Toby Carvery there.

Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar & Grill franchise brand is opening a 150-cover restaurant at the Grand Harbour hotel in Southampton in May. It follows a pop-up there. It follows a recent launch at the Holiday Inn hotel in Plymouth.

Lupins, a new restaurant concept developed by the team behind the Cooking Collective catering company, has opened on Flat Iron Square by London Bridge.

The West Hill Tavern in Brighton is to reopen after being acquired by Heather Pistor, former creative director of bar and events group Mothership, and her husband Ben. Drinks will showcase craft beer and ales, while food will include barbecued meat. Ben Pistor said: “The Westie feels a little tired and is in need of some investment, both financially and emotionally, and we’re delighted to be able to use our skills and passion to nurture it and help it realise its full potential.”