New openings round-up

Brands including Pho, Itsu, Cosmo, Bill's, Jamaica Blue and Le Bistrot Pierre round out our list of new opening plans to report this week. 


Vietnamese brand Pho reached the milestone of 20 restaurants this week with an opening on Wimbledon Hill Road. It has 90 covers with another 40 on a terrace. The next opening for Pho will be in Kingston early next year.

Coco di Mama will reach 15 sites with an opening on Coleman Street in the City in mid-December. It will be Coco di Mama’s seventh new launch of the year, and will open from 6.30am every day. Co-founder Daniel Land said, “Jeremy [Sanders] and I are so proud of how Coco di Mama is growing and evolving. We’re still at the stores every day to make sure our team and our customers are experiencing Coco exactly as we first intended – to support their success and to power their day.”

Mitchells & Butlers says it will soon launch a new casual dining rotisserie concept called Chicken Society in Finchley. It announced the plan while unveiling its latest financial results this week, and says it hopes to roll out the brand if the first restaurant proves successful.

Whitbread will soft launch its major new Bar + Block Steakhouse at King’s Cross on Tuesday (29 November). It is marking the opening with an offer of 50% off food until the full launch date of 5 December.

Drake & Morgan is about to launch the new branch of its Refinery brand at Spinningfields in Manchester. It has taken on a unit inside the XYZ building, and soft launches next week ahead of a full opening on 2 December. The launch continues an expansion beyond London for Drake & Morgan, which is planning a second Manchester site at One St Peter’s Square in the spring.

Le Bistrot Pierre opens in the Stamford Quarter of Altrincham a week on Friday (2 December). It has taken a two-floor space with 170 covers. The Altrincham restaurant is the group’s 17th.

Barburrito has just opened at the Union Square development in Aberdeen. It has taken a 46-cover unit on the first floor of the centre. You can view their property requirements here

Sourced Market has opened its third site, at the Nova development in Victoria. It joins two other Sourced Market venues at St Pancras and Marylebone.

City Pub Company opens its latest bar on Friday (25 November)—the Punt Yard at the Quayside in Cambridge.

The Tasty Group’s Wildwood brand has opened in Bournemouth—its first restaurant in Dorset. It has a capacity of 200 over a ground floor and mezzanine level.

Itsu has set 14 December for the opening of its site at the Broadmead development in Bristol. It continues an expansion beyond London for the pan-Asian brand.

Bill’s is to open on the high street in Brentwood, local media report. It has applied for licensing between 10am and midnight.

Fast growing Thai brand Giggling Squid opened on the high street in Warwick last week. It is a 120-cover restaurant and Giggling Squid’s 18th UK site. You can read a Q&A with Andy Laurillard, Managing Director of Giggling Squid here. Andy discusses the company’s property requirements.

All you can eat buffet concept Cosmo will open at the new Watermark development in Southampton in the next few weeks. It will be a 300-cover restaurant over 10,000 square feet, and Cosmo’s 18th site. Cosmo has meanwhile announced plans to expand into Ireland, with a 280-cover restaurant in Liffey Valley opening shortly. It wants to open two more locations in Dublin over the next few years.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has opened a third site in its Beer Kitchen format in St Andrews. It joins Beer Kitchens in Edinburgh and Dundee.

The Kitty Hawk, a major new one-stop, all-day concept developed by Wright & Bell, has just launched on South Place by Finsbury Square. It is open from 7am to midnight and is divided into five sections including two bars, restaurant, coffee bar and patisserie and private dining room, with 450 covers in all. Wright & Bell is branding it as a department store of dining, and plans to launch more Kitty Hawk sites in the next few years. The operator is being backed by the Imbiba Partnership.

Australian café and restaurant concept Jamaica Blue opens its third UK location on Monday (28 November), at the Trinity centre in Leeds. It will open all day for classic breakfasts, lunches and dinners with a contemporary twist. Jamaica Blue is an Australia-based concept that has launched in the UK under franchise, with openings so far in Cambridge and Chelmsford. The brand, named after the Jamaica Blue Mountain variety of coffee, has 100 cafes in all, including sites in New Zealand, Dubai and China. You can view Jamaica Blue’s property requirements here.

Boom Shack, a new cocktail bar venture from the team behind Boom Burger, launches on Brixton Station Road at the weekend.

Fabric nightclub at Smithfield is to reopen after agreeing new licensing requirements with Islington council.

Papa John’s has just opened in Middlesbrough. 

Thali Café, the chain of 5 Indian restaurants based in Bristol have announced plans to expand their concept and have site requirements for the likes of Manchester, Leeds and Exeter. Click here to view their property requirements in full.

Poke, Shiso Burger and Attendant have all recently appointed London agents to find them new sites in the Capital.

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