New opening round-up

Brands including Bella Italia, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Loungers, Five Guys, Carluccio's, Red's True Barbecue, Chicken Shop, TGI Friday's, KFC and Papa John's are among those with new opening plans to report this week. 

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Bella Italia reached the milestone of 100 restaurants with an opening at the Bluewater shopping centre yesterday (6 April). It is in the Plaza there.

Loungers has three openings in April: the Castello Lounge in Wellingborough, the Nautico Lounge in Weymouth and the Cosy Club in Derby. More Lounges will open over the course of the year in towns including Loughborough, Monmouth, Lichfield, Corby, Derby, Mumbles, Telford and Mere Green.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen will open in Beverley in June. It has signed up to a 106-cover unit at the Flemingate development.

Thaikhun has opened at the intu Metrocentre in Gateshead—with a number of other brands scheduled to launch there in the next couple of weeks. Five Guys also opened at the intu centre this week, with ASK Italian and Coast to Coast due to follow next week.

Carluccio’s is opening up a restaurant plus deli, retail operation and coffee bar within the Marriott Regents Park hotel. It will be a 200-cover site.

Red’s True Barbecue opens in Sheffield next Friday (15 April). It has taken over a former Café Rouge restaurant on Eccleshall Road, and is marking its opening with a giveaway of food for early customers.

Chicken Shop has acquired a new restaurant on the Broadway in Wimbledon. It was brokered by Shelley Sandzer.

Thai café brand Rosa’s will launch on Gillingham Street in Victoria next month. Rosa’s also has restaurants in Spitalfieds, Soho, Westfield Stratford, Carnaby, Chelsea and Angel.

The White Brasserie Company, part of the Brasserie Bar Co, will open its first pub in the north of England in Wilmslow this summer, local media report. It has taken on the Oakwood pub previously run as a Loch Fyne.

Franco Manca will open in Brighton next month, it has told the town’s paper. It will be its second restaurant outside London, after Guildford.

Abokado is to launch in Hatton Garden in June. It will be its 26th site in all.

Five Guys has signed to open a 3,000 square feet restaurant at Friars Walk in Newport, plus one on Parliament Street in Harrogate. They will take the US brand close to 50 restaurants in the UK following a very rapid expansion here.

KFC has opened a new restaurant on Northumberland Street in Newcastle—the first to get the chain’s brand new look for city centre locations. The design is intended to help smaller restaurants in busy places, with the emphasis on lunchtime and trade operations. Features include hook-on menu boards, bar stool seating and wire-mesh chicken installations.

Wahaca has applied to open on South Street in Chichester. It has asked for change of use for a retail unit.

The Marina Boardwalk development at Brighton Marina has signed four restaurant brands: TGI Friday’s, Casa Brasil and Casual Dining Group’s Bella Italia and Las Iguanas. The development is expected to open towards the end of the summer.

JD Wetherspoon has started work on a new pub in Grays in Essex, local media report. It is refurbishing an old cinema in the town. It is also nearing an opening in Bitterne in Southampton after submitting a licensing application.

The Hawthorn Leisure group is to open another 11 town centre pubs after agreeing an acquisition deal with JD Wetherspoon. The pubs are the Auctioneer in Blackpool, the Picture Palace in Enfield, the Earl of Zetland in Grangemouth, the Red Lion in Heanor, the Lattice House in King’s Lynn, the Clydesdale Inn in Lanark, the Twitchel Inn in Long Eaton, the Courthouse in Mansfield, the Corn Law Rymer in Rotherham, the Swim Inn in Sheffield and the Ye Old Crown Inn in Stourport-on-Severn. The deal should complete in early May and will add to Hawthorn’s 50 existing pubs.

Mitchells & Butlers’ Browns will reopen its brasserie and bar on Old Jewry in the City after a refurbishment next week.

Hush restaurant and cocktail bar in Mayfair has launched a new dining space called Blades. Its menu centres on steak, lobster and whiskeys, and the space is themed on the 1960s, with its name taken from the members’ club to which James Bond’s M belonged.

Papa John’s has opened in Merthyr Tydfil.

Cielo Blanco, a Mexican restaurant and bar at Trinity Leeds, will open in London’s Exmouth Market in May.

Gusto will open in Leamington Spa in June. It has also put in an application to launch in York.

The Zaap Thai street food brand will open in the Co-op building in Newcastle in the summer. It already operates in Leeds and Nottingham.

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