New Openings Round-Up

Brands including Caravan, Bar + Block, Mamalan, BrewDog, Ed’s Easy Diner, Red Dog Saloon are among those with new opening plans to report this week

All-day concept Caravan will open a new site on Bankside in London on 27 October. It will be the operator’s third site, joining the first two in Exmouth Market and Granary Square in King’s Cross. A flagship Caravan coffee roastery and café will also launch later this year. The Bankside venue is located close to Tate Modern and will have a 140-cover dining area and standalone bar over 4,000 square feet.

Whitbread has moved to grow its new Bar + Block brand with the announcement of a major new opening in King’s Cross in November. Whitbread launched the steak-focused casual dining brand earlier this year with a restaurant in Birmingham, and has now taken a 5,500 square feet unit with 212 covers on York Road, close to both King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations. It will be open from breakfast to dinner every day, with a focus on high quality steaks and drinks including craft beers and cocktails. David Murdin, Whitbread’s chief operating officer of brand developments, said: “We’re very excited to be launching our flagship site in London following its success in Birmingham. We’re keen to develop the brand further, and aim to have several venues open by the end of this financial year.”

Chinese street food-style operator Mamalan has secured a fifth site on Richmix Square in Shoreditch, to open next month. It will be a small site and joins branches of Mamalan in Brixton, Clapham, Dalston and East Village.

MeatLiquor has just opened on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich. It is its ninth site in the UK, and fifth in London.

BrewDog opens a new bar in Southampton tomorrow (16 September).

Frontier Pubs, the new managed pubs joint partnership from Enterprise Inns and Food & Fuel, opened its first venue last Wednesday (7 September)—the Chandos in Honor Oak Park. It follows a £350,000 investment that has left the pub with a focus on craft beer and pizzas. Frontier Pubs plans to open two more pubs before the end of the year. Food & Fuel commercial director Peter Myers said: “We’re very excited to be opening our first Frontier Pubs venue. The Chandos has huge potential as it’s in a great area which isn’t particularly well served by pubs with the offer we have created. Enterprise chief executive Simon Townsend said: “It’s great to see the latest pub in our Managed Investments portfolio come to fruition. Food & Fuel has been fantastic to work with and we are delighted with the transformation that the pub has undergone.”

Ed’s Easy Diner is opening at Liverpool Street station in London soon, in partnership with SSP. The joint venture will see the two companies open ten more diners at stations and other SSP locations in the next four years.

Pizza Express and Loungers have both been confirmed for openings at a new development in Aberystwyth. Plans for a conversion of an old school building have just been given approval, and the development should open there in the middle of next year. More restaurants will be announced in due course.

Barbecue operator Red Dog Saloon is kickstarting an expansion into the regions with a launch in Nottingham in October. It will be the fourth Red Dog location, joining three London sites in Soho, Clapham and Hoxton. The brand now wants to open five new restaurants a year, with Liverpool and Southampton next on the list, and has set a target of 60 in all. Founder Tom Brooke said: “Nottingham was always the ideal choice for us. The city has a thriving food and drink scene and, as a family-run business which is passionate about the food we serve, we feel that we can offer something truly authentic, high quality and great value for money. To open a restaurant outside London is big step for us but it is also very exciting.”

Spanish concept Iberica has set 30 September for the opening of its latest new restaurant in Glasgow. It has taken a 113-cover space on St Vincent Street.

The Stable has set 28 September for the opening of its new restaurant in Exeter. It has taken a unit at the Guildhall development in the city.

CAU has been confirmed for an opening at the Victoria Gate development in Leeds.

The Restaurant Group’s Frankie & Benny’s brand opens in Dundee on Monday (19 September). It has taken a unit at the Overgate centre.

Loungers’ new Cosy Club at the Liverpool ONE development will be open before Christmas, the company has announced. It will be the 16th Cosy Club location in all, and joins brands at Liverpool ONE including Busaba Eathai, Turtle Bay, Wahaca and Red’s. Jake Bishop, managing director of Cosy Club, said: “Liverpool ONE is an important step in achieving our plans to open 100 restaurants. We are in a prime position in the heart of one of the UK’s leading retail and leisure destinations, in one of the most exciting cities in the country.”

Turtle Bay has secured permission to open on Holly Street in Sheffield—but with provisos including the installation of a lift to transport food between floors, the Sheffield Star reports.

Casual Dining Group is to debut its Las Iguanas and Bella Italia brands at the Center Parcs leisure developments. Bella Italia and Las Iguanas will both open at Center Parcs Longleat Forest site shortly, with Bella Italia also moving into Center Parcs Sherwood Forest. Mark Nelson, CDG’s director of concessions, franchising and international development, said: “I’m particularly excited about introducing Las Iguanas to Center Parcs—it’s the brand’s first concession and the perfect match for Center Parcs’ visitors.” Eddie McAdam, group food and beverage / retail manager, said: “We are really excited to be welcoming the Bella and Las Iguanas brands and the new Gelato Café to Center Parcs. These exciting brands will enable us to continue to deliver excellent dining experiences to Center Parcs’ guests.”

Costa says it has reached the milestone of 6,000 locations for its self-serve Costa Express bar—representing huge growth from 877 machines in 2011.

KFC says it wants to open more than 400 new sites in the UK after launching a new property search. It already has around 850 locations but thinks there is potential for many more driver-through, food court and standalone restaurants.

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