New openings round-up

Gusto, Bodega Cantina, Leon, Polpo, Cote and Ralph Lauren round out our list of new openings. 


Living Ventures’ Gusto brand will open its first restaurant in the East Midlands on 9 February—on the high street in West Bridgford in the suburbs of Nottingham. It follows a £1m refurb of the site, which will become Gusto’s 16th restaurant. It will have 106 covers in the main dining area, plus 36 more in a conservatory, 22 in a bar area and 30 outside. Gusto plans to open two more restaurants in 2017 Managing director Sue Crimes said: “We’re really excited to open our latest bar and restaurant—the West Bridgford site is the perfect location for our clientele and it’s at the heart of the busy food and drink scene in the area.”

Leon has confirmed details of its first opening in Manchester—on Regent Crescent at the Intu Trafford Centre. It should launch in the spring as it continues its expansion beyond London. Click here to read a Q&A with Beth Emmens, Property Acquisition Manager at Leon.

Frontier Pubs, the partnership between the Food & Fuel group and Enterprise Inns’ EI Managed Investments arm, is to launch two more London sites—the Rose and Crown in Tooting Bec and the Lion in Stoke Newington. Both will focus on craft beer, and will sell food including pizzas after new kitchens are installed. Food & Fuel’s commercial director Peter Myers said: “Our first two sites have been well received by customers and we’re very excited about these two London openings. With the demand for craft beer continuing to rise, and taking into consideration the locations of these sites, we’re confident they will be very successful.”

Côte opened new brasseries on Worcester High Street and Bristol’s Quakers Friars at Cabot Circus on Monday (9 January). The Worcester restaurant has 160 covers, while the Bristol one—a second in the city for Côte—has 200. The brand has also lined up the opening of a 130-cover restaurant in Hale in late January.

TGI Friday’s has just opened a new restaurant in Bournemouth. It has adopted the brand’s new look that includes a lounge area, live music and a more premium offer. Chief executive Karen Forrester said: “This will be the second new concept restaurant we will be opening here in the UK… After the success of the first opening we’re confident that Friday’s fans will love what they see.” The brand’s next new opening will be in Southampton.

Bodega Cantina, the south American bar and restaurant from the Bitters n Twisted group, is to open a fourth site at Sadler Gate in Derby. It should be open in March. It continues an expansion for Bodega Cantina across the Midlands, joining branches in Birmingham, Leicester and Worcester. They are targeting new openings in locations such as Nottingham, Solihull and Lichfield. You can view their property requirements here.

Rosa’s Thai Café’s Laotian restaurant concept, Lao Café, opens on Chandos Place in Covent Garden on Monday (16 January). It is a 50 cover restaurant over two floors. The core Rosa’s brand will meanwhile open on Atlantic Road in Brixton next month.

The 3Sixty Restaurants group has acquired a new pub for its Ego brand—the Bulls Head in Horbury in west Yorkshire. It has taken a free of tie long lease with Punch Taverns, making the Bulls Head the seventh in Ego’s pub estate and the brand’s 15th site in all. It will reopen in April after a refurbishment.

Nando’s has applied to open at the Kingswood Retail Park in Hull, in a unit close to restaurants including Pizza Hut and Frankie & Benny’s. The opening would be a third in the city for Nando’s.

Italian tapas concept Polpo will open at the Guildhall dining quarter in Exeter in March. The Exeter Echo reports that the restaurant will have 65 covers inside and 35 more outside. It will sit alongside brands including Turtle Bay, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Le Comptoir Libanais and The Stable at the Exeter development.

Ralph Lauren opens its first London eating and drinking venue on Thursday (12 January)—Ralph’s Coffee & Bar next to its flagship store on Regent Street. It is a hybrid of the brand’s Polo Bar in Manhattan and Ralphs Coffee. The venue will have a club-like atmosphere with leather seats and dark wood paneling, with 24 covers and 12 more seats at the bar. It will sell coffee, cocktails and bar snacks.

The D&D London group will open a Bluebird Café by the Television Centre in White City. It is a spin-off from D&D’s flagship Bluebird restaurant operation in Chelsea, and the group plans to open more such sites in the next few years.

Greene King has set up a new pub restaurant under its Hungry Horse brand at the Castlegate development in Dudley in the west Midlands.

Taco Bell will open in the town of Poole in Dorset in March—its 15th UK location. Taco Bell continue to seek new sites across the UK. You can view their target locations in the South here.

Papa John’s opened nine new sites towards the end of 2016, in locations including Barry, Coventry, Ellesmere Port, Kingston, Scunthorpe and Wigan.

Nottingham based Georges Great British Kitchen, have appointed a commercial agent to source new opportunities across the UK. Target locations include Cambridge, Cardiff and Southampton. View their requirements in full here.

Telepizza have announced a list of target locations in Greater London where they are looking to gain representation. View their property requirements here.

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