New openings round-up

Hollywood Bowl, Blue Water, Smashburger, The Liberation Group, Vapiano, Burgifi and MeatLiquor round out this week's new openings. 

US brand Smashburger has announced five more new restaurant openings as it steps up its expansion in the UK. The first will be on Southgate Street in Bath in early May, followed by Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Centre in June, Dunfermline in July, Wednesbury in the west Midlands in August and Inverness in November. It follows three openings over the last nine months, in Milton Keynes, Brighton and Newcastle. Smashburger wants to open ten new sites over the next 12 months, and reach 35 by the end of 2020.

Hollywood Bowl will open a second new venue of the year in Derby city centre in early April. It follows a £2.4m investment in an 18-lane bowling area, alongside a Hollywood Diner restaurant concept and bar. The venue will adopt Hollywood Bowl’s ‘next-generation’ design. Chief executive Steve Burns said: “When work completes on Hollywood Bowl Derby, it will be our 56h centre in the UK and our second new centre to launch this year. It is set to be one of the most innovative bowling centres in the country.”

Be At One are targeting up to 10 new sites in the next year, you can read a Q&A here with Helen Cahill, their property Acquisitions Manager.

Space for three new restaurants is being opened up at Bluewater as part of Land Securities’ redevelopment of the Plaza area. The company says the new restaurant spaces will be 2,500 to 3,800 square feet in size, and that it is in discussion with “several leading brands” about deals. The work will also see the addition of four new screens at the Plaza’s cinema and two new leisure spaces. Work should be completed by Christmas.

Announcing its latest results, the Revolution Bars Group has said it will open two new sites in the second half of its financial year—in Southend-on-Sea and Torquay. It follows four openings in the first half, in Harrogate, Reading, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

The Lancashire-based Seafood Pub Company has acquired its first site in Yorkshire. It is taking on the Red Lion pub in Harrogate, and will reopen it under a new name in the summer after a £1.5m redevelopment, giving it 260 covers and guest rooms. The company currently has ten restaurants in Lancashire and plans to expand elsewhere this year.

Sprinkles Gelato, who currently operate 14 stores are seeking sites across the UK, as they target 50 stores by 2018. You can view their property requirements here.

The Liberation Group is to open two more pubs in Somerset after an acquisition from British Country Inns. They are the Lime Kiln Inn in Knole near Yeovil and the Beambridge Inn near Wellington. Liberation currently owns 98 pubs and two breweries, the majority of hem in the Channel Islands, and is planning further expansion in the West Country and beyond. Chief executive Mark Crowther said: “Both these pubs will fit perfectly into our growing pub estate in the West Country, which now totals 25. Together with the recent rebranding of the Butcombe Brewery and the rebadging of its beers, these are the first steps in realising our ambition to become a very serious player in this market.

German-based customised pizza and pasta operator Vapiano has signed to open an 11,000 square feet restaurant at the old George hotel on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, next to the Buchanan Galleries development. It is starting fit-out soon. Euan McGonigle, associate director at CBRE which acted for investor Hines on the letting, said: “Vapiano will bring something different to the city with its new fast casual high quality dining concept.”

Veeno, the Italian wine café continue to seek new sites. Target locations include Bath, Cambridge, Cardiff & Oxford. You can view their property requirements here.

Marston’s has agreed a deal to open a Pitcher & Piano bar and restaurant at the Milburngate development in Durham. He scheme starts construction later this year and will open in 2019. Deals with more restaurant and bar operators are now being negotiated.

Nando’s is recruiting for an opening in Altrincham. It has taken a 2,300 square feet site once occupied by McDonald’s.

US better burger concept Burgerfi has opened a second UK restaurant on Woburn Place in Bloomsbury. It follows the debut UK site in Wembley.

MeatLiquor has opened a kitchen-only site in Canary Wharf in partnership with Deliveroo. It will sell eight beef, chicken and vegetarian burgers with five sides and soft drinks. The operation is part of Deliveroo’s network of delivery-only kitchens, and MeatLiquor plans to launch more if the Canary Wharf venture proves successful.

SA Brain is to open a sports bar and grill in Cardiff called Elevens Bar and Grill, in association with Welsh football star Gareth Bale. It is a redevelopment of Dempseys in the city. SA Brain chairman John Rhys said: “Gareth has been involved in every aspect of the design, food and drinks menu… and we are confident his vision of a sports venue and the enthusiasm he has for the project will produce a unique Welsh venue in the heart of its capital city.”

Sussex-based Dark Star Brewing Co has announced on Twitter that it has secured a fifth pub, in Crawley.

The Time Out group says it will return with plans for a large market-style complex of restaurants and bars after its initial proposal for a venue on Commercial Street in Spitalfields in east London were rejected by the local council. It had hoped to launch the site later this year, mimicking a similar venture in Lisbon, but its proposals were criticised by local residents and organisations.

Bon Vivant, a new neighbourhood French bistro, has just opened on Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury. It is an all-day concept, open from 8am to 11pm, selling French classics including morning pastries, charcuterie, tartines, moules and beef tartar. Drinks include French wines and cocktails.

Other brands that have new property requirements include, Mikel Coffee Co, Yamagoya, Wokit and Shola.

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