The Restaurant Group’s TRG Concessions division has signed a franchise deal with Polpo co-founders Russell Norman and Richard Beatty to open branches of the Spuntino brand in UK airports. TRG hopes to open a first site this year. Spuntino is a small plates concept with sites in Soho and Bristol, and will add a breakfast and takeaway menu to its existing offer. Norman said: “When I fly and I’m killing time in airport terminals, I often think, ‘why isn’t there somewhere more like Spuntino—tasty small plates, comfort cooking, lots of doughnuts, real cocktails and friendly service? Our partnership with TRG Concessions has given us a unique opportunity to achieve that.”
City Pub Company is to open a new pub inside Cambridge’s railway station. It will be called The Old Ticket Office and will face onto the city’s redeveloped Station Square. City Pub Company already operates several sites in Cambridge. It has just received approval for its station plans, and an opening date is yet to be set.
New World Trading Company is opening a branch of its new cocktail bar brand The Florist in Exeter, according to local media. No location or opening date has been revealed. The Florist already has a bar in Bristol with another to follow in Liverpool soon.
Three dessert brands are opening in Newport Court at the Central Cross mixed-use development bordering Chinatown, Soho, Covent Garden and Leicester Square. They are Tsujiri, a Japanese tea house with 30 covers over two floors, serving green tea and Japanese dessert; Guo C 100, a Hong Kong style healthy fruit dessert brand with 350 stores across China, the US, Australia and South Korea; and Roro, launching later this month with various Asian desserts. Shaftesbury’s head of group restaurant strategy Julia Wilkinson said: “Chinatown London continues to bring the latest trends in Far Eastern food to the capital. As Asian street desserts gain momentum in London, Tsujiri, Guo C 100 and Roro are three exciting new operators that reflect how the Far East is changing.
The Five Points Brewing Company in Hackney has acquired the close-by Pembury Tavern pub. It was previously operated by Individual Pubs. Five Points co-founder Ed Mason said: “The Pembury Tavern has pioneered the appreciation of real ale and great beer in Hackney for generations, and we’re really excited to be able to take the reins at this legendary boozer.”
Indian street food concept Mowgli plans to open a second restaurant in Manchester, according to the city’s Evening News. It will add a branch on Oxford Road to its Corn Exchange venue later in the year.
Paris-based Italian restaurant group Big Mamma is to open in Shoreditch, according to reports. It is picking up a site run by Red’s True Barbecue since 2015. Red’s is closing there to focus on expansion outside of London.
Rosa’s Thai is to open its first restaurant outside London—at the Albert Dock in Liverpool. The brand currently has 11 sites in London.
JD Wetherspoon has secured permission to open a pub in Bourne in Lincolnshire. A £1.5m refurbishment is now planned. It has also got the go-ahead for a pub on James Street in Liverpool—its sixth site in the city.
Esquires Coffee has opened a new location next to its headquarters in Putney. The brand has more than 50 sites around the UK.
Farm Girl, the Australian-inspired healthy eating concept, has opened its first all-day restaurant and bar on Park Walk off Fulham Road in Chelsea. It is open from 8.30am to 11.30pm each day. Farm Girl already has operations in Notting Hill and Soho.
Loungers has just opened its latest Cosy Club bar and restaurant at the Cornhill Quarter development in Lincoln. Loungers has also set 7 March for an opening of its Lounge in Abingdon.
The Revolution Bars Group has won approval for its plans to open a branch of its Revolucion de Cuba brand in Southampton. The three-floor venue will open later this year after a £1m redevelopment.
The York Roast Co on Stonegate in York is reopening as a diner and shop in March. The new-look two-floor site will have 30 covers as well as takeaway options. The York Roast Co has another site in York as well as in Chester, Shrewsbury and Salisbury.
A new US-style steakhouse called Texas Rocks is opening in Yeovil in early April. It is being themed around the Jack Daniel’s brand.
Lina Stores, a longstanding Italian deli on Brewer Street in Soho, is opening a restaurant on nearby Greek Street. The 50-cover site will open in the spring.
Chorlton craft beer bar and Canadian-style poutine restaurant Brewski is opening a second site in Mosley Street in Manchester in early March. It will have 42 covers and take-out, plus delivery via Deliveroo.