New openings round up

Walkabout, The Ivy, The Cats Pyjamas, Caravan and Giggling Squid are a few of this week's new openings.

All-day restaurant and coffee shop operator Caravan will open its first location in the West End in July—on Great Portland Street in Fitzrovia. The venue will have a completely cashless ‘Caravan to Go’ offer as well as eating in. The building, once home to BBC Radio 1, will have a private ‘Record room’ and a large bar weaving through three different dining areas. It will be the fifth Caravan, joining locations in King’s Cross, Exmouth Market, Bankside and the City.

Boxpark has confirmed details of some of the operators launching at its new Wembley development later this year. They include US brands Shake Shack and Wingstop, Asian street food venture Ugly Dumpling, chips specialist Poptata, which also operates at Boxpark in Shoreditch and Croydon, and Greek brand The Athenian, which has three sites in London. Shake Shack recently announced another London opening in the City as it steps up its expansion in the UK, while Wingstop has just announced plans for a launch into the UK on Shaftesbury Avenue. Boxpark says three-quarters of the units at Wembley are now let.

Thai brand Giggling Squid is to open a second London site in Kingston-upon-Thames in the autumn. The 3,000 square feet restaurant will be on the site of a former Jamie’s Italian on Kingston High Street and will seat around 120 people. Giggling Squid plans more new openings in Chichester, Windsor and Cheltenham in the summer, followed by Harpenden and Bishop’s Stortford as well as Kingston in the autumn. Giggling Squid’s first London site is in Wimbledon.

Whitbread is opening a new branch of its new Bar + Block steakhouse and bar concept in Chapel Quarter in Nottingham on 18 June. It is launching in the restaurant space of the Premier Inn hotel there. Bar + Block currently has four restaurants, in London, Birmingham, Bath and Whiteley.

Hammerson has signed two independent operators to its Grand Central development in Birmingham: US soul food style concept Holy Moly Macaroni and fish and chip shop operator Tasty Plaice. Holy Moly Macaroni has taken a 1,750 square feet restaurant for its first permanent site after previously running as a mobile operation, while Tasty Plaice has picked up a 1,100 square feet unit to add to its four current venues in the Midlands, including at Intu Merry Hill in Birmingham.

US burger brand Five Guys will open at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth in July, local media report.

Revived London brewery Truman’s is opening a tap house at the Newman Arms in Fitzrovia on Wednesday (16 May). It follows an expansion of the pub into the basement, and new features will include a ‘crowler’ to fill cans with beer to take away.

The Ivy group opened its latest new Brasserie in St Albans this week. It is open all day from 8am. The restaurant is on a site in the town previously occupied by Brasserie Blanc.

Indian street food and craft beer concept The Cat’s Pyjamas opened on Cumberland Street in York this week. It joins branches of the brand in Leeds and Headingley.

The Restaurant Group’s Brunning & Price operation has opened the Morris Dancer pub and restaurant in Kelsall in Cheshire. The pub was previously run as the Lord Binning by the New Moon Pub Company, which went into administration in 2016, and its successor, Carwood Catering.

Macaron ice cream sandwich brand Yolkin has opened on Rupert Street in Chinatown. The 18-cover site over 450 square feet is a first permanent location for the concept, which was previously a mobile operation. The opening is part of Shaftesbury’s plans to bring more Asian-inspired dessert offers to Chinatown.

Brighton Indian restaurant The Chilli Pickle is to open a second site in Guildford. The 125-cover restaurant will open in July, in a unit previously occupied by Cote’s Jackson & Rye brand.

Stonegate Pub Company has reopened its Walkabout bar and restaurant in Carlisle after a £500,000 refurbishment.

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