New openings round-up

LEON, Grindsmith, Cosy Club, Laine Pub Company and Pret A Manger round out this week's new openings.

The O2 Centre in London has signed several new brands for openings in the spring, including Beer + Burger, Mexican concept Benito’s Hat, vegan brand By Chloe and casual seafood restaurant Hook. Other openings that have been lined up are fried chicken specialist Thunderbird, Chinese hot pot group Hai Di Lao and Indian street food concept Scarlet. They will take the number of food and drink outlets at the O2 past 30. It will be a fifth site for Beer + Burger, a second for Hook and a third for Thunderbird. Leasing director Marion Dillon said: “These latest additions bring an exciting food theatre to our existing food and beverage line-up at the O2.”

Franco Manca is planning to open in Manchester, according to the Manchester Evening News. The exact location hasn’t been confirmed, but it is recruiting for staff now.

Whitbread has officially launched its Bar + Block steakhouse restaurant in Wimbledon. The 300 square metre site is a third in London, After King’s Cross and Aldgate.

The Laine Pub Company has just reopened the Black Horse and Harrow pub in Catford as Ninth Life. It has its own mini street food style market with independent operators, plus live music and bingo nights, and an immersive escape room will follow in early March.

Leon has just opened on Broadwick Street in Soho—its 53rd location in the UK.

US-based build-your-own-pizza concept MOD Pizza is to open in the Cathedral Lanes development in Coventry in late March. It will be a tenth site in the UK for the brand, after Borehamwood, Gateshead, Leicester, London’s Leicester Square, Nottingham, Romford, Watford and Leeds, where it has two sites.

Loungers has opened its latest new Cosy Club bar and restaurant, in a former bank building on London Road in Norwich. It has dining space for around 180 people, plus three private dining areas.

Taiwanese restaurant brand Bao is to open a third site next to the London Bridge railway arches in the spring. It will be a sister site to venues in Soho and Fitzrovia, and will have a karaoke space and grab and go hatch as well as a dining room.

Tapas restaurant and wine bar operator the Evuna Group opened its fourth site on Wednesday (13 February): Evuna Alty in Altrincham. It is in an old bank building and has 24 seats in the bar area, 45 in the restaurant, and an open kitchen. It adds to Evuna’s venues in Manchester’s Deansgate and Northern Quarter, and Knutsford in Cheshire.

The City Pub Group is to relaunch the Turks Head pub in Exeter in late spring, local media report. The site was a pub over many centuries, but was operated as a restaurant by Prezzo from 2005.

Mission Mars, the group running sites including Albert’s Schloss in Manchester and the three-strong Rudy’s pizza chain, has acquired the 170-cover Hub Alehouse and Kitchen in Liverpool.

Better burger concept Haché has started recruiting for a new restaurant in Kingston upon Thames. It already has sites in Balham, Camden, Chelsea, Clapham, Holborn and Shoreditch.

Manchester coffeeshop brand Grindsmith has opened a third site on Bridge Street in Manchester. Its other two sites are at Media City and Greengate Square.

A new retro arcade games bar called NQ64 will open on Short Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter next week.

Pret is to open its first sites in Belgium under a partnership with SSP. The first two venues will be located at the Eurostar and central railway stations in Brussels.

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