New openings round-up

City Pub Group, Hard Rock Café, Mowgli, Pho and Young's round out this week's list of new openings.

Vietnamese brand Pho launches its latest new restaurant on Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on Friday (12 July). It is marking opening day with a giveaway of bowls of pho.

Indian street food brand Mowgli has set 12 August for the opening of its new restaurant on St Martin’s Square in Leicester.

Harry Ramsden has started selling through around 70 Mecca Bingo venues. The ‘Proudly Serving Harry Ramsden’ menu proposition with Mecca is another brand spin-off following The Laughing Fish, launched with franchise partner Resorts World Genting Malaysia. Malcolm Heslop, business development manager at Harry Ramsden, said: “With the loyal and dedicated following which bingo enjoys, Mecca is an ideal partner for us.”

US-based chicken and waffle restaurant Sweet Chick is to launch in the UK with a restaurant on Market Place at Oxford Circus in October. It is taking on a unit previously operated by Carluccio’s. Sweet Chick first opened in the US in Brooklyn six years ago, and now has four sites in New York and one in Los Angeles.

Hard Rock Café has just opened a new flagship restaurant on Piccadilly by London’s Piccadilly Circus. It signals a new look for the Hard Rock Café brand, including a fresh menu, open kitchen, pizza oven, milkshake station, larger shop and private events space. The site covers 19,000 square feet. Stephen Judge, president of cafe operations at Hard Rock International, said: “We are thrilled to open the doors of our new flagship location in Piccadilly Circus. As our first Cafe opened in London in 1971, the brand has a deep history in this city. Through this new location we’re staying true to our roots, while providing a modern vision to our classic style.”

Japanese noodle bar brand Koi Ramen and new craft beer concept The Tap have both signed to open at the Elephant Park development in south London. It will be a third site for Koi Ramen, which also has restaurants in Brixton and Tooting. The Tap In has been created by the team behind football bar Six Yard Box.

Nando’s, KFC and Greggs have been confirmed for openings at a new Food Central development at Fosse Park in Leicester. Other brands are being lined up for openings there.

Fast casual Indo-Chinese brand Oodles is launching at The Merrion Centre in Leeds. The 58-cover restaurant is Oodles’ first in Yorkshire. More openings are planned in towns including Bury, Bradford and Slough.

The City Pub Group opens The Market House in Reading in the next few weeks. As well as a bar, it will have a food hall incorporating street food traders, and 24 bedrooms. City Pub Group’s opening follows a major refurbishment of an old bank building. The group has meanwhile submitted plans to turn a unit in Exeter previously occupied by Prezzo into a pub and hotel.

Young’s has a new site in Tunbridge Wells in Kent after acquiring the freehold interest in The Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill from Individual Restaurants. Young’s plans to refurbish the venue and reopen it as a pub under its previous name of the White Bear.

Solihull Indian restaurant and bar group Tap and Tandoor has signed to open a second site at Lendlease and Invesco Real Estate’s Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough. They will open a 4,300 square feet unit there shortly.

JD Wetherspoon has just opened its first pub in Dublin city centre. The launch of the Silver Penny follows a £3.5m refurbishment of an old bank building and adjacent chapel.

Sainsbury’s is to run a pop-up non-alcoholic pub at the Old Crown pub on New Oxford Street on 24 and 25 July. ‘The Clean Vic’ will offer masterclasses and tastings featuring no and low-alcohol beer, wine, spirits and mocktails, plus food.

Bath cafe, bar and events venue Walcot House is to open a new restaurant space after acquiring a unit next door.

Kurdish restaurant and coffeeshop Nandine has just opened a third site in Camberwell. It joins the first two Nandines in Peckham and Elephant & Castle.

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