The Alchemist has launched its major new London bar on St Martins Lane in Covent Garden. It is marking the occasion with a giveaway of 300 cocktails on Friday (16 November). It is the second site in London for The Alchemist, which also operates on Bevis Marks near Liverpool Street, and a third is to follow in Old Street in March 2019. Managing director Simon Potts said: “We’re hugely excited to be bringing the brand to Covent Garden, and looking forward to engaging with the local theatre, bar and restaurant community.”

Hard Rock is to open a new flagship café restaurant on Piccadilly next year. It will have 1,800 square metres of space and will adopt Hard Rock’s new design and menu, in a unit converted from a souvenir shop. Hard Rock International’s president of café operations Stephen Judge said: “All brands, even classic ones, know that to stay relevant they must evolve. Hard Rock Café Piccadilly Circus will embody a modern evolution of our restaurants and a wonderful representation of the brand’s future.

American brewery Goose Island officially launches its first UK brewpub on Shoreditch High Street on Monday (21 November). It will have US-inspired pub food including pizzas and pretzels as well as many regular Goose Island beers, plus brews made especially for the UK market. The brewpub soft-launched a while ago.

Street food collective Kerb will launch a major new permanent covered food hall venture called Seven Dials Market next year. It will be called Seven Dials Market and will have space for around 26 traders when it opens next summer. The deal for the 22,000 square feet space, formerly a fruit and vegetable warehouse, is with landlord Shaftesbury. Kerb managing director Simon Mitchell said: “We had been seeking a special space in which to launch a destination, world-beating food hall for some time, and there is nowhere better than Thomas Neal’s Warehouse.”

Asian quick-service brand Chopstix has opened a new next-generation-style unit at Westfield Stratford. It follows a brand revamp that puts more emphasis on the speed and freshness of Chopstix’s offer. The new format will be used for all future new openings and will be retrofitted to other of its 70+ sites where possible. Managing director Jon Lake said: “The new opening marks an important step in the evolution of the Chopstix brand and we are confident that consumers will react positively to the changes we have made. This is about us refining our approach, strengthening our image to convey our core attributes, whilst also emphasising how ‘different’ we are to other quick-service restaurants in the space we occupy.

Vietnamese on the go street food style brand Hop is opening a fifth site in the City of London very soon, at the ‘Cheesegrater’ Leadenhall building. It will be its biggest location to date, with breakfast and evening as well as daytime menus. Seating will be over two levels, and there will be an Asian cocktail list as well as food. Hop already operates at Broadgate, Coleman Street, Cullum Street and London Wall.

US-based Tex Mex concept Taco Bell is stepping up its push into the UK with an opening on King Street in Hammersmith next Thursday (22 November). It is the first London site for the brand in more than 20 years.

Pan-Asian street food style restaurant brand Momo Canteen will open a third site at Westferry Circus in Canary Wharf in a few weeks. It joins restaurants in Shoreditch and Barbican.

Manchester wine bar and restaurant group Evuna is opening a fourth site in Altrincham. The 80-cover venue will join the three other Evunas in Deansgate, the Northern Quarter and Knutsford.

Healthy eating on the go brand Clean Cut Kitchen is opening a third restaurant in Snow Hill in Birmingham. The brand’s first two venues are both in Nottingham.

Steakhouse and grill group Middletons has set 7 December for the opening of its latest new site in Chelmsford. It is the eighth location for the brand, which started out in Norfolk.

Italian restaurant group Rullo’s will soon open a new pub and kitchen concept called Müller & Briggs by Victoria Park in Hackney Wick. Rullo’s operates restaurants in Camden Town and Kensal Rise.

Five Guys opens on Bridge Street in Chester on Monday (19 November). It has taken over a unit previously occupied by YO! Sushi.

Piccolino’s flagship Caffe Grande in Manchester is reopening next week after a refurbishment following a fire. It will also add more space in an expansion next spring, including event and private dining areas.

Miami bread-based restaurant Buns & Buns launched into the UK with an opening on Covent Garden Piazza on Thursday (15 November).

     

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