Birmingham-based bar and restaurant group Bitters n Twisted will reach ten venues with an opening in Leicester in July. It will be a Bodega Cantina restaurant on St Martin’s Square in the city—a third site for the concept, which offers south American street food and already runs from Birmingham and Worcester. Bitters n Twisted also runs various bars and restaurants in Birmingham, and celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Founder Matt Scriven said: “It’s hard to believe that we have been going a decade… We are proud to have created a group of venues that are fuelling the spirit of quality independents in the Midlands.”
Also in Birmingham, Gaucho is to open on Colmore Row in the autumn. It has been seeking a site in the city for some time. Gaucho’s sister casual brand CAU already has a presence in Birmingham.
Birmingham is to get a new street food centre from Brum Yum Yum called the Hawker Centre, the city’s Mail has reported. It is being modeled on Singapore’s hawker markets and will host various mobile operators over 15 weekends from 27 May. A more permanent venture will follow in the autumn. The market is located close to the Arcadian centre in Birmingham.
CG Restaurants and Bars’ cocktail bar group Dirty Martini is making its first move outside London after securing a site for a bar on St Mary Street in Cardiff. It should open in September, joining Dirty Martini’s seven London venues.
Busaba Eathai has become the latest London-founded brand to acquire a restaurant in Leeds. It has secured a 6,000 square feet unit at the former HQ of Lloyds Bank on Park Row, close to Trinity Leeds.
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi has opened in Cambridge—its fifth UK restaurant and first outside London. It is a 108-cover unit with a central bar and is based on Wheeler Street in the city, opposite the Corn Exchange. Sticks ‘n’ Sushi will open next in Victoria’s Nova development and Oxford in October.
Thai Leisure Group’s street food concept Thaikhun opened in Guildford late last week—its eighth site and first south of London. It is a 3,700 square feet restaurant with 124 covers. Thai Leisure Group says it will open five more sites in the south of England before the end of the year.
Caravan Coffee is to open a major new roastery with coffee bar and café close to King’s Cross in September. It will be in a 8,500 square feet warehouse, and will also have a retail shop and ‘coffee education studio’. The roastery will produce cold-press juices, tonics and sodas as well as coffees, for sale at other Caravan sites as well as the roastery. Caravan is making the move because it says it has outgrown its current King’s Cross HQ. Co-founder Laura Harper-Hinton said: “We have located the perfect site in a beautiful disused Victorian warehouse just north of our King’s Cross restaurant and feel that with London’s growing thirst for quality, carefully produced coffee from independent suppliers showing no signs of waning, it is an exciting time for us to open our new coffee roastery and coffee education centre.”
Abokado has signed for an opening on Blackfriars Road. It has taken a unit at Great Portland Estates’ development there. It will be Abokado’s 27th location in all.
Craft beer group Brewhouse & Kitchen is to open in Chester, Bedford and Wilmslow after taking over three pubs previously run by JD Wetherspoon. The three deals will complete in the next few weeks. Brewhouse & Kitchen intends to install a microbrewery in the basement of the Chester pub, the Bollin Fee.
Zia Lucia, a new neighbourhood pizzeria concept, opens on Holloway Road in Islington in June. It is being run by a team of Italians with doughs originating from Tuscany, Naples and Rome.
The White Brasserie Company reached the milestone of ten pubs with the opening of the Victoria in Oxshott on Tuesday (10 May). It is a 1,160 square feet site with 64 covers in a brasserie and 32 in the bar, plus outside space.
JD Wetherspoon has acquired the Red Lion pub in Bitterne in Southampton.
Leon will open its first site outside the UK in Amsterdam in the summer. It continues a partnership with HMS Host that has seen it open at various travel hubs in the UK.
Browns reopened its brasserie at West India Quay in London this week.
EAT has opened a new concept store on Finsbury Pavement in London. It is an open-plan site with the kitchen areas visible. EAT plans to take the new look to other openings, including one in Chichester. The brand has also announced plans for its biggest store yet—a 2,800 square feet venue at Liverpool Street station.
A new Italian concept called O Ver is o launch next to Borough Market in June. It will specialize in Neapolitan street food and claims to be the first UK restaurant to use Pure Sea Water in many of its dishes, which will include pizzas, pasta and salads. There will be a bar with prosecco, organic wines and craft beers. ‘O Ver’ is a Neapolitan expression for ‘Is this true?’
The Ivy will launch its first restaurant venture outside London in Clifton in Bristol, according to local media. It should be open by the end of the summer.
Notch, the new rooftop bar of the Marriott Hotel on Park Lane, opened late last week. It is selling cocktails and street food incorporating Japanese and south American influences.