TGI Friday’s opened a new concept restaurant at the Eldon Square development in Newcastle on Monday (31 October). The group says it is the biggest overhaul of its restaurant formula in 30 years, incorporating a more premium offer, all-day food including breakfast, live music and DJs in a special performance zone, and a large bar and lounge area. The main menu has also been overhauled. TGI Friday’s plans to open two more new-concept restaurants between now and February. Chief executive Karen Forrester said: “We feel that now is the perfect time to build on the UK-wide popularity of Fridays and serve up a new, fresh experience for our guests. These new restaurants will retain the heritage of Fridays but mix it with new offerings for all times of the day and night whether that is breakfast, a relaxed meeting over coffee, or an indulgent, celebratory, evening meal with live entertainment.“
Whitbread is kicking off an expansion of its Bar + Block brand with an opening in King’s Cross on 5 December. The first Bar + Block, an all-day, steak-focused concept, opened in Birmingham earlier this year. The new 5,500 square feet restaurant will be alongside King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, and will have 212 covers plus a 68 cover bar. Whitbread now wants to open several more Bar + Block sites over the next year.
Thai Leisure Group will soon open a Chaophraya restaurant at the top of the new Grey’s Quarter dining area of intu Eldon Square in Newcastle. The new complex is home to a host of brands, phased in over a period of a few months. The group has also just launched a branch of its casual format Thaikhun at the Little SouthGate dining quarter in Bath. You can view Thaikhun’s property requirements here.
Limeyard, the US-style concept run by Cote, is to launch a second site at the Two Rivers development in Staines. The original Limeyard is in Ealing, and Cote is now seeking to expand the brand.
Nando’s says it will open in Blackburn. It will form part of the new development around the town’s Vue cinema complex.
Busaba Eathai opened in St Albans on Tuesday (1 November). It is the group’s 16th restaurant in all and its third outside London, following Liverpool and Manchester. Chief executive Jason Myers said: “We’re excited to be part of this buzzing city which has such a colourful history and thriving cultural life. As we continue to introduce the concept of Busaba outside of London, our vision of taking modern Bangkok food and hospitality nationwide is becoming a reality.”
Lebanese restaurant concept Le Comptoir Libanais has signed to open a new site at the Oracle centre in Reading. Its 170 square metre restaurant will be part of an influx of brands into the centre as part of a £5.7m overhaul. Sarah Fox, head of restaurants and leisure at Hammerson, said: “Welcoming a restaurateur of such calibre to The Riverside is testament not only to The Oracle’s already well-established dining offer, but also our vision for its regeneration.”
Jules Thin Crust, a nine-strong chain of pizza restaurants in the UK, has made a UK launch with a site in Putney. It has taken a 2,100 square feet unit that was previously operated as Urban Diner.
Lievito, an Italian pizzeria concept, is to make its debut in the UK with an opening on Fulham Road in the next few weeks. It has taken a two-floor site with 45 covers, and will also sell a grab and go range. Lievito founder Rocco Caridi said: “Lievito is a restaurant concept with its own identity, bringing innovation and tradition together. Our bespoke mixture of wholemeal flours makes our pizzas unique and recognisable for their lightness.” Lievito is Italian for yeast.
All-day restaurant and coffee concept Caravan has opened its third site on Great Guildford Street in Bankside. It joins the first two Caravans in Clerkenwell and King’s Cross.
Smiths of Smithfield is to open in Cannon Street in London on 21 November. Sales and marketing manager Cat Stuijt said: “We are incredibly excited about this new venture, in the heart of the city in an area which is crying out for sophisticated dining and drinking in a sea of grab-and-go outlets.”
The Revolution Bars Group has set 18 November for the opening of its latest new Revolucion de Cuba bar and restaurant at the Academy retail centre in Aberdeen. It is a 4,500 square feet venue on the site of a former Wagamama restaurant.
A major new complex of restaurants is to open at Waterloo station in London after plans for an £800m overhaul were approved this week. The news will see 130,000 square feet of retail and leisure space opened up in the three floors beneath the Eurostar platforms.
BrewDog has lined up openings in Homerton and York before the end of the year. It says it is also readying a bar in Dalston in the new year, and is hunting for sites in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Brixton and Peckham.
Byron has opened in Windsor. It is the chain’s 69th restaurant in all.
Noodle bar brand Wok & Go has opened a site under franchise in Canterbury—its 25th restaurant in all.
Stonegate Pub Company has reopened the Queen’s Head in Ockbrook in Derbyshire after a refurbishment.
Jamie Oliver concept Jamie’s Deli has opened its first site outside the UK, with a launch with SSP at Oslo airport.
Peruvian barbecue restaurant Senor Ceviche have instructed a leisure agent to acquire a new London site, you can view their property requirements here.
Boswells Coffee are actively looking for sites in the South East & South West, you can view their requirements here.