One of the biggest retail and leisure developments of the year opened late last week in Southampton. The £85m WestQuay Watermark scheme has seen a first wave of openings from brands including CAU, The Real Greek, Franco Manca, Thaikhun, Byron, Cosmo and Cabana. Scandinavian concept KuPP and Austria-based pizza restaurant L’Osteria will open at the scheme early next year, and when complete the development will be home to around 20 restaurants. Sarah Fox, head of restaurants and leisure at Hammerson, said: “To attract KuPP’s third and L’Osteria’s second UK restaurant to WestQuay Watermark is a fantastic result for the development. Both are great additions to the already culturally rich tenant mix at the scheme and will further strengthen its appeal as the south coast’s premium leisure and dining destination.”
American barbecue concept Red Dog Saloon will also open at the WestQuay Watermark development. It will become the brand’s fifth restaurant when it launches in a 3,500 square feet unit on 27 December. Red Dog Saloon already has three locations in London and one in Nottingham, and wants to reach 60 restaurants in all over the next few years. Founder Tom Brooke said: “We’ve set ourselves the goal of becoming the number one American restaurant brand in the UK and, as part of our ambitious growth plans, Southampton is the perfect location for us.”
Chaophraya will open very soon at the new Grey’s Quarter of the Intu Eldon Square scheme in Newcastle, close behind launches from a wave of operators including Red’s True Barbecue, Smashburger and Chiquito. Red’s has taken a 5,000 square feet site, Smashburger a 2,000 square feet one and Chiquito a 7,000 square feet space. The deals were brokered by Shelley Sandzer on behalf of Intu. Brands already operating at Grey’s Quarter include Frankie & Benny’s, ASK Italian, Bella Italia and Handmade Burger Co, while another phase of openings in early 2017 will include The Alchemist and Tapas Revolution. Intu regional director Kate Grant said: “The response to Grey’s Quarter so far has been incredibly positive and trading has been strong. This is only going to continue with further new openings.” Amy Counsell, leasing agent at Shelley Sandzer, said: “It has been fantastic to see intu Eldon Square’s Grey’s Quarter evolve and to work alongside intu from the project’s early stages to help bring the strategy to life. With such a strong line up of operators we are thrilled that intu Eldon Square has been re-positioned as Newcastle city centre’s most exciting dining destination.”
Pizza Pilgrims, The Breakfast Club, The Alchemist, Polpo and Cinnamon Kitchen have all signed up to open at the Westgate Oxford development, due to open next October. They will all form part of the Roof Garden dining area of the scheme. Several other brands, including Le Comptoir Libanais, Le Pain Quotidien, Shoryu Ramen and Sticks n Sushi have already agreed deals to launch there. The signings were brokered by Davis Coffer Lyons, whose executive director of development leasing Tracey Mills said: “Demand has been fantastic for the 12 rooftop restaurants, which will offer diners a panoramic view of the city centre and beyond. We are in active, advanced negotiations for the remaining units.”
Tapas bar concept Mas Q Menos has recently launched its fourth venue—a 1,600 square feet, 50 cover site on Holborn Viaduct. It joins three Mas Q Menos bars in Soho, Farringdon and Fenchurch.
Koh Thai Tapas has just opened its 12th restaurant, in Lymington in Hampshire. It is a fifth launch in the county for the brand, and its fourth of 2016.
Healthy concept Maple & Co will open a new restaurant called Maple & King’s at Pancras Square in King’s Cross in March. It follows Maple & Fitz in Fitzrovia and will join operators including Dishoom on the square. Maple & King’s will have 33 covers on a mezzanine and 12 on a terrace, and will offer pop-up supper clubs on some nights alongside breakfasts, lunches, smoothies and cold pressed juices.
Indian street food style operator Mowgli has just opened in an old bank building on Water Street in Liverpool—its second restaurant in the city. The brand also has a venue at Manchester Corn Exchange.
SSP and TV chef James Martin have opened two new bakery and café concessions—at Manchester’s Piccadilly station and Debenhams at the Intu Lakeside development. The James Martin Kitchen format first opened at Stansted airport last year.
The Tasty Group’s Wildwood brand has set 20 December for the opening of its latest new restaurant at Barons Quay in Northwich.
JW Lees has acquired the Hanging Gate pub in Weaverham in Cheshire as it continues to expand deeper into the north west.
Itsu officially opened in Bristol on Wednesday (14 December). It has taken up a space at Cabot Circus in the city.
BrewDog has just opened its latest new bar on Micklegate in York.
Motu Indian Kitchen, a casual Indian delivery concept launched in Battersea a couple of months ago, opened a second site in Camberwell on Wednesday (14 December). The concept has been developed by the team behind concepts including Gymkhana, Trishna and Hoppers.
A new Italian café and deli called Messapica opened on Chamberlayne Road in Kensal Rise in London last Friday (9 December). It is open all day from breakfast through to dinner, and offers eat in and takeaway. The menu includes pastries, salads, pizza and street food snacks from a charcoal grill. It is a 30-cover unit. The venture is from the Masserie Group, which also runs a Pugliese restaurant in Highgate and various other gastropubs and delis in north west London.
The ETM Group has opened Aviary, a new restaurant, bar and terrace on the tenth floor of the new Montcalm Royal London House Hotel on Finsbury Square.
Indian restaurant Kricket will open a second site on Denman Street in Soho on Thursday 5 January. It has taken a 70-cover restaurant and will offer a cocktail bar and private dining room in a basement space as well as a main restaurant. The original Kricket is a 20-cover space in Brixton.
The Restaurant Group’s Concessions division opened a pub, the Prince of Wales, at Terminal 4 of Heathrow airport on Thursday morning (15 December). It is a relaunch of a venue previously known as the Bridge Bar.