Contact us now
01733 806330

Hospitality News Roundup – W/c 18th April


Here is our Hospitality News Roundup from around the country for week commencing 18th April. If we’ve missed anything please add in the comments below:


Monday 18/4 – Peterborough chef launches fine dining concept in city centre: Lee Clarke, former head chef of Clarkes in Peterborough, which won a Michelin Three Forks Award, has opened his own fine dining concept in the city centre. Prévost, which has just opened in a 16th century mews in Priestgate, is set in the former Flyers Club, with ingredients sourced as locally as possible, including beef aged by a butcher in Stilton and wild mushrooms foraged from nearby woods. Clarke told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Prévost is right in the heart of the city and I can’t wait to share the different tastes we have created in the kitchen with the people of Peterborough. I want the Prévost experience to have an air of fine dining but without the formality; diners can expect an exploration of taste that’s quintessentially British but full of surprises.” The 28-cover restaurant is open plan, with an open kitchen, but also has a private dining room upstairs and an after-dinner snug. It will offer three, five and nine-course meals, with dishes including pig, lobster and monk’s beard, brown trout and asparagus, and yogurt and plums with lavender caramel.

Nottingham Post – Nottinghamshire golf club now ‘one of the best in the county’ after £100,000 revamp: Ramsdale Park Golf Centre has been labelled “one of the finest” golf clubs in Nottinghamshire after a £100,000 revamp. General manager Howard Craft said the refurbishment of the Calverton club’s Course View Suite was part of a long-term investment plan. The upgrade includes a decorative feature wall at the back of the dancefloor with incorporated mood lighting and new audio facilities, as well as new blinds, carpet, furniture and ceilings. Mr Craft said: “This suite refurbishment is part of a long-term investment plan, and we’re delighted to be able to update our facilities and make them the best that they can be for everyone. “Over the last three years, we have benefitted from a £1,000,000 investment at the venue, making Ramsdale Park one of the finest golfing centres in the county.” The suite includes a private bar and dancefloor, surrounded by high-sloping ceilings and panoramic views of the course for up to 120 guests to enjoy. The club has two 18-hole golf courses, a driving range, golf school and shop, as well as an 18-hole mini adventure golf course called Mr Mulligan’s Pirate Golf. Work on the Course View Suite was completed at the end of February and all facilities at the club are now open. – Tim Martin & JD Wetherspoon are ‘100%’ behind new joint VAT campaign

By Emily Sutherland, 18-Apr-2016

Pub giant Wetherspoons is ‘100% behind’ the new joint campaign from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) for a fairer VAT deal for pubs, a spokesperson has told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser. Read More – JD Wetherspoon to appeal Welwyn Garden City rejection: JD Wetherspoon will appeal a decision to reject its plans for a Welwyn Garden City pub. The company wanted to redevelop a 1920s house in Parkway into a venue, but had planning permission unanimously rejected by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council in November. However, a JD Wetherspoon spokesman has told the Welwyn Hatfield Times an appeal for the site will be submitted “imminently”. When lodged, it will then be referred to the Planning Inspectorate, the body that deals with planning appeals. The Welwyn Garden City Society opposed the plans, and chairman Shaun O’Reilly said he was “staggered” at JD Wetherspoon’s “incredible” decision not to accept the council’s verdict. He added: “They got such a resounding vote against it I’m surprised that they are putting any effort or money behind any appeal. Frankly, it’s quite incredible.” However, Longcroft Lane resident Gavin Meaden, an engineer, said he would like a Welwyn Garden City JD Wetherspoon pub, regardless of whether it is in Parkway or closer to the town centre. “I think they bring the sort of pub that we don’t currently have,” he added. – Purecraft Bar and Kitchen opens second site in Nottingham: Purecraft Bar and Kitchen, which opened its first venue in Birmingham in 2014, has opened its second site in Nottingham. The company has opened the venue in the former HSBC branch in St Peter’s Gate following a £500,000 refurbishment, creating more than 25 jobs. Purecraft’s three directors are former Michelin-starred Dorchester chef Andreas Antona, co-founder of Purity Brewing Co Paul Halsey, and Martin Hilton, a former director at Mitchells & Butlers. The venue offers beers from Purity brewery – a sister company of Purecraft – as well as many others from around the world. Dishes include braised lamb shoulder and lamb faggot with beer-braised onions, minted peas and potato puree. Antona told The Business Desk: “Nottingham is a dynamic city with plenty going on in the food and drink scene. As a (company) that’s as serious about food as we are about beer, we’re confident that we’re bringing something different to the area. We’re really looking forward to sharing our passion for great food and beer with the food and drink lovers in the city.” Hilton previously said Purecraft was looking to expand to six or seven sites across the UK and was eyeing cities such as Leeds, Manchester and London.

Tuesday 19/4/16 – Staycations increase as overseas safety fears rise

By Emma Eversham+, 19-Apr-2016

The number of short breaks Brits intend to take within the UK is set to increase this year as worries about personal safety overseas curb appetites for holidays abroad. Read More – Batemans dismisses sale rumours: Batemans, the family brewer based in Lincolnshire, has dismissed rumours it will be sold to a third party. Stuart Bateman, managing director at Batemans Brewery, said: “Batemans is a proud family firm and we believe it always will be. The last generation of the Bateman family spent three years in the mid-1980s fighting to keep it an independent family brewery, rather than cashing in and giving up, and this is how we will continue. Our fifth generation is already supporting the business during the school holidays, in preparation to lead the brewery themselves one day. Batemans Brewery is in no way looking to be sold to an external stakeholder, and we want to reassure any of our customers or tenants who may have heard, and been concerned by, any rumours. While the market remains challenging, 2016 is a very exciting year for us, as we have plans to acquire new sites to join our recent acquisition near Rotherham, as well as a comprehensive investment programme for our existing pubs. The development of our sales team last month will also prove key to our ongoing success; we expect our forecasted trade to increase by around 10%as a result of this.” – Turtle Bay gets go-ahead to open restaurant in Norwich: Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay has been given the go-ahead to open a site in Norwich. The company has been granted permission by the city council to convert the grade II-listed building that was formerly home to Fabric Warehouse on the corner of Bedford Street and Swan Lane into its latest venue. The proposal will see the basement and ground floor of the property become a restaurant while the entrance will be switched from Swan Lane to Bedford Street, reports the Eastern Daily Press. The council had already granted a licence for Turtle Bay to open a restaurant although Norfolk police had requested it must restrict its opening hours to midnight, as it is outside the defined late-night activity zone. Turtle Bay, which is backed by Piper Private Equity, was formed by Las Iguanas co-founder Ajith Jaya-Wickrema in 2010 and has 26 sites across the UK

Wednesday 20/4/16

The Drinks Business – Restaurants ‘should improve craft beer offering’: Restaurants need to offer a wider range of independent beers if they want to attract more customers, as the results of a new survey show that one in three people would eat out more often if there were a greater amount of craft beers on offer. New independent research released by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) appears to show that despite the growth in the popularity of craft-brewed beer, the majority of restaurants in the UK are not meeting the consumer demand. Nick Stafford, SIBA’s operation’s director said: “Craft-brewed beer is growing in popularity across the UK and the restaurants which have recognised this and started to serve a range of interesting, flavoursome beers have thrived. “Unfortunately though most restaurants don’t put in the same effort when it comes to beer as they do when selecting their wine list, something our new research suggests could be seriously damaging their commercial potential.” SIBA, which represents thousands of small UK breweries, is encouraging its members to contact local restaurants to set up small supply contracts. “The advances made in quality bottled, canned and craft-keg beer means that it has never been easier for outlets beyond pubs to sell beer”, Mr Stafford said. “Craft-brewed, canned beer generally comes in smaller 330ml cans, which can be stacked, fit neatly in fridges and get cool quickly, making them the perfect choice for restaurants who want to serve beer but don’t have the space or expertise to look after draught beer lines.”  – Pubs code: “We’ve won the war- now we must win the peace”

By Emily Sutherland, 20-Apr-2016

The trade must come together and strive to make the statutory pubs code a success after the Government published its divisive response to the consultation, according to one award-winning licensee. Read More

Cambridge News – New Bella Italia Coming Soon to Bridge Street: Cambridge is about to get a second taste of Italian flavour as Bella Italia prepares to open an eatery on bustling Bridge Street, opposite St John’s College. The £425,000 new investment is set to create 25 new jobs and plans to serve up delicious home cooked, Italian breakfast, lunch and dinner in a sophisticated and setting. Cambridge is a perfect location for Bella Italia to expand as it prides itself on locations which are rich in culture and heritage. The new restaurant will have walls decorated with beautiful paintwork of the Italian coast so you can daydream away at lunch imagining you’re in a cafe on the Amalfi Coast. Bliss. The designers have taken care to make sure the venue is suitable for big parties and quirky seating will make it different from what we’re used to. Bella Italia have recently launched a new menu so customers can expect hand-stretched pizza, fresh pasta and unparalleled lasagne, all made from scratch each day right there on Bridge Street. You can wash it all down with a glass of Prosecco (champagne is so over) and don’t forget to save room for desert – Bella’s Gelato Cart offers 11 flavours of real Italian ice cream so you might have to have a few scoops.The designers have taken care to make sure the venue is suitable for big parties and quirky seating will make it different from what we’re used to. Bella Italia have recently launched a new menu so customers can expect hand-stretched pizza, fresh pasta and unparalleled lasagne, all made from scratch each day right there on Bridge Street. You can wash it all down with a glass of Prosecco (champagne is so over) and don’t forget to save room for desert – Bella’s Gelato Cart offers 11 flavours of real Italian ice cream so you might have to have a few scoops. “We’re delighted to be bringing a slice of Italy to Cambridge!” says Bella Italia Area Manager Gemma Zweck. “The buzzing Bridge Street is the ideal place to open another Bella in this beautiful, historic city. Those visiting Bella will be treated to our great new menu, a fabulous new restaurant and a team that can’t wait to serve the people of Cambridge.”Book your table at Cambridge’s own slice of Italy for opening night on April 25th. Buon Appetito!

Thursday 21/4/16 – Lords report recommends greater transparency for OTAs and reviews websites

By Emma Eversham+, 21-Apr-2016

A report by the House of Lords is calling for an urgent investigation into the way online platforms, such as online travel agents (OTAs) and reviews websites are allowed to operate to ensure greater transparency for consumers and fairer competition for business. Read More – Two new sites for Great British Pub award winners

By Emily Sutherland, 21-Apr-2016

Great British Pub award winners Maggie and Andrew Dunkin have taken on a further two sites in Nottingham in partnership with Punch. Read More – Former Walkabout site in Wolverhampton to be transformed into new bar, restaurant and nightclub concept: The former Walkabout site in Wolverhampton is set to be transformed into a new bar, restaurant and nightclub concept. The Aussie-themed bar, operated by Intertain, closed last year and the building in Queen Street has been taken on by entrepreneur Abdul Natlib under a deal brokered by agents Bond Wolfe. Natlib has signed a ten-year lease on the 6,810 square foot grade II-listed building, which is known as The Stone House. The building will be refurbished before reopening next month as bar, restaurant and nightclub concept The Court. Bond Wolfe managing director James Mattin told The Business Desk: “We are very pleased that it will be given a new lease of life. It is in a great location, bang in the centre, and, with the right appeal, should surely be well capable of becoming a popular and profitable business once more.”

Friday 22/4/16 – Plans lodged for multimillion-pound TGI Friday’s restaurant in Cambridge: Plans have been lodged for a multimillion-pound TGI Friday’s restaurant in Cambridge. Land Securities has submitted an application to the city council to build the restaurant – the brand’s first in the city – in the cobbled “piazza” area of Cambridge Leisure Park. The plans also include a pavilion, children’s play area, pavement fountains, and a performance space. James Hutchinson, portfolio manager – retail and leisure at Land Securities, which owns the site, said the plans would provide for the community. He told the Cambridge News: “Our planned proposals will help bring to life an area that is currently underused. By creating an engaging public realm and introducing a children’s play area, we will be providing a family friendly environment for all to enjoy. The design will integrate into its surroundings and deliver a high quality landmark building in a prominent position on the site.” The proposal has been met with objections, including from Daniel Brine, director at Cambridge Junction, a cultural venue that anchors the site. He said: “Around 100,000 people a year visit Cambridge Junction to see gigs, comedy and theatre, as well as taking part in creative learning and participation events. Yet another restaurant will fail to address the soulless nature of the plaza, which has come about because of the privileging of corporate rather than community interest.” – Five Guys to open restaurant on former Toby Carvery site in Luton: Better burger brand Five Guys is to open a site in Luton, Bedfordshire. The company is opening the venue at the former Mitchells & Butlers-owned Toby Carvery restaurant in The Mall in St George’s Square. A spokesman told the Luton on Sunday: “We’re very excited to be opening in Luton soon.” Five Guys has more than 40 restaurants in the UK having opened its first in Covent Garden, London, in 2013. – Italian craft beer pub to open new site after crowdfunding success : The owners of a craft beer pub in London have raised £422,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to help them open a second site. Originally setting out with a target of £350,000, The Italian Job received the investments after offering members of the public the chance to become shareholders via crowdfunding site Crowdcube. After the success of the company’s first site in Chiswick (pictured), the money will now allow them to open a second in central or east London. The team is seeking a location now, with plans to open it by the end of the summer. They have announced they now have further expansion plans, aiming to raise more finance through crowdfunding for opening more sites in 2017. Founded in early 2015, The Italian Job showcases Italian craft beers paired with Italian food, from street food to regional specialties. It is a joint venture from the owners of craft brewer Birrificio del Ducato in Busseto in Italy. The Italian Job’s founders are CEO Giuseppe Verdoni, chairman Giovanni Campari, Manuel Piccoli and Marco Pucciotti who owns several pubs and restaurants in Rome including Hop & Pork and Epiro.


Hospitality News Roundup – W/c 18th April was last modified: by

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *