Story of the Day:
Snowflake aiming for up to six new franchise sites in 2023 as it builds towards UK target of 50 locations, sees potential for larger overseas roll-out:
London premium gelato brand Snowflake is aiming for up to six new franchise sites in 2023 as it builds towards a UK target of 50 locations, and sees the potential for a larger overseas roll-out. The company, which is led by Asad Khan and was founded in 2012, currently operates nine UK sites, in London and Manchester, plus franchises in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “We’ve been open at the Trafford Centre, our first UK site outside London, for six months, and sales have been unbelievable,” head of partnerships Tim Field told Propel. “They’ve overtaken our London stores, so it’s good to know we have that flexibility and it’s increased our confidence to move north. We’re looking at major cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester to expand, and there’s still areas in London we can do. We have one franchise site, at Westfield Stratford, and we aim to have five or six more in the UK by the end of the year. We may have some more corporate sites too. In the UK, our strategy is to reach around 50 sites, and globally, we have a strong target to roll out to up to 100 sites across 15 countries. We’ve had a lot of interest in the Middle East, Asia, north Africa and the US. We are in the process of understanding each market and exploring our options.” In April, Snowflake closed a £500,000 crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube after overfunding by half again, eventually raising £750,000. “We’re very proud of what we achieved considering the cost-of-living crisis and the environment we find ourselves in – and it is indicative of the brand we have built,” said Field. “It was a real team effort, and it will support the next steps in our brand development. We have one production facility near Heathrow, and the funding will help us open a second, where we will focus on product development and innovation. We recently hired Daniele Maresca as head of product development, who brings a wealth of experience in those fields to Snowflake, and who was most recently at Bulgari Hotel. We are excited to see what the next chapter brings.” In its crowdfunding pitch, Snowflake reported group revenue of £3.6m in 2022, up 74% on 2021, with positive Ebitda. Snowflake features in the Propel UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, which is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and is available exclusively to Premium subscribers. The database is updated every two months and the latest version features 200 businesses. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to upgrade your subscription
Next edition of The New Openings Database to be sent to Premium subscribers today, to show details of 122 new sites, 5,600-word report included:
The next edition of The New Openings Database will show the details of 122 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published today (Friday, 2 June), at midday, including which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location, and there will also be a website link to the businesses. The database is published on a monthly basis, and the next edition features growing restaurant and café brands, niche cuisine, and expanding experiential concepts. Premium subscribers will also receive a 5,600-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to four other databases: the Propel Multi-Site Database
, produced in association with Virgate; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book
; the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database
; and the Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage
. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email email@example.com to upgrade your subscription
. Premium subscribers are also to be given exclusive access to the recording and slides to Propel Multi-Club Conferences. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett.
Small business owners ‘should be given longer to pay back CBILS’: Small business owners should be given longer to pay back funds borrowed under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Martin McTague, chairman of the Federation for Small Businesses, has said. McTague has called on the government to give firms more flexibility to pay back the pandemic loans as higher debts are hampering investment. Bounce Back Loans can be paid back over ten years, under the government’s Pay As You Grow measures, and McTague said he would like those options to be extended to those with CBILS loans too. While McTague admitted repayment levels for loans were “strong”, and that defaults were “lower than previously estimated”, he warned “many small firms are being held back from growth and investment due to their higher debt levels”. The latest government figures show only around 6% of Bounce Back Loans are in arrears, with around two thirds being paid back on schedule, but a third of borrowers have used at least one of the options available to spread out repayments. Even Bounce Back Loans are proving to be problematic for some. James Allcock, chef and owner of The Pig and Whistle restaurant in Beverley, told the BBC he took out a £45,000 loan at the height of the pandemic and said repaying it has become a big drag on the business. Allcock has already extended the term of his loan and paused repayments over Christmas, but said after a “disastrous” May he’s taken the last available option and switched to interest-only repayments for six months. Dave Hughes, who runs the Hot Box live music venue and bar in Chelmsford, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to try to save his business after finding himself unable to make repayments on his £50,000 Bounce Back Loan. Artists including Fat Boy Slim have agreed to play gigs for free at the venue in order to help it survive.
C&C Group expresses ‘serious concerns about’ deposit return scheme: C&C Group has said the removal of glass from the deposit return scheme would put jobs and investment in Scotland at risk. It has written to first minister Hamza Yousaf expressing “serious concerns” about the UK government’s decision that any scheme must exclude glass. The brewer has requested an “urgent meeting” with Yousaf to discuss its concerns. C&C managing director Andrea Pozzi wrote: “This announcement increases the already huge uncertainty around the scheme for the drinks industry, customers and consumers and, if implemented, would be a fundamental change to the scheme. By removing glass from a Scottish DRS, Tennent’s, as a product sold in can in the Scottish off-trade, would be at a significant competitive disadvantage, undermining our business and therefore placing jobs and investment in Scotland at risk.” As a result, he vowed the brewer would have no alternative but to “actively seek and support a UK-wide scheme”. The Scottish government is considering whether or not to proceed with a Scotland-only scheme in March 2024, with its decision expected early next week. Ministers have sought a full exemption from the rules of the UK Internal Market Act and their UK counterparts granted a partial exemption – on condition that the Scottish scheme excludes glass and matches plans for deposit return in other parts of the UK. In effect, the Scottish government is being permitted to pilot what should eventually become a UK-wide approach, rather than proceeding with its own distinctive proposals. Scottish ministers have accused the UK of “deliberate sabotage” but the UK government insists it is responding to the concerns of business and avoiding unnecessary costs and complexity.
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a fine dining restaurant in East Anglia that is looking for a restaurant manager. A COREcruitment spokesperson said: “The business is looking for a people focused leader – you will mentor and inspire your team to really get the best out of every member of staff and exceed all expectations for your guests. The aim of this role is a customer-first approach and that the experience leaves them wanting more. You will possess excellent confidence and people skills both with your guest and your team.” The salary is up to £65,000 and the position is based in Cambridge. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhubarb sold to US entertainment group in deal believed to be worth at least £100m: Rhubarb Hospitality Collection, the premium international hospitality group, has been sold to a US entertainment group backed by Silver Lake, in a deal believed to be worth at least £100m. Los Angeles-based stadium operator Oak View Group has outlined plans to first roll out Rhubarb’s offering to its owner-operated concert venues and then to bid for third-party catering contracts for other venues. The Financial Times reported Oak View paid at least £100m to buy Rhubarb from Liechtenstein-based asset manager LGT. Rhubarb has landed contracts in recent years to provide catering services for destinations including London’s Sky Garden and the Hudson Yards development in New York. Oak View will introduce Rhubarb’s services to its five arenas across the US and five further venues that are under construction, including Manchester’s Co-Op arena, which will become the UK’s biggest indoor concert venue when it opens next year. Oak View is currently bidding for ten large third-party catering contracts for sports venues and convention centres, mainly in the US. “Not only do I think Rhubarb gives us a competitive edge, but I think it’s best in the business – and that’s based on 45 years of eating an awful lot of premium food and going to an awful lot of suites,” said Oak View Group chief executive, Tim Leiweke. Pieter-Bas Jacobse, Rhubarb’s chief executive, said the team at Oak View “understands our business model, and we all see best-in-class hospitality as essential to the value proposition between venues and their fans”. Rhubarb’s latest accounts show in the year ending 31 December 2021, pre-tax losses narrowed slightly from £3,347,221 in 2020 to £3,082,418. Turnover rose from £9,264,267 in 2020 to £11,782,955 but was still well down on the last pre-pandemic figure of £38,011,685. Ebitda was minus £1,855,511, an improvement from minus £1,713,850 in 2020.
Leon to make Italian debut as SSP prepares to launch in 37th market: Natural fast food brand Leon is set to make its Italian debut via a partnership with UK-based transport hub foodservice specialist SSP Group. For SSP, which is working with Italian rail station operator Grandi Stationi, it will be a 37th market in which it operates. As well as Leon, the partnership will see an outlet from Snowfox Group-owned YO! open at Rome Termini station. They will be joined by two overseas operators, Italian casual dining concept Granaio and Belgian fast-casual grab-and-go concept EXKi. All four outlets will begin operating in October 2023. Jeremy Fennell, chief executive of continental Europe and Nordics at SSP, said: “We’re delighted to announce our entry into the Italian market and are certain that Leon, YO!, Granaio and EXKi will prove highly popular with travellers at Rome Termini station. At SSP, we have a strong track record in bringing great brands to travel locations and making them relevant to the local market.” Last month, SSP said full-year sales and Ebitda are now anticipated to be “at the upper end of expectations”. It said: “The second half of the financial year has started well, with sales strengthening further to an average of 111% of 2019 levels in the first six weeks (circa 34% above 2022 levels).”
BrewDog bars boss urges government to ‘get a grip’ on train strikes as sales drop as much as 76% at some sites: James Brown, chief executive of the bars division at Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog, has revealed the train strikes have seen sales drop by as much as 76% at its sites as he urged the government to “get a grip of the situation”. He warned the devastating effect the walkouts were having on independent hospitality businesses was “too much”. Providing a snapshot on the effect the strikes were having on trade at BrewDog’s bars, Brown said its Seething Lane Tap venue in east London had seen a 76% fall in sales, while Clerkenwell was down 70%. At BrewDog in North Street, Leeds, revenue was down 36%, while it fell 29% in Dundee. Brown said: “Train strikes – they hurt and they disproportionally impact hospitality businesses! BrewDog is fortunate as it has the scale to be able to manage the pain over time and we can take a longer view on sales and profitability. Small independent pubs and restauranteurs who have to survive day-to-day are being starved of oxygen and are closing their doors at the fastest rate ever. This is terrible for the communities they serve and the millions they employ. UK government needs to get a grip of the situation and get to a resolution. The economic impact is huge and the devastating effect on independent hospitality businesses is too much.”
Foodco opens 19th Jamaica Blue, fit-out on 20th due to begin shortly: Foodco has opened its 19th Jamaica Blue coffee shop, with fit-out on the 20th due to begin shortly. The latest Jamaica Blue has opened in The Quadrant in Richmond, south west London, with the next opening due to be in Belfast’s Corn Market. It will be a second Belfast site for the brand, following the one in Forestside Shopping Centre. Foodco, which also operates Jamaica Blues in Australia, New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Singapore and the UAE, opened its first Qatar site in February. It also operates the Muffin Break brand, which has 63 locations in the UK, with a further six in the pipeline. Propel revealed in December that Foodco planned up to 14 new UK stores in 2023 – including at least eight Muffin Breaks and four Jamaica Blues.
Essex McDonald’s franchisee increases turnover but sees profit hit by rising costs: Essex McDonald’s franchisee PJT Restaurants has reported turnover increased to £24,760,727 for the year ending 31 December 2022 compared with £23,798,930 the previous year. Pre-tax profit fell to £420,588 from £1,921,233 the year before “as a result of an increase in overhead costs”. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “Given the challenges faced during the previous years, the state of the business is more than satisfactory and the directors anticipate the business will continue to remain profitable. The company continues to invest in new drive-thru facilities and home deliveries to support its customer base.” At the year end, the business had net assets of £3,374,951 (2021: £3,236,076). The business did not receive any government grants (2021: £38,998). A dividend of £210,000 was paid (2021: £344,000). PJT Restaurants founder Peter Tassell started working at McDonald’s in 1980, at the age of 18. He began as a part-time worker while studying for his A-levels in Romford and he didn’t think at the time his entire career would end up revolving around McDonald’s. “When I finished my education, I stayed on and progressed from one post to the next, until I became part of management,” he said. “Then in 2002 I took over three McDonald’s restaurants.”
Afrikana set to open at London’s O2 Centre: African restaurant concept Afrikana is set to open a new site in London’s O2 Centre, a tenth location for the franchise brand. The African-inspired restaurant, founded by Omair Ali in 2018, will open in a 1,992 square-foot unit at the venue this summer for its second London location. Propel revealed last month that Afrikana had signed ten-site multi franchise deal with French operators Habibur Rahman and Osman Prince as it targets a 20-strong estate by end of 2023. It is also preparing for its Scottish debut, in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street, and is also set to make its overseas debut this year. The O2 has also confirmed Chipotle will open a new site at the venue this summer, as revealed by Propel last month. It will take a 1,835 square-foot unit in The O2’s Entertainment District. The new signings follow a strong performance by the Entertainment District in May, with sales up by 42% compared to the same period in 2022, and footfall up 2%. Janine Constanin-Russell, managing sirector at the O2’s Entertainment District, said: “Chipotle’s well-known and sought-after Mexican delights, alongside Afrikana’s authentic and unique mix of flavours, add something different to our F&B portfolio. We’re proud to play a part in Afrikana’s expansion across London, reinforcing the significance of our location to independent operators.” The O2 was represented by Lunson Mitchenall.
Former The Lucky Onion Group duo open two more pubs to bring portfolio to five: Peter Creed and Tom Noest, who formerly worked at The Lucky Onion Group, have opened two new pubs in Gloucestershire to bring their portfolio to five sites. The duo have launched The Fox Inn in Broadwell and The Sherborne Arms in Northleach. The Sherborne Arms has seen the pair return to the town where they first met and went into business together. Many years back, the duo crossed paths while working at The Wheatsheaf Inn – Noest as a chef and Creed as the general manager – when it was a part of The Lucky Onion group. The Sherborne Arms had been derelict for the last three years until the pair took on the lease. They have restored the 100-cover pub and plan to add three en-suite bedrooms, which will follow in July. The seasonal menu offers an array of dishes inspired by local produce and a nose-to-tail philosophy. The Fox Inn, which is owned by The Donnington Brewery, features a restaurant, bar area and a large beer garden. It has a menu inspired by hearty pub classics using local meat, vegetables grown on the landlord’s allotment and fresh fish delivered daily. Creed and Noset also operate The Bell in Langford, The Little Bell at Soho Farmhouse and The Lamb in Shipton-under-Wychwood. Creed was part of the team that launched The Lucky Onion Group in 2008, playing a crucial role in its substantial growth. Noest joined The Lucky Onion in 2014, where he covered all front-of-house departments as well as spending time in the kitchen.
Nightcap commits to net zero: Nightcap – the owner of The Cocktail Club, the Adventure Bar Group and the Barrio Familia group of bars – has committed to reaching net zero. The company has joined the Zero Carbon Forum, which is dedicated to reducing emissions and achieving net zero in hospitality and brewing. The forum’s 50-plus members work collaboratively and share best practice to achieve net zero by 2030 across their own operations, and by 2040 across the supply chain. Nightcap, which currently has 36 venues, has already integrated various policies into its operations, including using smart plugs to conserve electricity during non-operational hours and turning off air conditioning during off-peak periods. Additionally, Nightcap is analysing energy consumption across the group and working towards staff training programmes for energy use. Sarah Willingham, founder and chief executive of Nightcap, said: “This is another giant step in Nightcap’s journey. As a young company, we want to start exercising and showing best practice now to start creating a long-lasting legacy in our business and in the hospitality sector.” Mark Chapman, founder and chief executive at Zero Carbon, added: “We look forward to working with Sarah and the team to forge a clear pathway to reducing emissions and energy usage, at pace.”
London restaurant and food hall operator returns to profit, group has ‘ambitious growth plans’: London restaurant and food hall operator Pearl Investments returned to profit in the year ending 31 March 2022. The company and its subsidiary, Edgware Capital, operate one restaurant and provide management expertise to four others, as well as letting and operating a food hall in London. It turned a pre-tax loss of £199,374 in 2021 into a profit of £1,069,214. This compares with a profit of £311,146 in the year ending 31 March 2020, of which the last few weeks were impacted by the pandemic. Turnover increased from £3,307,697 in 2021 to £6,389,880 (2020: £6,017,248). Of the 2022 figure, £3,377,146 came from restaurant sales, £1,024,485 from rental income and £1,061,667 from management fees, among other areas. It received £203,224 in Coronavirus Job Retention Grant payments (2021: £1,000,493) and £48,000 in other government grants (2021: £85,276). Director Pui Hing Tsui, in his statement accompanying the accounts, said: “The sales from the restaurant and income from rent and management services are back to normal and the group has maintained a positive cash reserve. The group and company has ambitious growth plans that could affect the group and company if not delivered in a controlled manner that does not affect existing trade. The group and company generates organic sales growth and has significant experience in identifying suitable sites, negotiating cost effective commitments for leases and capital expenditure and managing the restaurants.”
Birmingham operator opens fourth site, four more in pipeline: Birmingham operator Hasnain Siddiqui has opened the fourth site under his Indian street food brand Chai Green, with four more in the pipeline. Siddiqui opened his debut Chai Green site in Alum Rock, Birmingham, in 2020, followed by a second site in the city, in Stratford Road, in October 2022. Then came a first franchise site and first outside of Birmingham, in Cardiff’s Albany Road, in December 2022. He has now returned to Birmingham for its fourth location and third in the city, at 27 Coleshill Road in Hodge Hill. Further stores in London, Glasgow, Sheffield and Slough are also due to “open shortly”, as Siddiqui returns to the franchise expansion trail. He told Propel in February that he plans to grow his business – which he founded as a tribute to his late father – to 30 UK sites, followed by an overseas roll-out.
Tech-led sushi and izakaya restaurant confirms London launch: A new tech-led sushi and izakaya restaurant has confirmed its launch in London. As revealed by Propel in March, Chuo will open in Paul Street, Shoreditch. The concept, which was founded by John Brown, ex-group operations manager at The Culpeper Family Hospitality Group, will offer “quick value quality” sushi in a tech-driven space, powered by Europe’s first sushi monorail system. The restaurant will offer about 40 different types of sushi and izakaya-style dishes, with both counter-style seating and group booths. All dishes will be made fresh to order and delivered to guests by the sushi monorail directly to customers’ seats. The team behind Chuo said the system allows it to “reinvest operational savings directly back into ingredient quality, supporting and developing the team and operation to better serve guests – meaning the quality of food on offer will be what diners would expect for double the price in other parts of London”. A daytime grab-and-go offering, as well as delivery, will be available shortly after the restaurant opens in July.
Twisted London launches first market stall, collaborates with Neil Rankin on burger offer: Twisted London, the virtual restaurant brand from social media group Jungle Creations, has launched its first market stall. The site has opened within community food market Mercato Metropolitano’s Elephant & Castle venue. Twisted London is offering a bespoke loaded vegan burger made with fermented vegetables and a side of vegan loaded fries that it has created in partnership with chef Neil Rankin, of Symplicity Foods. The burger consists of a burger patty loaded with a cumin “lamb” and ragu mix, coriander, mint and ranch sauce, served in a toasted vegan brioche bun. Tom Jackson, creative director of Twisted, told London Loves Business: “Any opportunity to feed Twisted fans in the real world is exciting, but we’re particularly excited about this collaboration with Neil and Symplicity. The burger is something else – spicy, empowering, reminiscent of sloppy joes and made exclusively from sustainable ingredients. Having a presence at the fantastic Mercato space in Elephant & Castle allows our audience to put a face to the Twisted brand and sample the brilliant menu at Twisted London.” Rankin, who is also the founder of restaurant concept Temper, said: “We love the way the Twisted team has taken our products and worked with us to make something different.”
South east hotel group sees turnover and profits exceed pre-pandemic levels: South east hotel group Castlewood Hotels saw its turnover and profits exceed pre-pandemic levels in the year ending 31 August 2022. The company, which operates three Best Western-branded hotels – in Folkestone, Canterbury and Eastbourne – reported turnover of £7,046,794, up from £2,750,260 in 2021. It was also an increase on the £5,146,428 reported in the last full year before the pandemic, ending 31 August 2019. Pre-tax profit rose from £470,223 in 2021 to £2,035,668 (2019: loss of £2,539,929). The company received £28,667 in government grants compared with £128,609 in 2021. “The results for the year and the financial position at the year-end were considered strong by the directors within the current climate of the global economy,” the company said. “Despite the inflationary and consumer challenges in the UK economy, the directors are hopeful about the group’s trading performance, which in 2022 has seen revenue drastically improve against 2021 and is fulfilling revenue levels pre covid-19.”
Rosa’s to open Leamington Spa site next month: Rosa’s Thai, which is backed by TriSpan, will open its new site in Leamington Spa next month. As previously revealed by Propel, Rosa’s has acquired the former Bill’s site in The Parade. The new 100-cover restaurant will open on Saturday, 1 July, with delivery available from later in the month. Rosa’s chief executive Gavin Adair said: “It’s been a big year for Rosa’s so far and we’re excited to start the summer by introducing Rosa’s incredible food to the people of Leamington Spa.” Last month, the business secured a £10m bank facility from Barclays to help fund its ongoing openings pipeline, which will include its debut site in Scotland. The 33-strong business, which opened its first overseas location in Dubai last October, confirmed it had openings lined up in Reading and Oxford, and added it had also secured a site in Glasgow, which will see it make its debut north of the border.
Roxy Leisure confirms Cheltenham launch: Roxy Leisure, the operator of the Roxy Lanes and Roxy Ball Room concepts, has confirmed it is opening a site in Cheltenham. As previously revealed by Propel, the Foresight-back group has secured 105-107 High Street in the Gloucestershire town. The Roxy Lanes venue will open in August featuring a range of activities including ten pin bowling, American pool, air hockey, duckpin bowling, a batting cage, karaoke, basketball, shuffleboard, darts and more than 50 arcade games. Cheltenham will be the 17th site for the Roxy Leisure group further to its most recent launches in Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool. The business, which opened its debut site in Leeds in 2013, will launch in Leicester this month and is also aiming to open another five venues in 2024. Roxy Leisure commercial manager Joel Mitchell said: “Following on from the successful launch of Roxy Lanes Bristol and Cardiff, we’re excited to be opening our next Roxy Lanes site. The venue will have something for all ages.”
Lina Stores to open Clapham site this month: Delicatessen brand Lina Stores will open a site in London’s Clapham this month. As revealed by Propel last September, Lina Stores, which currently operates five restaurants and delicatessens in London, will open on the former St Clair restaurant site at 22 The Pavement. The 80-cover neighbourhood restaurant – which opens on Friday, 30 June – will bring its “signature antipasti, beloved pasta dishes and indulgent dolci to south London for the first time”. Masha Rener, head chef of Lina Stores, said: "We are excited to bring Lina Stores to Clapham Common this June for our first restaurant south of the river. With its tight-knit local community, Clapham is the perfect neighbourhood for our first restaurant in south London.” In March, the White Rabbit Projects-backed company opened its second site in Japan. The company, which opened its first site outside the UK in Shibuya, Tokyo, in the summer of 2021, opened a second site in the Japanese capital, in the district of Nihonbashi Muromachi. Jake Bernstone, of Stonebrook London, acted on the Clapham deal.
Scottish independent brand opens first site outside Ayrshire: Kitchen 77, the Scottish independent brand owned by Chris Steele, has opened its first site outside of Ayrshire. Stàilinn Scottish Kitchen is the latest venture from the team behind Ayrshire venues Drunken Coo Steakhouse, Hollybush Inn, Arthur Street Kitchen, Stage Door Cafe and Twenty20. Stailinn Scottish Kitchen has opened in Glasgow’s Silverburn shopping centre, offering customers an all-day menu in the “finest home-cooked Scottish style”. Steele told the Glasgow Times: “At Stàilinn Scottish Kitchen, we believe in championing locally sourced, home cooked comfort food and aim to bring Scottish staples to the public. As locals ourselves, we often visit Silverburn as it is a great venue to shop, dine and socialise, and we are eager to join the community.”
South Wales operators to open restaurant in Bristol for third site: Tom and Sarah Watts-Jones, who own two pubs in South Wales, are opening a restaurant in Bristol for their third site. The couple have acquired The Clifton in Regent Street, which they plan to reopen in July, reports Wales Online. The Watts-Jones’ own the Hare & Hounds in Aberthin and The Heathcock in Cardiff. They said The Clifton will have the “same vibe” as its pubs with the addition that all the meat will be cooked over an open wood fire.
Bristol restaurateur to open third site: Bristol restaurateur Raja Munuswamy is to open his third site in the city. Munuswamy, who is behind Indian restaurant Nutmeg in Clifton and Sri-Lankan concept Nadu in Stokes Croft, is launching Kal Dosa. The concept promises to bring “the tropical taste of south India to Bristol”. It will open in mid-June in Gloucester Road in the premises previously occupied by Spicer & Cole. Kai Dosa will offer dosas, thalis, biryanis and curries. Munuswamy told Bristol 24/7: “Our team has travelled extensively across south India, immersing ourselves in its rich culinary history. We are excited to share the flavours, traditions, and warmth of south Indian cuisine with the Bristol community.”