Coffee Break: Top stories from around Northern UK

Michael O’Hare to open Rabbit in the Moon at the National Football Museum

Michael O’Hare to open Rabbit in the Moon at the National Football Museum.

MICHAEL O’Hare – owner of the Michelin-starred Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds – plans to launch a new restaurant at the National Football Museum.

He will partner with GG Hospitality, founded by former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs.

The restaurant, Rabbit in the Moon, will be situated on the fifth and sixth floors of the museum. It will be headed up by Luke Cockerill, current chef at Man Behind the Curtain.

The restaurant will serve a ‘Space Age Asian’ tasting menu, and will offer cocktails created by Matt Whiley, owner of drinks company Fantastic Mr Fox.

Neville and Giggs also plan to take over the management of the other restaurants within the museum.

The partnership with the National Football Museum will also see the launch of a new Cafe Football, similar to the Cafe Football that that GG Hospitality already runs in Stratford, London.


Heritage Portfolio wins Dundee V&A Museum of Design contract

HERITAGE Portfolio has won the contract to run the café, restaurant and events for V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

The caterer, based in Edinburgh, will operate all catering in return for handling over 15% of net sales to V&A Dundee.

The company that beat 17 other businesses to the five-year deal will run a café in the main hall, a restaurant with outdoor terrace overlooking the River Tay, and series of event spaces in the museum.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “Heritage Portfolio will help us to develop V&A Dundee as a food destination.

“It’s very important to V&A Dundee that our catering partner can look after all of our visitors, from healthy children’s meals to after-work drinks, from business events to celebrations, and run this business sustainably to support the museum and the new jobs this partnership will create.”

Heritage Portfolio already provides catering services to Scottish venues, including the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Scottish Portrait Gallery, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Signet Library and Scone Palace.

Mark Miller, executive director of Heritage Portfolio, said: “We’re delighted to be joining Dundee’s emerging restaurant scene. There are some fantastic local produce and we are looking forward to creating great dishes so that the residents of Dundee and further afield can enjoy delicious home-grown food in spectacular surroundings.”


Restaurant openings in Manchester ‘double’ in five years

THE number of upmarket and casual dining restaurants in Manchester has doubled in just five years, according to Savills.

It puts the total number of restaurant units in the city at 150.

Around 30 new restaurant brands in the casual dining and upmarket segments have opened in the city since 2012 with 14 arriving since the start of 2016, according to the firm’s analysis.

El Gato Negro, Grafene and Busaba are among the new arrivals of the past 12 months.


El Gato Negro Tapas moved from Rippondon, West Yorkshire to open in Manchester
El Gato Negro Tapas moved from Rippondon, West Yorkshire to open in Manchester

In total, there are now more than 540 leisure units, including restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas and other entertainment venues. Savills said that looking at the leisure market as a whole, a total of 70 new operators have arrived in Manchester since 2012, including 26 which have opened this year.

However, the increased demand for restaurant space has pushed rents up in prime flagship locations to £40-50 per sq. ft. (£430-538 per sq. m) in Q3 2016 compared to £30-£40 per sq. ft. (£323-£431 per sq. m) five years ago.

More development is on the horizon:

  • Allied London is looking for independent restaurant operators to come onto its new site, London Road fire station. Zetter hotel is due to open there in mid-2018;
  • Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs are to launch a new restaurant with chef Michael O’Hare, owner of the Michelin-starred Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds in the National Football Museum later this year.

The most attractive locations for major restaurant operators are Deansgate, the Corn Exchange, Spinningfields, Piccadilly and King Street, according to Savills. Independents continue to favour the Northern Quarter.


Government clamps down on size of ‘unhealthy’ puddings

HIGH street restaurants have been warned by the government to cut the size of their unhealthy puddings or risk being named and shamed.

Some of the UK’s biggest chains such as Pizza Express, Gourmet Burger, Starbucks and McDonald’s have been told to cut sugar levels and reduce the size of desserts, cakes and pastries.

The move is part of a government drive to tackle obesity.  Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has told restaurants that they must do more in the fight to keep the nation healthy.

“Going out to eat is no longer a treat,” he said.

“It’s a regular habit for many families and is contributing significantly to the extra calories and sugar that we all consume on a daily basis. ‘We can’t ignore the changing habits of consumers.

“This means we expect the whole of the out-of-home sector – coffee shops, pubs and family restaurants, quick service restaurants, takeaways, cafes, contract caterers and mass catering suppliers – to step up and deliver on sugar reduction.”

A new website will tell consumers if restaurants are meeting the government’s plans and name those who aren’t.


Jamie Oliver makes a pukka profit

Jamie Oliver makes a pukka profit
Jamie Oliver back in profit

JAMIE Oliver’s business empire reported strong trading at its restaurant chain and TV production division.

Its media arm, which makes a host of popular shows, including Jamie’s Super Food and Cheryl: Access All Areas, is back into the black with a £1million profit.

Last year, the company reported a £9.8million loss but its new chief executive Paul Hunt, (Oliver’s brother-in-law), launched a strategic review of the business and decided to close the Recipease cookery schools.

Profits for the group rose £10.2million for 2015 up from £200,000, on sales of £31.9million down from £39.7million.

During the year more than 1.7million Jamie Oliver books were sold and a record number of diners ate in one of Oliver’s 45 UK restaurants. He has also launched 22 eateries abroad in Australia, South East Asia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Indonesia, Netherlands, Canada and India.


Leonardo Hotels’ opening second UK property in Edinburgh

LEONARDO Hotels is opening its second UK hotel in Edinburgh on 7 October 2016.

The new 282-bed centrally-located Edinburgh hotel will be at a former Premier Inn. It will also include four function rooms and a conference centre.

Leonardo Hotel group launched a hotel at London Heathrow Airport in March 2015, the brand is also continuing with its European expansion.

Interior designer Andreas Neudahm will oversee the renovation project.

Leonardo Hotels is the European division of Fattal Hotels Group, founded by David Fattal in Israel. It has 65 hotels in more than 35 destinations including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary as well as Italy.


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