Restaurant round-up

May 29, 2010

This post is mainly about expanding small chains. Keralan restaurant Kayal will shortly be opening its third branch in Leamington Spa and should attract people out from Western Leicestershire and Brum as well as the students and lecturers from University of Warwick  who inhabit this leafy town. I’m pleased they’ve closed this deal because I know they’ve been trying for a while to expand, having been close to opening in Newark before the credit crunch closed in.

Bistrot Pierre is starting to outgrow its East Midlands origins. It also has a Leamington branch and opened its first new build premises in Sheffield. It is now due to open its eighth site in Harrogate later this month with another in Ilkley not far behind.

And love him or loathe him, you can’t keep Jamie Oliver down and he’s now breaking into the East Midlands to open a branch of his Jamie’s Italian franchise on Low Pavement in Nottingham. I tend to think he’s a good thing, despite cringing at menu items labelled “My amazing chicken salad”.  I suspect the food will be better than most Italian chains and he’s very welcome to take over Prezzo in Leicester if he wants.

Entropy isn’t expanding – yet – but they are continuing to come up with some novel marketing ideas. It’s not a cheap bar – which is fair enough – but it is making an effort to do something for its core audience. There’s a post-work happy hour from 4.30 to 6.30, but more intriguingly they are trying to pull in punters on a Monday night by offfering the chance to toss a coin whether you pay or not. You’ll have to book and I’m not sure how long it ‘s going on for but it’s got be worth a go eh? Look out too for their occasional scavenger hunts, where the first people to come with a specific rare object – this week it was a half-penny coin – get rewarded with a free meal or drink.

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