Despite soaring living costs and tighter budgets, Britons all over the country are still choosing to eat out regularly. A 2017 study found that UK diners spent almost £55bn on eating out in one year alone – and the market shows no signs of slowing down. In line with the appetite out there, restaurants are having to do more than ever to fight fierce competition as we charge into 2018. John Nugent, Chief Executive at Green and Fortune, believes that a key challenge following an opening or brand refresh is ‘to maintain that momentum after opening, making sure that your business remains exciting and relevant.’ Here’s a selection of new restaurants that are doing just that…
Diablo Loco, Edinburgh
Described as a ‘tequila soaked, mezcal dripping journey into the hottest fiesta this side of Tijuana’, Diablo Loco is designed to be a party bar with great drinks and Mexican eats. The design is fun and vibrant, featuring sombreros as light shades, spin wheels mounted on the wall and bright piñatas hanging from the ceiling. Downstairs there is a party den available for hire, which can hold up to 70 guests.
Mowgli Street Food opened its doors in Birmingham’s Grand Central in Autumn 2017. Founder and food writer, Nisha Katona, gave up her career as a barrister to build Mowgli three years ago. She wished to create an Indian home kitchen that was based upon the dishes of her ancestors. Mowgli is about how Indians eat in their homes and on the street, pared back and unplugged. Rather than a quiet or intimate dining experience, Mowgli is about the ‘smash and grab’ taste adventure.
Dirty Bones, Oxford
Dirty Bones’ new venue, designed by Macaulay Sinclair, is the largest yet. Reclaimed and retro design from 1970’s Brooklyn is mixed with modern features and finishes, to create an original and classic setting. To cater for Dirty Bones’ all day offering of comfort food and cocktails, the bar and restaurant areas were kept separate. The restaurant offers a drinking den lined with reclaimed mahogany wall panelling and mid-century bookshelves with retro lamps and vases. The restaurant’s small intimate pockets are kept separate from the bar lounge, creating private areas for drinking, dining and everything in between.
Duddell’s, London Bridge
Duddell’s has now opened the first international outpost of the celebrated Hong Kong brand in the historic St Thomas Church in London Bridge. Designed by Michaelis Boyd (Soho Farmhouse, Soho House Berlin), the restoration of the space aims to maximise the daylight and heritage elements of the Grade II listed building, which remains one of the most distinguished examples of Queen Anne architecture in London.
Weeping Willow, Suffolk
After nine months of renovation, the listed pub dates from the early 16th century and had been closed for three years but has now been lovingly restored and expanded with vision to create a very modern country pub. The Weeping Willow is owned by Paula Pryke OBE, a renowned florist, and architect Peter Romaniuk. The Willow holds many special memories for a lot of locals and with over 500 years as an inn it has become a loved asset to the community of Barrow and the environs.