The Gentlemen Baristas has lined up three new sites in central London for its coffee shop and business, MCA has learnt.
Having recently opened at East India Dock’s Republic development and within The O2’s new Icon outlet, the new openings would take them to nine sites, with another three on the cards for later this year.
Henry Ayers, director at The Gentlemen Baristas told MCA they had secured a site at No.1 New Oxford Street. “The New Oxford Street site is a small shop – we are probably going to go back to doing smaller sites with more intimate surroundings – between Holborn and Centre point. It is in a beautiful 1930s art deco building so we’ve very excited by that and start work in a next month or two,” he said.
The coffee shop and wholesale business, hich was backed by Yummy Pubs in 2014, is also embarking on a management agreement with Flat Iron Square – a first for the company – to provide the coffee offer there, which is due to kick off in early March.
“We are working in partnership with them and will supply the equipment and the coffee, and it will look like a GB offering,” he explained.
In addition, The Gentlemen Baristas are due to open in a new food and drink development called Vinegar Yard, just off St Thomas Street, London Bridge, in late March.
The new development is being developed by Benj Scrimgeour and Neil Benson, of Lowline Entertainment Group, who previously owned Flat Iron Square before selling it to Mumford & Son’s Ben Lovett – the man behind the music venue Omeara – also based at Flat Iron Square.
Vinegar Yard is due to be a pop-up for next eight to 12 months, and will house several food businesses, operating from freight containers.
Other operators understood to have signed up the scheme include pizza concept Baz&Fred, burger concept Nanny Bills, and Fourpure Brewing Co.
Ayers said the focus for its coffee shop concept was on central London for the time being, “but the end goal is to ultimately do something outside London”.
He said the business was performing well in terms of its food and drink sales and the wholesale arm, with like-for-like growth figures making for “very good reading”. However he said “competition is rife”, from other businesses coming to London, including from the Middle East, with an increasing number of operators also roasting their own coffee.
“I think our point of difference is our attention to detail in terms of the offering. We also bake our own pastries and breads – we have a production kitchen at one site which supplies all its coffee shops. Rather than using a third party we are trying to do as much as we can ourselves,” he added.