Orange Brands Management, the operator of SushiSamba and Duck & Waffle, sees opportunities for further sites of Duck & Waffle Local format in London, MCA has learnt.

Omar Gutierrez, chief operating officer of the group, told MCA after one year of operating Duck & Waffle Local in Haymarket, there was a case for opening further sites in neighbourhood locations.

He said the “incubator” site had established there was a market for a duck-led casual dining concept, though said the group was still refining elements of the offer.

Gutierrez, former vice president of restaurants for the United States at the Hakkasan Group, is preparing to launch a new 8,000sq ft Sushisamba in Covent Garden, which has been two years in the planning, and which he said he would be more “sophisticated, refined and luxurious” than the original in Bishopsgate.

After launching Covent Garden he said the group would update its original SushiSamba site in the Heron Tower to bring it in line with the City’s major new openings.

Gutierrez told MCA the business has also signed a development deal in Saudi Arabia which will see it open four new SushiSamba sites, a licensing arrangement which he said was a preferred avenue for global expansion, with Dubai and further Asian sites under consideration.

On the launch of Covent Garden, he said: “Although like all SUSHISAMBA’s there will be similarities, each restaurant has its own unique identity which can be found in small elements of the menu and more boldly in the design. We look forward to unveiling our unique dining experience which includes a theatre style open kitchen and robata grill, an open air terrace with views of the piazza and a private dining room with its own entrance and balcony…its all happening this fall”

“Since its debut in 2012 SUSHISAMBA Liverpool Street has served well over two million guests, and six years later there is still a one month plus waiting list for a reservation. Due to this success, we have been looking to expand and open a second site in London for some time, and as with all SUSHISAMBA restaurants worldwide, the location is pivotal”

“The energy of Covent Garden and its international appeal make it a natural fit for SUSHISAMBA’s second London location. The new SUSHISAMBA has been designed with a mix of influences; drawing inspiration from the cultures of Japan, Brazil and Peru. We tried to keep true to the history of the landmark building, while putting our true SAMBA stamp on it.” 

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