All articles by Mel Flaherty

  • Matt Grech-Smith and Jeremy Simmonds

    Swingers secures site for US debut


    The Institute of Competitive Socialising, the group behind Swingers, has secured a site in New York for its first overseas operation, MCA has learnt.

  • Tossed cashless store in Coleman Street

    Rejoice in the salad days


    When Vincent McKevitt cobbled together a student loan, a bank loan and five credit cards, he started Tossed. Mel Flaherty discusses his vision of a cashless, health-conscious future.

  • Branded Mexican/South American cuisine analysis 2016
    Analysis & Insight

    Down Mexico way


    There’s nothing like the start of a new year to get all and sundry dusting off the crystal ball to predict the ‘next big thing’. It does not seem very long ago that Mexican food was being touted by the annual soothsayers as the category to watch in the UK. How time flies

  • Tonkotsu

    Ramen home a good idea


    When Emma Reynolds began a noodle business with her flatmate, she never expected the potential to be realised so quickly and in such an impressive manner. Mel Flaherty catches up with the former microbiology student

  • News

    Power of good for D&W chief


    As Mel Marriott prepares to unveil the fifth Darwin & Wallace pub, this time at the new Battersea Power Station site, she talks to Mel Flaherty about how the area provides the style for each outlet and the potential for expansion, especially outside London

  • Analysis & Insight

    ​Affordable quality at Flat Iron


    From his first pop-up to a fourth site in London, Flat Iron Steak founder Charlie Carroll has kept a cool head for business as his affordable steak concept takes off. Mel Flaherty reports

  • Analysis & Insight

    Kings maker


    Mixing business and pleasure is part of Jason Katz’s ‘daily grind’. In fact, to the founding partner of Kings Park Capital, the specialist private equity firm dedicated to investing in the leisure industry, they are one and the same. And that’s just how he likes it. “In many ways the ...

  • Analysis & Insight

    ​Ready to Ignite


    There may have been a few recent wrinkles that are being ironed out, but Matt Hermer and his Ignite Group are financially firing on all cylinders and looking confidently ahead to expansion

  • Analysis & Insight

    Aussie feels passion of food in his bones


    Having established several Bone Daddies restaurants in London, former rugby player Ross Shonhan tells Mel Flaherty how the ramen business is going and about his beginnings as a chef

  • Dishoom

    Success is history for Dishoom’s cousins


    Although raised in England, cousins Shamil and Kavi Thakrar have taken the theme of Iranian immigrants’ cafés in Bombay from almost a century ago to define Dishoom. Mel Flaherty reports

  • Iberica Spinningfields

    Iberica secures further growth fund


    Iberica is on the brink of signing a £3m deal with Santander to fund the next stage of its expansion

  • Analysis & Insight

    It’s a funny old business running Yummy


    Tim Foster, ‘head of mischief’ at Yummy pubco, talks to Mel Flaherty about his childhood influences and adult acceptance of his shortcomings

  • Simon Mullins of Salt Yard

    The enlightened restaurateur


    Simon Mullins is not only passionate about food and drink, he also has a passion for the people who work for him. The Salt Yard Group boss opens up to Mel Flaherty

  • Earlham Street Clubhouse
    Analysis & Insight

    Feasting on a US fraternity model


    The frat-house concept so beloved by American educational institutions may never have caught on over here, but that hasn’t stopped entrepreneur Jez Hall using it to full effect at his Earlham Street Clubhouse

  • Rupert Clevely

    Clevely on track


    Gastropub pioneer Rupert Clevely is turning his hand to a new concept, with the opening of Refreshment Rooms - The Cyclist last week, an innovative cafe bar at Brighton train station. Mel Flaherty talks to him

  • Coal Bar and Grill

    Sparking diners’ imagination


    For Charterhouse Leisure CEO John Gater, theatre is of paramount concern at the company’s successful Coal Grill & Bar chain, where he’s mastering the art of delegation. Mel Flaherty reports

  • Harris + Hoole

    How three Australians ground out success


    Nick Tolley tells Mel Flaherty how he and two siblings turned the coffee-shop brand Harris+Hoole into a booming business

  • Rocket restaurant and bar

    Working on many fronts


    James Horler, CEO of 3Sixty Restaurants, tells Mel Flaherty about the firm’s turtle-like rate of growth and why restaurant diners just want to be entertained

  • Analysis & Insight

    Taking Mexican street food to new heights


    Wahaca co-founder Mark Selby’s entrepreneurial approach to business development is helping to grow the number of sites and expand the concept

  • Opinion

    The little chain with Bigg ambitions


    Led by Richard Bigg –  a man who excels in creating authentic Spanish eating and drinking experiences –  highly regarded Camino is on the cusp of an ambitious programme for growth