Sala Group Holdings, the James Horler-led group that operates the La Sala restaurant concept, has given more details of its plans for the brand in the UK, with an ambition to open circa six sites in the next two years.
Colliers International, which has been appointed to look for new outlets, is seeking sites over 6,000 sq ft, predominantly in affluent locations around Essex, Surrey and Hertfordshire.
Loughton, Brentwood and Epping in Essex are being considered, along with Richmond, Guildford, Esher and Cobham in Surrey, and St Albans in Hertfordshire.
Ross Kirton, director of licensed and leisure at Colliers International, said: “Optimum locations and scale are of upmost importance for this project and we will be seeking large high profile roadside locations with good car parking, perhaps even allowing for a valet parking. We will also consider leasehold projects requiring use class reclassification.”
Horler said: “La Sala offers a very lively atmosphere which has already proven extremely popular in Spain and many of our customers visiting from the UK feel there is nothing like it back home, so it is part the evolution of the brand to roll it out here. Both town centre and ‘destination’ suburban locations are being considered, with potential for around X covers.”
M&C reported last month that Horler, the former chief executive of La Tasca and current interim chief executive of Red Hot World Buffet, has already raised £3.2m towards the launch and roll out in the UK of La Sala.
Those who have signed up so far include current footballers, like Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; retired footballers like Stephen Carr, ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United defender; sports personalities such as Gillette Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling, and businessmen such as Mike Armstead, owner of candle retail chain Wax Lyrical.
The plan is to open the first two La Sala restaurants in Essex this year
Sala Group Holidings currently operates two units in the Marbella and Puerto Banus areas of Spain.