MCA rounds up this week’s openings, from Leon and Chipotle to Las Iguanas and more

LEON drive-thru


Leon will launch a new drive-thru in Harrogate today, 1 July. The menu features Leon favourites including burgers, grilled wraps, and breakfast and all-day options, as well as the summer menu.

The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and will be available to order from via the Leon Club app, which allows guests to click and collect.

The opening marks Leon’s second drive-thru restaurant as the brand expands its presence in the North, following its first drive-thru in Gildersome, Leeds last year. The openings contribute to Leon’s goal of having 100 locations in total by the end of 2022.

Glenn Edwards, managing director, said: “Since opening our first drive-thru restaurant last year, we have been eager to grow this style of restaurant in order to bring Leon to more guests and allow them to experience LEON while on the go - something that aligns with our mission to bring naturally fast food that tastes good, does you good and is kind to the planet.”


Chipotle exterior


Chipotle has announced the opening of its first restaurant outside London on Watford High Street this week, about 12 years after making its UK debut on Charing Cross Road in 2010.

The new opening will offer the American brand’s signature menu items, including burritos, tacos, bowls, and salads.

Chipotle has more than 3,000 restaurants globally and revealed plans last year to grow its UK portfolio.


las iguanas

Las Iguanas

The Big Table Group has announced the addition of two new Las Iguanas restaurants at Center Parcs, taking its total number of restaurants at Center Parcs’ five UK holiday villages to 14. The new 284-cover restaurant and bar in Elveden Forest will open in August, while the 269-cover restaurant and bar in Sherwood Forest will open in November.

The new openings will feature Las Iguanas’ signature Latin American-inspired menu. The group also operates the Bella Italia, Café Rouge, and Amalfi brands at Center Parcs.

The Big Table Group announced plans to open 50 new restaurants over the next three years by investing £35m in new openings to take the estate to 200 restaurants across the UK.

Alan Morgan, chief executive, The Big Table Group, said: “Our long-term partnership with Center Parcs demonstrates a strong relationship and acknowledges the continued demand for our brands at its villages.

“Las Iguanas has consistently proven to be an extremely popular choice with guests of all ages, so it’s fantastic to add two more locations to our portfolio, and for Las Iguanas to become part of the Center Parcs experience for holidaymakers at Elveden Forest and Sherwood Forest.”

The Venue Group

The Venue Group (TVG) Hospitality has announced the launch of two new concepts on London’s Southwark Street on 7 July to add to its Borough portfolio.

Mediterranean-inspired bar Carrubo and rustic dining concept In Horto will launch side-by-side near TVG’s flagship Flat Iron Square site and its most recent launch bar and restaurant launch, Audrey’s.

Carrubo will offer a selection of small plates as well as cocktails, wines, draft beer, and a spritz collection, while In Horto will offer a range of heartier entrées and an extensive wine list.



Shoryu Ramen

Shoryu Ramen will open its first UK franchised restaurant on London’s Kensington High Street this summer. The 70-seat restaurant will open under an agreement with franchise partner Bowl Life Ltd and is the first of at least three new franchised restaurants slated to open over the next few years.

The new opening will offer Shoryu Ramen’s range of Japanese dishes.




Global pita restaurant chain Miznon will open on Soho’s Broadwick Street on 15 July. The fast casual concept by Israeli chef Eyal Shani will offer Israeli street food and Mediterranean flavours.

The Tel Aviv-born chain also has sites in Paris, Vienna, New York, Melbourne, Singapore, and Boston.

Shani is the leading chef of 40 restaurants worldwide, including fine dining concept Hasalon.


The Little Scarlet Door - Kitchen

The Little Scarlet Door

London bar group The Little Door & Co has announced a new opening on Soho’s Greek Street. Set across two floors at the Ilona Rose House, The Little Scarlet Door will be the group’s fourth site and first central London venue, following locations in Notting Hill, Fulham, and Clapham.

The new opening will stay true to the group’s efforts to recreate a ‘house party’ setting at its venues, with lounge areas, a kitchen bar, shower, laundry room, and al fresco terrace. The venue will host DJs Wednesday-Saturday and serve sharing cocktails, a range of wines, and bar snacks, among the highlights on its menu.

The Little Scarlet Door is also available for private party bookings with up to 130 guests.


Greggs has announced the opening of its 400th franchise shop in Selby with its newest franchise partner, Rontec.

The food-to-go retailer recently unveiled plans to accelerate the rate of net shop openings to c.150 per year from 2022, including approximately 50 franchised stores.

Greggs also announced an ambition to reach at least 3,000 shops across the UK, with franchised stores expected to account for 20% of its total estate as the company increasingly targets on-the-go locations, smaller high street convenience locations, and educational establishments.


RAREBIT Exterior


Lendlease has announced the opening of all-day kitchen and evening dining, bar, and grocery store concept Rarebit on Elephant Park’s Sayer Street. The restaurant, named after the Welsh dish, has a menu focusing on British favourites and a grocery store with a range of independent wines, craft beers, coffee, and cheese.

Mark Angell and Will Nias, co-founders of Rarebit said: “Rarebitis about bringing a modern, fresh concept to people who want top quality food and drink. Whether that be for grocery shopping or sit-down dining, we are so excited to be welcoming customers through our doors at Elephant Park. It is such a buzzing area, and we are proud to introduce Rarebit to this diverse and vibrant environment.”


royal oak barrington

The Royal Oak

16th century pub and restaurant The Royal Oak will open in Barrington on 29 June with an offering of Cambscuisine food including oysters, steak, fresh fish, and Sunday roasts. The site will also offer cocktails, wines, and local ales.


Ukrainian chef Yurii Kovryzhenko will launch his debut London restaurant, Mriya, with partner Olga Tsybytovska. The ‘neo-bistro’ concept, which translates to ‘dream’ in Ukrainian, will launch on London’s Brompton Road in Chelsea next month.

The restaurant will be staffed by Ukrainian refugees and specialise in modern Ukrainian cuisine, with a menu featuring Kovryzhenko’s take on borscht and chicken Kyiv. It will hold 37 covers across its dining room and terrace.

Matsudai Ramen

Cardiff noodle concept Matsudai Ramen will open a location in Cardiff on 6 August, which it claims will be Wales’ first ramen shop.

The 70-cover location will be the ramen brand’s first bricks-and-mortar site, following pop-up events across the UK. It will serve a range of ramen and side dishes.

Gura Gura

Asian bar and kitchen concept Gura Gura has announced it will debut at The Yards in Covent Garden this October. The 2,900 sq ft restaurant will launch at 19 Slingsby Place and hold 110 covers.

The restaurant will serve a mix of dishes from across Asian cuisines, including sushi, dim sum, and bulgogi.

Honey & Co

Middle Eastern restaurant Honey & Co, headed by chefs Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer from Tel Aviv, is launching in Bloomsbury on Lamb’s Conduit Street. The husband and wife duo, who also run Honey & Smoke on Great Portland Street and a deli on Warren Street.

The new site has approximately 60 covers and an offering inspired by both Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisines, with a large selection of mezze and other menu items including falafel, tahini, shakshuka, and aubergine shawarma.