Giggling Squid, Cardiff

Giggling Squid Mermaid Quay `

46-strong Thai tapas chain Giggling Squid is opening its second restaurant in Cardiff on Mermaid Quay in 2023. The 4,800 sq ft terrace-level unit will offer a competitively priced lunch menu, a more extensive evening offer, and separate children and vegan menus, all cooked by Thai chefs.


Gusto Italian, Oxford

Gusto Italian Oxford

Gusto Italian will open its fourteenth site on 1 December at the Grade II listed Mitre Hotel building on Oxford High Street. The 10,000 sq ft restaurant and bar will offer 150 covers for diners and drinks guests, plus a 60-cover function room.

The venue will have a theatre kitchen, which unites the kitchen and dining area and allows customers to witness Gusto chefs firsthand.


Barrio, Covent Garden

Nightcap Sarah Willingham Michael Toxvaerd 2

Nightcap has opened its flagship Barrio site in Covent Garden, serving Latin-inspired cocktails and street food. It is the third Barrio site opened by Nightcap since the acquisition in November 2021.


Ben’s Yard Village, Cambridgeshire

Ben's Yard Village

A new retail village housing a cafe, food hall, and restaurant will open in Cambridgeshire next spring. Ben’s Yard Cafe will be an all-day venue serving British and international classics, while Ben’s Yard Larder will sell food to go.


Crosstown, Brighton

Crosstown doughnuts

26-strong artisan doughnut and specialty coffee concept Crosstown will open its third location outside London on Brighton’s Sydney Street on 9 December.


PlayBox; HotBox; and Nanny Bill’s, Boxpark Croydon

Boxpark is bringing its PlayBox leisure concept to its Croydon location in early 2023, following the concept’s success in Wembley. PlayBox offers competitive socialising and immersive gaming alongside a bar, featuring UV pool tables, table tennis, shuffleboard, glow-pong, and air hockey. The new Croydon space will span over 3,000 sq ft.

Smoked BBQ meat restaurant HotBox will also open at BoxPark Croydon this winter, offering smoky meats and burgers, while Nanny Bill’s will also open, serving its signature hand pressed burgers and cheese croquettes.


Rio Brazilian Steakhouse, Warrington

Rio Brazilian Steakhouse, from Northeast-based multisite operator Howard Eggleston, will open its fifth site in Warrington’s Golden Square tomorrow (26 November). It will offer a selection of grilled and marinated meats butchered on site and prepared by Portuguese and Brazilian chefs.


Taku, Mayfair

Sushi chef Takyya Watanabe has opened Taku, an omakase concept, on London’s Albemarle Street. The 16-cover restaurant will have a daily changing tasting menu, a 17-course lunch menu, a signature menu with 20 dishes and a prestige menu as well. It will also offer speciality sakes and wine.


The Hummingbird Bakery, St John’s Wood

The Hummingbird Bakery Cupcake Giveaway

The Hummingbird Bakery will open its fifth location on London’s St John’s Wood High Street this month. The 750 sq ft site will offer the bakery’s signature cupcakes and celebration cakes, along with traditional American pies, cheesecakes, brownies, cookies, plus a vegan and gluten-free range and items exclusive to St John’s Wood.

Hummingbird also opened a bakery in Victoria last month and reopened its Old Brompton Road site following refurbishment earlier this year.


Papi, Hackey

Chef Matthew Scott and the team behind delivery concept Hot 4 U will open a permanent restaurant, Papi, early next year in London’s Hackney area. It will showcase regeneratively reared meat, sustainable seafood, and natural wines.

The two-floor Mentmore Terrace site will have a 28-cover dining room, an open kitchen, and a cocktail bar for karaoke, events, and private hire.


The Craft Beer Co, Paddington

The Craft Beer Co, which operates six London and one Brighton site, will open a venue called The Bear in Paddington on 1 December. It will offer a range of beer, wine, and spirits, along with burgers and other food options.


Blank Street, Gloucester Road


New York City-founded coffee chain Blank Street has opened its 11th London site at Gloucester Road station on 24 November. The site will offer Blank Street signatures such as the pistachio latte, as well as seasonal drinks such as the gingerbread latte and candy cane cold brew.


Oisoi; YiFang; and Sidequest, Elephant Park


Asian fusion restaurant Oisoi, Taiwanese tea specialist YiFang, and cyber esports café SideQuest have opened at London’s Elephant Park. The three East Asian brands have opened in a 6,000 sq ft interconnected unit.

Oisoi specialises in dim sum and Szechuanese dishes, while YiFang specialises in Taiwanese tea and SideQuest creates an experience with esports technology.


Sam’s Riverside, Chiswick

Sam's Riverside Larder

Sam’s Riverside owner Sam Harrison has opened a 1,000 sq ft café-retail hybrid on Chiswick’s Turnham Green Terrace. The 22-cover venue serves made-to-order breakfast, lunch, and supper, featuring a classic café menu but to “restaurant standard” for both in-house and takeaway.

The site also has a retail section selling Frozen by Sam’s Riverside range of meals and ice creams, as well as produce from the likes of Cobble Lane, Chalk Stream Farm, Neal’s Yard Dairy and wines and spirits.