MCA rounds-up the latest openings stories from the past week, featuring Marugame Udon, JW Lees, Incipio Group and more

Marugame Udon, The Strand

Marugame Udon OC.GRAND.OPENING (4)

The Japanese noodle group is to open its 10th restaurant in the UK this month at 449 The Strand, in London. The 518 sq ft site will have space for 98 covers.

“With The Strand welcoming thousands of tourists each year, we’re excited to be expanding Marugame Udon once again introducing udon to all,” Keith Bird, CEO, Marguame Udon said.

Bear Coffee, Ashbourne, Derbyshire



Midlands-based independent coffee house, bar and kitchen brand Bear, will open its sixth site in Ashbourne, Derbyshire this spring.

The business said it was making a substantial investment in the ex-Bennetts department store, but would look to preserve the building’s historic architectural features.

Bear recently announced an investment partnership with Poole-based private equity firm, Clark Group.

Story Cellar, Neal’s Yard

Story Cellar

The new restaurant by Michelin star chef Tom Sellers will open at 17 Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials on 1 April.

Story Cellar is a Parisian-inspired rotisserie style restaurant with counter dining, where rotisserie chicken is the primary focus, served alongside a host of classic dishes re-interpreted by the chef.

An example of one of the signature dishes is snail bolognese on toast with parsley butter, while the menu will also feature a terrine of the season and pasta dishes such as crab linguine.

Incipio Group, Lost in Brixton – reopening

Lost Extension 2

Incipio Group will reopen the doors to its south west London rooftop bar Lost in Brixton on 31 March, following a major refubishment.

The venue has a new extension, fresh interiors and private bathrooms, only available to Lost in Brixton guests. It will be expanding into three original railway arches, which were previously unused, adding an extra bar to the venue and space for an additional 100 covers.

The venue’s new look and feel that takes its cues from Santiago de Cuba on the vibrant island of Cuba. Moving away from the previous tropical jungle style, guests can expect bright murals bursting with colour and rustic touches that bring the essence of the balmy streets of Santiago to life.

Pizza East, Shoreditch – reopening


Pizza East’s flagship restaurant in Shoreditch is to reopen on 15 March following the brand’s recent acquisition by the Gordon Ramsay Group.

MCA’s sister title BigHospitality revealed last month that the group had acquired the intellectual property for the Pizza East brand, from Soho House Group, as well as the group’s original site, which is housed within The Tea Building.

It is understood that Pizza East will be positioned as a more elevated counterpoint to Gordon Ramsay’s Street Pizza restaurants. The menu will feature new dishes including an ‘ndjua and honey pizza and rigatoni alla vodka.

JW Lees, Rain Bar – reopening

Rain Bar interior

The family brewer and pub operator has reopened the doors of Rain Bar, on Manchester’s Great Bridgewater Street, with a new look. The site has undergone a £700k refubishment, which aims to firmly position it as a premium pub restaurant.

The site was first opened by JW Lees in 1999, in a former umbrella factory next to Bridgewater Hall. It now sports an up to date smart metropolitan style with centrepiece bar, comfortable dining and drinking areas and open fireplaces.