Spanish restaurant group Las Banderas has launched a sub-brand called Aqualung which it is looking to expand as a standalone concept, MCA has learnt.

Igor Matrosov, head of operations at Las Banderas, told MCA that Aqualung, which has so far launched within its Wardour Street site in Soho, is the first cocktail bar of its kind in London with oxygen-enriched drinks and aromatherapy using oxygen.

“We have already taken another site in Surrey Quays shopping centre, which is due to open next Saturday, and we are in talks with Westfield about potentially taking a site there too,” he said, adding that if successful he would look to expand it further.

Matrosov said Las Banderas, which launched in July 2018 after it took on the three former MasQMenos sites (in Soho, Farringdon and Mark Lane, off Fenchurch Street), was also in talks with “a few parties” about expanding its tapas concept to Germany and California, through either a joint venture or a franchise operation.

“We will also be opening a new concept under the name Lone Wolf – which will be a Latin inspired bar and restaurant, in collaboration with the artist Alec Monopoly and a well-known Mayfair art gallery,” he added.

“We are either looking to rebrand one of our sites for that or taking a new site in Soho or Mayfair and concentrate on high end Latin cuisine and cocktails, so it would be more of a bar but with food as well,” he said.

The plan is to dedicate a space in the site to exhibit pieces from different artists, with customers also able to buy the artwork on display, he explained.

A fourth Las Banderas was due to open at a new development in Canary Wharf called Cabot Square in Q1 2019, however Matrosov said there had been some delays on the project.

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