Loungers, the Piper Private Equity-backed cafe/bar and restaurant group led by Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop, is set to continue its expansion in northern England with the opening of its first site in Manchester in July. It comes as Loungers reports a 7.7% rise in like-for-like sales in April. The group confirmed that it is to start work on its first site in Manchester having secured change-of-use on a retail unit on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury. Work will start on the 2,800sq ft site later this month with an opening anticipated in mid-July. Loungers has now opened its 33rd site in the Reading suburb of Woodley. The 3,200sq ft site, called Bosco Lounge, is the group’s 27th Lounge site and its second in Reading site, having opened in Alto Lounge in 2009. Loungers has invested £450,000 converting a former retail unit to provide a 120-seater trading area with substantial external seating to the front of the property. Loungers managing director Alex Reilley said: “Woodley is a great area on the outskirts of Reading and is a very natural addition for us given we already have a presence in the area. For no real apparent reason there’s a very limited food and drink offer in the area so we’ve got fairly high expectations about how we’ll trade there.” Loungers’ 34th site, Vivo Lounge in Dorchester, is to open on 30 May in the Brewery Square development followed by the opening of Portivo Lounge in Gloucester Quays in early July. Reilley added: “April represented yet another very good month for us with another set a strong like-for-like sales. Our year-on-year sales for April show an increase of 56.3%, which is also excellent and are a reminder to us, if nobody else, how much the business has grown in the last 12 months. It’s a very busy but extremely exciting time for the business at the moment.”