Gusto, the Palatine-backed restaurant chain, is to strengthen its presence in the south of England with an opening in Chislehurst, after securing the Oriel site in the London suburb from the Casual Dining Group (CDG), MCA understands.
CDG opened the test site on a former Café Rouge unit last summer.
Simon Wilkinson, managing director of Café Rouge, Belgo and Oriel, told MCA: “Chislehurst was a Oriel bistro test site where we have already put some learnings into Cafe Rouge and Oriel Grande Brasserie. We already have a version of the concept in the airports where we have just refurbished Oriel Grande Brasserie, Terminal 4. So the plans are to carry on the roll out of Oriel Grande Brasserie in high footfall sites.”
Last month, Gusto secured an additional £9m funding package from Santander to support its growth plans and target new sites across the UK.
The Sue Crimes-led group, which is part of the Living Ventures Group, currently has 16 restaurants across the UK and recently opened a Nottingham site, located in the city’s West Bridgford suburb.
The company, which recorded turnover of £23m in the year to March 2016, up 21% on the previous year, said the development and working capital facilities would allow it to develop existing sites as well as targeting new suburban locations.
It has already identified sites in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South, including the unit in Chislehurst.
The Oriel in Chislehurst was the first regional high street site for the brasserie brand. The 130-cover restaurant was relaunched after a £500,000 investment.
The design and decoration for Oriel was led by Richard Lafond, who specialises in Parisian-style restaurant designs. The menu was created by CDG executive chef Martin Caws, with an emphasis on classic French dishes.
Richard Negus at AG&G acted on the Chislehurst deal.