Fast-growing smokehouse concept Red’s True Barbecue will open its eighth site in Newcastle’s intu Eldon Square complex this October.

The group, which is led by James Douglas and Scott Munro, will invest £1.1m in opening a 300-cover, 4,100sq ft, prominent ground floor restaurant at the complex, creating 75 jobs.

The new site will include outdoor seating and will feature a dedicated street-level bar with an extensive whiskey and bourbon menu, regular live music and the UK’s largest selection of housemade Picklebacks.

Munro told MCA: “Newcastle has been on the cards for a while so we’re stoked we can finally reveal the news. The location is spot on for us in terms of our audience, and with a new creative design approach our believers will see a further step on for the brand and their dining experience.

“There’s a great mix of solid operators opening up in the development which will create a real destination location in an already busy area; Newcastle is set for an awesome autumn of food and drink!

“There is now certainly more competition to win customers’ hard earned cash. This year we’ve worked incredibly hard on our operations, in particular investing heavily in our Pitmaster team to ensure we credibly remain the most authentic BBQ joint this side of the pond. From Houston, Texas, to the World BBQ Association European Championships in Germany, our restaurant teams are competing on the world stage to continually develop their skills, whilst back at home we’ve been working on a new, exciting, industry-leading learning and development programme for our Pitmasters. Without a history of this job role in the UK, and a site pipeline that extends across the UK, well into 2018, we’re shoring up our expertise, knowledge and skill-set for the future.”

Late last year, the group secured a further £9m of investment as it looks to open a further eight to 10 sites over the next two years.

The majority debt deal was the second struck between the concept and Santander. It also comprised a secondary round of equity investment from its original handpicked panel of industry leaders, including industry veteran Ian Neill, Maurice Abboudi (K10); non-executive board members Brandon Stephens (Tortilla), Stephen Wall (Pho) and Aarish Patel; and retail entrepreneur Sunny Gill.