Red’s True Barbecue is poised to reopen its Newcastle restaurant today following Tokyo Industries’ acquisition of the business from administration last week.
The Eldon Square restaurant closed as part of the administration after three years of trading.
Now Red’s said will leverage the knowledge that Tokyo Industries, which has seven venues in Newcastle, has of trading in the city.
James Douglas, who continues to run Red’s with co-founder Scot Munro, told MCA: “What we will try to do is tap into some of their local knowledge to maybe tweak the offering to improve things.”
Live music might be added “and there’s more that can be done with the bar in there,” said Douglas
“For us, as a business, we started off very exciting and everyone was having a great time doing what we were doing and the customers were loving it.
“I think we eventually became a bit vanilla and tried to be something for everyone and the reality is Red’s is not for everyone… I think we are going to try to inject the energy that we once had and put that back into the venues.”
Douglas said there would be a period of stabilisation and once it became successful again “as it was in the early days”, new sites would open.
“We haven’t done this deal to stay static but obviously what you don’t do is go through the last 12 months that I’ve had and the last three months of getting this deal across the line and then jump straight into half a dozen new leases, he said.
He described Tokyo’s Aaron Mellor as “a very shrewd and canny individual”.
Douglas said: “What he didn’t want to do is buy half a dozen restaurants just to see them sit there so there are absolutely plans for expansion. Now we need to look at the model that we operated in the past and take all the elements that worked from each one of those sites and roll it back into what was our original model.”
The collaboration with BrewDog’s bar in Friar Lane, Leicester is expected to continue. “The BrewDog guys are keen to do more with us so the conversations around that will probably happen over the next few weeks, said Douglas.
“For us, that was strategically a really good opportunity for growth without the hindrance of huge capex. Both businesses were similar in terms of mind-set, outlook and customer base,” he added.