Wagamama, the Duke Street Capital–backed chain, has secured a second site in New York, as it looks to open up to five restaurants in the city over the next 12-18 months.
The David Campbell-led group, which will open its first New York site at 210 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, this September, has signed a lease on a second NYC location at 55 Third Avenue on the corner of East 11th Street. The location will open in 2017. The lease is for 15 years and the asking rent was $250 per sq ft.
At the same time, the company has also pulled out of a suburban Boston location at MarketStreet Lynnfield but continues to successfully operate three locations in the central Boston market.
Campbell told MCA: “All the research we have done in NYC, and our experience in urban Boston, shows a strong market for the Wagamama brand in the US. While trading was OK in suburban Boston, and we had a great team, we are really, at this stage of our development in the US, an urban brand.”
In regard to NYC, Campbell said: “Our first NYC location in Flatiron/Nomad is a very strong location overlooking Madison Square Park, and is now under construction, and we are starting to build a NYC team, for an autumn opening. We are delighted to have concluded a deal on a second strong site in the iconic East Village of Manhattan and look forward to opening that in 2017. We are pursuing further NYC sites.”
Last year, Simon Cope, global brand director for Wagamama, said the company plans to open an additional four key restaurants in the city as the US becomes a focus for the group.
He described it as “a really exciting time” for the ramen bar operator as it looks to “crack” the critical US restaurant destination.
“We’ve talked in the past about wanting to expand significantly in the US with a target of 50-60 sites in the next five to six years. having secured this flagship we hope to open four to five in New York in the next 12 months,” Cope told MCA.
The company is set to complete the majority of refurbishments across its c120-strong estate by the end of its current financial year, as it continues to deliver strong like-for-like growth.