It will be the first restaurant outside of London for rapidly expanding hamburger concept Byron, with the 4,000 sq.ft site set to open in late spring in Bluewater’s Village. There is no confirmed date or specific location for the Union Jacks restaurant as yet, although the Jamie Oliver-founded concept is advertising for jobs at Bluewater on its official website.
“The move out of London is a bold, but logical step for Byron, and Bluewater is the perfect place to begin,” said Byron founder Tom Byng – his new restaurant will join the likes of Côte, Carluccio’s and Pizza Express.
“It shares our commitment to quality and very high levels of service. This, combined with Bluewater’s enduring commercial success, means that we will have the ideal location from which to showcase the Byron brand as we begin the next stage of our expansion.”
Guy Thomas, head of retail leasing at Lend Lease, added: “Byron is the latest element in the evolution of Bluewater’s dining offer, and joins a number of well-established brands in the Village. Byron adds to a critical mass of premium dining that is perfectly matched to the large numbers of aspirational guests that enjoy dining as part of a great day-out at Bluewater.”
The 19-strong group will also open a further site outside the capital in Oxford, with June pencilled in as a possible opening date, according to BigHospitality’s sister title M&C Report.
Byron was recently hailed as the fastest growing restaurant concept of the past six months, having more than trebled its portfolio in the previous three years. The chain was also voted the Best Overall Restaurant Chain of 2011 at the third annual R200 Awards run by Restaurant magazine.
The two new additions to Bluewater’s food and beverage portfolio comes after a report earlier this month which showed shopping centres emerging as must-have locations for restaurant concepts.
Bluewater, which opened 13 years ago today, launched its entertainment dining-themed Plaza in November 2011, and work has recently begun on the multi-million pound redevelopment of the shopping centre’s third ‘Village’- the Wintergarden.
Shelley Sandzer acted for Bluewater on the Byron deal. The Gondola Group dealt direct.