La Tasca unveils first unbranded concept, eyes rollout

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: La tasca, Tapas

Simon Wilkinson, chief executive of La Tasca, has revealed the next stage in the group's relaunch - an unbranded tapas bar concept
Simon Wilkinson, chief executive of La Tasca, has revealed the next stage in the group's relaunch - an unbranded tapas bar concept
La Tasca, the casual dining chain led by Simon Wilkinson, is set to unveil the first of a new unbranded tapas bar concept called Bar y Tapas in Brighton this month and has identified a further eight sites for possible conversion to the format, according to BigHospitality's sister publication M&C Report.

The first Bar y Tapas site, called Bellota, will incorporate what’s said to be the UK’s first standalone Cava bar, in partnership with Grupo Codorniu, the Spanish wine business.

Wilkinson said: "Bellota will operate totally independently and will have no branded signals whatsoever. It will be a contemporary independent Spanish tapas bar serving high quality food and drink products.

"We have identified a further eight sites that would potentially convert pending a successful trial in Brighton, with Norte in Edinburgh and a yet-to-be-named London site being next in the pipeline.

"There are certain demographics that demand innovation and independence alongside quality and Bellota in Brighton will tick all those boxes."

He added: "Strategically within our portfolio we want Spanish concepts positioned across every market segment except for fine dining (for the time being that is). We believe this will be achieved with Bar y Tapas, a rejuvenated and re-positioned La Tasca and our successful La Vina concept."

Relaunch

The move is the next stage of the 46-strong group’s relaunch under Wilkinson’s leadership.

La Tasca completed its Company Voluntary Agreement in September and in October BigHospitality’s sister publication M&C Report also reported that the firm is set for its next stage of growth, which will see the group invest in the business, launch the second stage of its brand redevelopment, look to convert some sites to an updated version of its wine bar format La Vina and look to enter new international territories.

Separately, Wilkinson said trading for the company over the festive period was 'on track with expectations'.

"We are three months into the new company and are ahead on both sales and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), which is a great achievement by the team considering we have a largely un-invested estate and the kicking the high street is taking from on-line Christmas shopping."

Resurgence

"Particularly pleasing was the continuing double digit growth within our flagship Victoria La Tasca site for the second year running and the performance of our latest minor investments, namely La Tasca Covent Garden and La Vina in Hale, both of which were in double digit growth," he continued.

"The best performing site in the country was La Vina in Manchester, which illustrates our resurgence within our North West heartland, which will be further strengthened by the refurbishment of the Trafford Centre site at the end of February, where stage two of new look La Tasca will be launched."

This story was first published by M&C Report. To subscribe to M&C Report​ contact Emily Croft on 01293 846578 or email rzvyl.pebsg@jeoz.pbz​.

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