Comptoir Libanais snaps up two more sites as UK expansion continues

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Westfield london

Comptoir Libanais offers affordable Lebanese cuisine including mezze, salads and wraps
Comptoir Libanais offers affordable Lebanese cuisine including mezze, salads and wraps
Comptoir Libanais, the canteen and delicatessen concept created by Tony Kitous, is opening its sixth, seventh and eighth restaurants later this year, including its first site outside of London.

As confirmed by BigHospitality in August, the Lebanese chain has taken an 1,800 sq.ft site at Gatwick’s North Terminal​as part of a £1.2bn investment into the airport’s F&B offering.

It has today been revealed that Comptoir Libanais has been chosen to operate the newly created food outlet within Duke of York Square in Chelsea, to compliment and bookend the eating and drinking activity close to the Saatchi Gallery towards the western end.

And it will also now be opening its first restaurant outside of the capital, having secured a 3,132 sq.ft unit at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

Comptoir Libanais Chelsea

The Lebanese canteen and delicatessen has taken a 10-year lease on approximately 2,000 sq.ft of space from Davis Coffer Lyons (DCL), acting on behalf of the area’s developers, Cadogan. The letting is part of a wider initiative by Cadogan to create a more vibrant F&B offer estate-wide.

Chief executive Hugh Seaborn explained that Comptoir Libanais was chosen for its all-day trade, colourful design, and a cuisine type which is not over represented in the area.

“Our research has shown that customers want more choice both in terms of operators and cuisine types,” he said.  “In order to achieve this we are carefully choosing the new operators of our eating and drinking outlets to ensure they provide the maximum appeal to our diverse range of visitors.  Comptoir Libanais is a fantastic operation and the ideal addition to the scheme.”

Tracey Mills, director of London estate and development leasing at DCL, added: “Cadogan Estates understands the need to provide a stronger leisure mix to support the existing retail offer. 

“Comptoir Libanais is a quality operation and highlights the direction they are taking the scheme.  This is the first of a number of new names we are working to attract and we hope to be able to confirm further lettings in the near future.” 

Comptoir Libanais Bluewater

Comptoir Libanais’ accessible price point and broad appeal for families, residents and office workers make it a good fit for shopping centres. Its first restaurant outside of London is situated on Bluewater’s lower Thames Walk, at the entrance to the entertainment dining-themed Plaza. It will open in time for Christmas.

Kitous, who opened the first Comptoir Libanais at Westfield Shopping Centre in November 2008, said: “Bluewater was the obvious choice for our expansion out of London.  It is a high quality environment with a very strong reputation for the quality and success of its diverse dining offer.  

“That so many other innovative brands have selected Bluewater made our decision even easier.”

Guy Thomas, head of retail leasing at Lend Lease, added: “Comptoir Libanais is the latest leading brand to choose Bluewater as the first location for their expansion out of London.  

“Their offer is quite distinct and complements the existing line-up in the Plaza, where the emphasis is on entertainment and the theatre of food.”

The new restaurant will join Wahaca, Balans, Tapas Revolution, Tossed, Wasabi, Tortilla, Lolas Cupcakes, Byron and Côte in choosing Bluewater in opening their first restaurants outside of London or in the South East. 

Comptoir Libanais currently operates four other sites in South Kensington, Wigmore Street, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford as well as a semi-permanent site in Broadwick Street, which opened last year. At the end of 2011, Kitous revealed he was planning to open six sites in 12 months,​with the City and Gatwick and Heathrow airports on his radar as potential locations.

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