Spuntino owners are bringing their Soho dive bar concept to UK airports this year

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

Spuntino owners are bringing their Soho dive bar concept to UK airports this year

Related tags: Covent garden

Polpo founders Russell Norman and Richard Beatty are to launch their Spuntino brand in UK airports this year.

The restaurateurs, who launched the edgy Soho-based dive bar diner in 2011, have signed a franchise agreement with airport hospitality brand TRG Concessions.

“We've been talking to TRG Concessions for many years about doing something in airports, both with Polpo and Spuntino” says Norman.

“The core values of Spuntino are as essential to TRG Concessions as they are to us. It’s a new location, new audience, but with a partner who understands the importance of recreating an authentic experience.”

Spuntino, which means ‘snack’ in Italian, serves Italian-inspired New York comfort food such as truffle egg toast; lobster mac and cheese; and a peanut butter ice cream sandwich.

The airport concession sites will follow the same small-plates theme as the brand’s two existing sites, with more child-friendly options, more breakfast items, and more doughnuts made in a “Heath Robinson-esque” doughnut maker on display. 

The sites will offer eat-in, takeaway and grab’n’go options, tailored to better suit an airport audience.

The team say that the first site will be secured this year, and each concession will be designed in partnership with Spuntino’s architects, SODA, which also designs the likes of Soho House.

“It’s important to us that Spuntino retains its unique look and feel,” says Norman, “even in an airport environment.”

The number of airports that Spuntino might go into is yet to be confirmed, but Norman says the company will be making an announcement soon.

Earlier this year, Norman and Beatty announced the closure of their Venetian-inspired Polpo restaurants in Exeter and Bristol, as well as their Ape & Bird in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. 

Managing director Scott Macdonald insisted that the closures were not related to the current economic climate, and that the company enjoyed a record-breaking final quarter of 2017 with plans for the expansion of the Polpo and Spuntino brands in 2018.

The pair’s restaurant portfolio now includes Polpos in Brighton and London’s Chelsea, Covent Garden, Soho, Smithfield and Notting Hill, and Spuntinos in Soho and Bristol.

Related topics: Openings

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