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Dragons’ Den star’s hospitality venture rapidly builds new project pipeline

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Nightcap, the hospitality group formed by investors Michael Toxvaerd and Sarah Willingham – the former Dragons’ Den star – to back the UK bar and late-night sector, said it has made “excellent progress” in building a significant pipeline of new bar site openings, amid strong trading.

The group, which operates Adventure Bar Group and London Cocktail Club, has secured a new site in Bristol, which it expects to open before the end of the calendar year, and is at various stages of legal negotiations on a further five properties, across several of its brands.

The developments follow the group’s two acquisitions earlier this year and previously announced plans to significantly expand the number of sites Nightcap operates during the next two to three years, as the UK economy emerges from the pandemic and the hospitality industry rebuilds.

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It also comes amid a strong period of trading for the group, with Nightcap’s bars continuing to perform ahead of management’s expectations since the lifting of operating restrictions on 19 July, and at a time when the company has put in place robust operating procedures to ensure that all of its bars remain open and appropriately staffed throughout.

The company has signed a lease for a new London Cocktail Club on Corn Street in the centre of Bristol.

The venue covers an area of approximately 3,500 square feet, with a 2.30am license Thursday-to-Saturday, and has an unrestricted guest capacity of over 300.

Nightcap expects to launch the site before the end of the calendar year.

Ms Willingham, who is CEO, said: “I am delighted to announce the first of several new sites for London Cocktail Club. After the strong trading update announced in June and continued strong trading since the easing of restrictions, the group is starting to deliver on its national roll-out strategy and continues to look to capitalise on the pent-up demand from consumers and the availability of excellent properties across the UK.”

Ms Willingham said the group was buoyed by the performance of all of Nightcap’s bars and was particularly pleased with the performance of Luna Springs in Birmingham, an outdoor bar, food and entertainment space, which is now operating with a capacity of more than 1,000 guests.

Its first major event, which took place on 24 July, was fully booked and more events are scheduled for the summer and autumn, including cinema evenings, themed parties and festivals.

Nightcap listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in January, a process that coincided with its first acquisition, of London Cocktail Club.

In May, the company secured its second purchase, acquiring Adventure Bar Group, which operates the Tonight Josephine, Bar Elba and Luna Springs brands.

Ms Willingham said: “Our mission and the reason for establishing Nightcap has not changed. We want to grow London Cocktail Club and Adventure Bar Group, especially beyond London.

“Our immediate focus will be on supporting these businesses and helping them thrive.  We will also look to find more great businesses with strong and motivated leadership teams, where we can help to release their growth potential.”

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Tags : Dragon's DenhospitalityNightcap
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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