March 26th, 2014

Living Ventures to Open Alchemist by London's 'Gherkin'

Living Ventures to Open Alchemist by London's 'Gherkin'

By Amanda Afiya, Caterer and Hotelkeeper

Tim Bacon has plans to open a new Alchemist bar at a site adjacent to the "Gherkin" building in the City of London, as his Living Ventures group begins to move beyond its heartlands in the North West.

The site is believed to be part of the 6 Bevis Marks development, a new 16-storey building adjacent to 30 St Mary Axe, AKA the Gherkin.

Bacon added that the company he co-founded with Jeremy Roberts had also just agreed heads of terms on an Australasia in London "on a big 8,500 sq ft site with a roof garden". He made the revelations while speaking during a debate at the Northern Restaurant and Bar show.

Australasia Manchester is a pan-Pacific restaurant concept in Spinningfields, in the business district of the city.

His multi-branded business also has plans to grow the New World Pub Company to 15 sites as quickly as it can, he said, adding that five-to-six would open in this financial year.

The first pub will open in Chester on 1 May, followed by a Botanist in Manchester (on the former site of Label on Deansgate), a Botanist in Glasgow, one in London "for a new version of that", one in Richmond, and possibly another one back in Manchester.

Manchester will also see the opening of its first Gusto Italian restaurant on the former site of Olive Press.

The Tazmanian-born entrepreneur was speaking alongside fellow restaurateur Marcello Distefano, managing director of the San Carlo group of restaurants, in a discussion chaired by Northern Restaurant and Bar director Thom Hetherington.

Distefano said that the group had "calmed it down a little bit, we've had quite a busy couple of years. This year is about restructuring and building our foundations for the next level, but we never like to stop otherwise we get bored."

He confirmed that Cichetti would be opening in Covent Garden, the company had taken on another site in Manchester, and is in talks for another franchise deal by the end of the year.


Tags: Gherkin, London, Opening, The Alchemist
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A menu of Pacific Rim flavours underpinned by European cooking tradition, an exotic blend of Indonesian and Southeast Asian influences. Australia's strong ties with Japan also help determine taste and style.