Birmingham’s successful Metro Bar & Grill owners David Cappendell and Chris Kelly have further extended their portfolio of restaurants by signing up for a fourth site.
Despite the difficult trading conditions and the ongoing squeeze on consumer spending, the duo’s Metropolitan Drinking & Dining has agreed a lease to open a new restaurant inside Leicester’s £350 million Highcross development.
The deal has been agreed in principle and the city centre venue is expected to open in time for the lucrative Christmas season.
The first Metro opened in Birmingham a decade ago and was followed by an outlet in Solihull. The third base will be within the £130 million Belgrade Plaza scheme in Coventry.
The co-founders said they believed Hammerson’s high-profile development in Leicester was the perfect location for their upmarket brand.
“Leicester is a great geographical fit for us, given that we are well established in both Birmingham and Solihull, and the Highcross blend of quality retail and leisure brands, alongside significant residential space, is the ideal mix for us,” they said in a statement.
The Coventry site is expected to open next summer, as part of the second phase of Oakmoor Deeley’s city centre scheme.
“There are forecasts of difficult trading in our sector, for the next year or two, but we firmly believe that our brand is a solid one, and that our reputation for quality and service will help us ride out the touch economic climate,” said Mr Cappendell.
“We took the time to build our clientele - and our balance sheet - after opening the first Metro in 1997, and are now looking to be trading from ten sites throughout the Midlands by 2012.”
Initial negotiations are under way for two further venues, and Mr Cappendell said he was optimistic that at least one further site would be acquired before the autumn.