A restaurant chain which inspired the UK’s sushi craze in the late 1990s is opening up a new standalone outlet in Birmingham.
Japanese inspired YO! Sushi, founded by Simon Woodroffe and based on the concept of a conveyor belt ‘kaiten’ sushi bar, has signed up at Brindleyplace.
The opening is part of a major expansion plan by the company which reached the 50-site threshold in 2010
YO! Sushi, which has become known for attracting queues of customers, already operates a concession in the food hall at city department store Selfridges.
The new restaurant, across two floors, will take up two units on the Water’s Edge - the space formerly occupied by Zen and the empty unit next door.
News of the opening comes after upmarket Italian restaurant and delicatessen chain Carluccio’s confirmed it would be moving into the Boots store and Umberto Giannini, near to Pizza Express.
Adam Sadler, property portfolio manager of British Airways Pension Trustees, which own The Water’s Edge, told the Post: “YO! Sushi have signed an agreement for units four and five. We have planning consent for our work which will take six weeks.
“It will then be handed to the tenant for their fit out.”
The arrival of two new restaurants has lead to changes on the Brindleyplace estate.
Following the recent completion of its £190 million acquisition of eight buildings at Brindleyplace, Hines and Moorfield is now working alongside British Airways Pension Trustees, GVA Grimley and Brindleyplace asset manager Argent on enhancing the leisure offer.
Keen to retain the presence of retailer Boots within the estate, a revision of retail locations is underway within the Brunswick Arcade area.
A new Boots store, including pharmacy, will open by the end of the year in the unit currently occupied by Baguette du Monde. The sandwich bar will then relocate to the unit previously occupied by florist Ethos, which has created a new retail unit within the Buttermarket gallery space in Five Brindleyplace.
Hines and Moorfield Group, said the significant investment demonstrated its commitment to the site.
Company spokesman Igor Mathias said: “These latest changes at Brindleyplace demonstrate our commitment to maintaining the provision of premier leisure and retail opportunities which add value to occupiers, employees and visitors alike. We’re keen to support the enhancement of the retail and leisure offerings within Brindleyplace. These alterations will only increase the estate’s overall reputation as an exciting mixed use destination.
“We’re grateful to existing tenants for their help and support while we relocate Boots to a more appropriate location within Brunswick Arcade; and to Argent for continuing to drive new initiatives.”
The restaurant sector in Birmingham has seen a number of high profile openings announced in recent weeks.
Michelin-star chef Glynn Purnell is to open a second restaurant in the city - The Asquith, specialising in French-inspired cuisine is due to open in Edgbaston within weeks.
On a larger scale Jamie Oliver is to open a new restaurant at the Bullring. Jamie’s Italian is scheduled to open in October.
Carluccio’s, for whom veteran Italian chef Antonio Carluccio still works as a consultant, is set to open in the autumn as part of its expansion programme. It too is expected to hit the 50-site threshold in the UK this year. The chain is spending about £750,000 on each new restaurant, which also includes space devoted to retail and deli items.