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London bar chain Dirty Martini to open seventh site

Published:  28 May, 2015

London on-trade operator CG Restaurants and Bars is set to open a new site for its Dirty Martini bar chain in Islington next month.

The bar will be the chain's seventh site in London and the fifth to open up in the last 18 months as part of a big investment in its bars business. It is also in talks to secure two further sites in London this year, in line with plans to have a 15-strong chain by the end of 2016. The multi-million pound investment started in July 2013 with the aquisition of its third site at Bishopsgate Exchange, which opened in September 2013. This was followed by Monument, St Paul's and Clapham. 

The site on Upper Street overlooking Islington green is being refurbished in a £750k upgrade. In February, the company refurbished its flagship venue in Hanover Square.

Scott Matthews, Dirty Martini's chief executive officer, said the brand had come a long way since launching in Covent Garden more than ten years ago. "The new Islington site is a natural progression and means we are now present in many of London's most active leisure destinations," he said. 

The brand is keen to expand into areas of high-end retail and high footfall, and Matthews has previously mentioned Shoreditch, Hoxton, South Kensington, and Soho as potential sites on the its target list.

CG Restaurants announced strong results over its key Christmas trading period, with like-for-like sales at Dirty Martini up 24% in December, compared to the previous year, which was largely on the back of "significant" pre-booked business, up 29% on 2013, and accounted for 63% of bar sales. Last month the chain opened Dirty Martini in Clapham, which the company says is performing 40% ahead of its budget.

The company also operatives pizza restaurants Fire & Stone, Covent Garden restaurant Tuttons, and Bitter Sweet Cocktail Bar and Member's Club.