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Six new sites for Bristol bar group Loungers

Published:  05 January, 2011

Bristol-based cafe-bar chain Loungers is planning to open six new sites in 2011.

Bristol-based cafe-bar chain Loungers is planning to open six new sites in 2011.

The group, founded in 2002 by friends Alex Reilley, Dave Reid and Jake Bishop, currently runs 16 sites, with a Birmingham outlet opening in March and one in Southampton already lined up. Its "Lounges" specialise in informal neighbourhood, food-led cafe bars, often in suburban areas.

The group has also secured a site for its second "Cosy Club", a new concept it describes as "quirky, eccentric and playful" which offers informal casual dining, drinking "in a homely and family friendly environment" which will be in the new SouthGate shopping development in Bath. This will open in late spring. The 4,400 sq ft Bath site has an 800 sq ft balcony overlooking the main square. Planning applications are also live on a second 'Lounge' site in Bournemouth and a third Cosy Club site in Exeter.

Loungers managing director Reilley said: "2010 represented a major step-change for us in terms of our roll-out particularly as we'd not previously opened more that two units in one year. We also opened a couple of larger units, most notably in Plymouth and Bournemouth, and launched The Cosy Club, which to date has proved to be extremely successful and, like the Lounge concept, we believe has fantastic roll-out potential".

Reilley reported that the growth from 11 units to 16 had resulted in annualised net turnover rising by 70% to £12 million and that the addition of six new sites in 2011 was expected to boost net turnover by an additional £5 million. Reilley indicated that the business is able to fund its roll-out going forward without the need for any new or additional bank debt. He also confirmed that there are a further even site openings planned for 2012, and that the group has identified enough areas to grow the business to 40 sites (roughly 30 Lounge sites and 10 Cosy Club sites) without going north of the Midlands or going into London or the South East.