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Living Room concept heading for London.

Byline: Barry Turnbull Chief Business Reporter

THE brand name of Liverpool's trendy bar restaurant The Living Room is about to appear in fashionable areas of London and other cities across the country.

A national roll-out is underway with outlets being prepared for opening in the capital's Islington Green and West Smithfield as well as others in Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham.

Owners are overseeing an initial pounds 5m phase of investment outside the North West over the next 12 months.

Sites have been carefully handpicked to ensure The Living Room concept is replicated in popular leisure spots.

Marketing director Paul Newman said: "We have given a lot of thought about where we want to go.

Islington has always been a popular leisure area and West Smithfield is up and coming in that respect.

"In Birmingham we are going into Broad Street along with Paul Heathcote. We are pitched towards the top end of mainstream and that is where the concept works towards.

"Our objective is to create somewhere that people don't feel inhibited in coming in, but they also get the sort of service they would not normally expect."

The first two premises, in Liverpool's Victoria Street and in Manchester, have proved to be extremely successful. However one idea that is not being rolled out just yet is that of the cocktail bar Mosquitos, which has been added to the premises in Liverpool.

A fast-track programme of expansion is set to continue with the goal being a pounds 55m turnover in four years.

Masterminding the concept are Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, the business partners who built up the Life Cafe chain before selling out to Whitbread's. The pair have made around pounds 10m by creating lifestyle eateries and selling them on over recent years.

Backing is also being provided by venture capitalist sources with a target of reaching 30 outlets in the four year growth plan.

In Islington Green part of the Sun Court House building in Essex Road has been acquired on a 25 year lease at pounds 170,000 per annum initially. It offers panoramic views over central London.


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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 26, 2001
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