BrewDog has revealed plans to open a 26,500 sq ft global flagship on the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo as several drinks-focused firms pursue expansions on successful post-lockdown re-openings.
Britain’s biggest craft brewer intends to launch the two-floor venue - complete with a pub, pop-up food truck, cocktail bar, bowling alley and slide to get between levels - next summer. BrewDog Waterloo will also offer workspaces and a Grind coffee bar.
The craft brewing giant’s founder James Watt said the move is "quite simply one of the biggest things we have ever announced".
BrewDog has hit the headlines for less positive reasons in recent months.
In June Watt apologised and said his team will "listen, learn and act" after more than 100 current and former employees publicly accused BrewDog of creating a "culture of fear" and being a toxic employer.
Last week the UK’s advertising watchdog found a BrewDog promotion around “solid gold” cans was misleading. The company has also delayed its planned IPO.
BrewDog launched in 2007 and is estimated to be worth around £2 billion. It is private equity-backed and has repeatedly raised cash through crowdfunding rounds. Watt recently told The Daily Telegraph that plans to list in London or New York may now be pushed back until next year or even until 2023.
The update came as competitors also announced expansions even as London’s hospitality sector faces threats to its recovery from the pandemic from supply chain snarl-ups and labour shortages.
Reporting a surge in demand for its Latin American-themed bar chain Las Iguanas, the Big Table Group - which is also behind the Café Rouge and Bella Italia chains - today announced plans to open 50 new venues in a £50 million investment set to create 1,250 new jobs.
Bosses are planning to double the number of Las Iguanas sites to 35, with new bars in city centres and towns.
Meanwhile Nightcap, the bar chain founded by former Dragons’ Den judge Sarah Willingham, said its three newest London Cocktail Club sites will open next month ahead of schedule.
The launches will take the group’s total sites to 22 - including a new venue on Queen Victoria Street in the City - with a further 11 sites in legal negotiations, and 10 under offer.
Willingham, who saw Nightcap float at 10p per share in January, said the news comes on the back of "strong trading across the group". Shares increased 1.15p to 17.64p on Monday morning.