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Loungers looking for 30 sites by 2013

By The PMA Team , 14-Aug-2009
Last updated on 19-Jun-2013 at 10:55 GMT2013-06-19T10:55:03Z

Reclaimed eccentric: that's the decor look as seen here at the Alto Lounge in Reading

Reclaimed eccentric: that's the decor look as seen here at the Alto Lounge in Reading

Loungers, the 10-strong neighbourhood café bar group based in the south-west, is set to add eight new sites by the end of 2010 as it expands away from its Bristol base.


The company, which was founded in 2002 by Alex Reilley, David Reid and Jake Bishop, has started work on a new site in Southampton. It also now has two new venues lined up in Birmingham, three in Bournemouth, one in Plymouth and a second site in Southampton.


The eventual aim is to have 30 sites by 2013.


Loungers, which has a turnover of £6.5m and has no fewer than five outlets in Bristol, has expanded by converting unlicensed sites. Venues are located in busy secondary shopping districts, where the population tends to be a mix of young professionals, families, locals and students. There are also three Lounges in Cardiff, plus sites in Bath and Reading.


The business was founded with £30,000 of equity and the three founding partners still own 90% of the business.


It has a remarkably low rent to turnover percentage on account of the decision to convert unlicensed prem-ises. Decor is described as "reclaimed eccentric" and has reminded observers of the Realpubs style of operation in London villages.


Managing director Reilley said: "We've got a great concept and customers do genuinely use the word love to describe their feelings about the Lounges.


"We're child-friendly, and have board games, daily newspapers and magazines, a community book swap and free community notice board.


"Our kitchens serve food from 9am in the morning until late in a seven-days-a-week offering."

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