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Atmosphere Bars & Clubs looks to double estate

By John Harrington, M&C Report , 26-Oct-2011

Modello: new opening

Modello: new opening

Atmosphere Bars & Clubs, the Sun Capital Partners-backed nightclub operator, is looking to double in size to around 60 sites in the next two years and could buy another group.

Chief executive Paul Harbottle discussed plans for the company, which currently operates 29 leasehold clubs including a number of Chicago Rock outlets, in an interview with Publican’s Morning Advertiser .
Harbottle said Sun Capital has provided “money to acquire”. “It would like us to open two before Christmas and six next year, then two a month during 2013, so in two years we’ll have 60.
“That could be done by buying another group.”
Atmosphere’s most recent opening has been the Modello Bar & Kitchen in Bedford, which has opened following a £1m refurbishment.
Harbottle spoke of his desire to evolve Chicago Rock, which he said “stopped evolving in the 1990s”. He said a food offer would be added and he wants to “bring back the American twist that’s been lost”.
“We need to bring it back to where it should be without losing the positives - its 60% female mix and reputation for cheesy music. There is nothing wrong with that in the right place at the right time, it’s just unpretentious fun.”
Harbottle left his role as chief operating officer at JD Wetherspoon last year and join Atmosphere in March 2011.

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