Inception Group announces ‘spin-off’ of Mr Fogg's

By James, Wallin, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: London

The new Mr Fogg's site in Covent Garden will be a “spin-off” around the theme of the Victorian explorer
The new Mr Fogg's site in Covent Garden will be a “spin-off” around the theme of the Victorian explorer
Inception Group, the London-based restaurant and bar operator, has secured a site for its second Mr Fogg’s – the first time it has replicated a concept, M&C Report can reveal.

Co-founder Charlie Gilkes told M&C Report​ that the group had secured the lease on the former Angel & Crown site, on St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, from landlord Shaftesbury plc.

He said the outlet would take the Mr Fogg’s branding from the inaugural site in Mayfair but instead of a traditional replica would be a “spin-off” around the theme of the Victorian explorer.

He said: “It’s a fantastic listed Victorian building right in the middle of Shaftesbury, opposite the Noel Coward Theatre.

“Downstairs it will be very much a Victorian tavern concept and upstairs a more refined drawing room/cocktail bar.

“We hope to start work soon and be open June/July realistically.”

He said the site, marketed by Davis Coffer Lyons, had attracted a lot of attention.

“It was highly competitive – lots of bidders at asking price and above. We were up against some amazing people and it was really good for us to come through and win it.”

Bunga Bunga

Gilkes told M&C Report​ the group was now keen to focus on a further rollout of the Mr Fogg’s concept and also of its pizzeria concept Bunga Bunga.

He said: “With Bunga Bunga we have been looking at sites but we are very specific with the size and location that we want.

“Mr Fogg’s will be more spin-offs and we have more ideas of what we want to do with that.

“We would certainly still consider new concepts but for now we want to look at replication where possible.

“Our aim by the end of the year is to open a Bunga Bunga replica or another Mr Fogg’s spin-off.”

London

He said the focus for the moment was on London but the group would consider widening its net.

He said: “There are so many pockets within London that we don’t have a presence yet and we think we could do something. Mr Fogg’s has a real opportunity because of the type of venues we can do. It’s a fun brand with a serious offer. Given they’re not exact replicas, it’s not a cookie cutter process. I think there’s huge opportunity.

“With Bunga Bunga we initially want to look at central London. But the MA300 conference in Manchester the other week has definitely opened our eyes up to other areas.”

Cahoots

Inception Group’s latest site, Cahoots, will open next month in the Carnaby Street site that formerly housed its Disco nightclub. Gilkes said a new site would be sought for Disco later this year.

Cahoots will be a bar with a post-Second World War theme set in a disused underground train station.

He said: “Since we acquired the site in Kingly Court two and a half years ago the area has changed hugely. Shaftesbury have done a fantastic job – they have got people like Ceviche, Rum Kitchen, Pizza Pilgrims in there, whereas it used to be very much retail led. There’s a now lot of appetite for after work drinks and what was frustrating for us was that we were missing out on that trade because Disco was very much a late night concept.

“Cahoots is more of a bar concept and we think that will much more easily sustain six-day, perhaps even seven-day traffic.”

On funding for future projects, Gilkes said: “We are looking at the next stage of expansion through working capital and we have secured a bit of bank debt. The next stage will be through that. Beyond that we would look at other opportunities.”

Related topics: MA500 Business Club

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