LGIM Real Assets have announced that three new independent restaurant brands will be opening at The Grafton, as part of its dedication to improve and deliver a compelling Food Social experience following the £28.5m development of the shopping centre in 2018.
The Burger Priest, an eye-catching new burger bar, and Skewer, a local Turkish concept, have both been allocated units at the Cambridge shopping centre, Chi, an Asian street-food brand, will be serving from the new and improved Food Social.
The three brands join Amélie Flam-kuche, an authentic light dish made of thin bread dough, spread with crème fraîche and fresh topping combinations that dates back to the 14th century and originates from the French Alsace region, and La Piazza by Signorelli, which opens in September and will deliver an authentic Italian sit-down meal experience and vibe.
The Duck Truck, the UK’s first and only duck-based operator, and Gail’s, the renowned bread bakers, will also be opening later this year.
Tom Williams, fund manager at Legal & General, said: “The food offering at the shopping centre has been a priority for us since the completion of the multi-million-pound refurbishment and we’re delighted to be welcoming three top-quality and authentic brands to our food quarter at The Grafton.
“We have been really pleased with the impact that Amélie Flam-kuche has made and know La Piazza will be well received when they open too. The arrival of these three other concepts means that we are taking a giant step towards delivering on the community’s wish to have a far more diverse food offering at The Grafton.”
The Burger Priest launched in 2017 after three years of planning and now operates across the UK. Delivering hand-built and quality burgers to the spec, the business will bring signature dishes, authentic milkshakes to the Cambridge local community. It will also operate a licensed drinks and cocktail bar alongside its menu.
Keith Fox, director at The Burger Priest, has over 33 years of experience in the food and beverage industry and he said Legal & General and The Grafton’s ambition to grow its independent food offering is what particularly appealed about bringing his concept to Cambridgeshire.
Keith Fox said: “When we began speaking about the opportunity to come to The Grafton, it was immediately clear the management team and Legal & General – the owners of the shopping centre – are very ambitious with its plan to improve the independent food offering. It was an opportunity we couldn’t turn down.
“We pride ourselves on delivering good, honest, burgers and have grown very quickly over the last two years. We feel The Burger Priest will bring something completely different to The Grafton.”
Skewer will be run by Ali Karakilic and Murad Temel, the two minds behind the successful BBQ Grill N Bar restaurant near Cambridge train station, and they will bring what they describe as ‘an upmarket Turkish experience with Mediterranean flavours’.
Ali Karakilic said: “We’re very excited to be opening Skewer at The Grafton and being the first Turkish restaurant to come to the shopping centre. We have had a lot of positive feedback about our food and service at BBQ Grill N Bar and we see this as the next step for us. We believe Skewer is going to be bigger and better and will deliver a real authentic Turkish experience at The Grafton.”
Chi, which is the first bao restaurant in Cambridge, will serve freshly prepared meats and vegetables with unique Asian flavours that can be eaten in or taken away. In addition to its bao-filled buns, it has banh mi rolls, various side plates, including its well-renowned chicken wings, noodle and rice bowls, salads, bubble waffles and bubble tea.
Aidan Tjinakiet said: “Growing up in Cambridge, I have been visiting The Grafton since I was a child and am very excited to be able to launch Chi there. We are really looking forward to bringing Food Social to life alongside all of the other brands.”