Aqua Debuts First Italian Dining Bakery Concept, Luci, In The Yards, Covent Garden
Aqua Restaurant Group has launched Luci, London’s first Italian Dining Bakery, at 136 Long Acre. This opening marks a key addition to The Yards’ portfolio of authentic and high-quality operators, strengthening its position as a key dining destination in the heart of Covent Garden.
Delivering a day-to-night offer spread across two floors, the 836 sq m dining bakery mirrors the heritage of grand Milanese cafes. The ground floor features an 18 meter-long ‘bancone’ which showcases an assortment of Italian goods throughout the day, such as thin focaccia Genovese, ciabatta, and wood-fired pizza by the slice, alongside homemade gelato, sorbet, and cakes, all available for dine-in or takeaway. The first floor offers an intimate dining space for guests with up to 96 covers, where an array of Italian classics can be enjoyed, such as melanzane parmigiana, lasagne, and wood-fired pizzas, all using fresh seasonal produce. The venue has been designed by Robert Angell and Aqua Restaurant Group founder David Yeo, combining the spirit of London with the sunshine of Italy.
Headed up by Chef Andrea Pesenti, Luci delivers an affordable all-day Italian dining concept for visitors, enriching the F&B offer within The Yards. Luci joins a range of independent restaurants, such as Olea Social, the modern Mediterranean restaurant, Gura Gura, the innovative pan-Asian concept, and Lahpet, one of London’s only Burmese restaurants, reinforcing The Yards’ position as a go-to dining destination within the heart of the West End.
“This is a significant moment for The Yards as we welcome one of the most acclaimed restaurant groups to our portfolio. With a varied and diverse offer of intimate dining and grab-and-go, Luci delivers something new and distinctive to our destination, catering to office workers, families, couples, and more. As The Yards nears leasing completion, we are proud of how the community has developed and evolved over the last few years, while the recent opening of Luci highlights how we are continuing to attract the very best of F&B in the industry and provide an unmatched dining offer in the West End”, says Simon Taylor, Property Director at The Mercers’ Company, on behalf of Longmartin Properties Ltd.
The opening of Luci follows the news that Olea Social, the modern Mediterranean restaurant, has launched its debut site within The Yards, Covent Garden. Located at 10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, Olea Social’s 650 sq m restaurant serves ‘new authentic’ dishes paired with regional wines and exclusive cocktails.
Gloucester Quays Strikes Over 1,300 Sq M Of New Deals
Peel L&P has announced a series of new deals at Gloucester Quays, as eight brands have committed to the premier urban outlet in the South West.
Taking new space at the destination is Claire’s, the global jewellery and fashion accessories brand. Operating from a 100 sq m unit, Claire’s Gloucester Quays will include a full array of rings, necklaces, earrings, hair accessories, beauty items, bags, and more, when it opens in September. Greeting card retailer, Hallmark, is relocating from within the outlet into a new unit alongside new entrant Yankee Candle. The leading retailers will operate from a 185 sq m shop with dual frontage, stocking greeting cards, gifts, ornaments, and a huge array of scented candle and wax products from the latter.
Pavers, the family-owned footwear business, has opened a completely refitted store, with the new-look 260 sq m unit having launched at the outlet last week. Adjacent to them will be Bag Barn, which is set to open a 100 sq m debut outlet store for its collections of bags and luggage.
“Our high-quality footwear is designed to provide comfort for everyone, so we are hugely excited to have launched our new store in the heart of a key regional location like Gloucester Quays. We look forward to continuing to welcome the outlet’s visitors to Pavers, and we feel confident that they will love our affordable, comfort-first approach to footwear”, comments Marie Samuels, Area Manager at Pavers.
Among the brands to have recently committed to new deals at Gloucester Quays are the UK’s leading health retailer Holland & Barrett, premium clothing brand Joules, and multinational sporting goods company Asics, taking a combined 650 sq m of space.
Paul Carter, Asset Director at Peel L&P, added: “Gloucester Quays has taken some big steps forward this year, and having a constant stream of new leasing, renewals, and refits is what has kept the offer strong and compelling. All of these brands will help us deliver diversity of retail, creating more choice for our customers, and we are delighted that they have committed to Gloucester Quays.”
Carvela Step Up Their Retail Presence By Joining Outlet Shopping At The O2
Outlet Shopping at The O2 has announced the opening of Carvela, the premium women’s specialist footwear and accessories retailer. It marks the first opening since The O2’s revision of its outlet shopping brand identity and represents yet another first-rate brand joining Outlet Shopping at The O2, strengthening the already diverse and unique offering at the destination.
Occupying a 190 sq m unit opposite Hobbs, this opening marks Carvela’s seventh brick-and-mortar outlet store in the UK, reinforcing the consistent appeal of outlets within the retailer’s portfolio. Designed by the brand’s in-house team, the new store offers a classy yet contemporary interior comprised of white marble flooring and edge-lit display areas in Carvela’s trademark black, white and nude color palette, and stocks the brand’s stylish collection of premium female-focused footwear and bags, featuring high-quality materials and encompassing a luxurious Italian feel.
The opening of Carvela represents the further diversification of the retail lineup at Outlet Shopping at The O2 which has seen significant growth in the last year, with the destination welcoming French Connection’s first outlet store in six years, as well as witnessing significant upsizes and recommitments from several global brands in the last six months, such as Lids, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger.
“Broadening our outlet presence has been part of our ongoing expansion strategy, and with so many complementary brands at The O2 already, it makes the perfect location to add to our portfolio. We’re so pleased to have opened at Outlet Shopping at The O2 and be part of a destination that delivers the very best of retail with a broad selection of customers”, says Ross Warden, Chief Retail Officer at Carvela.
The opening of Carvela follows the recent arrival of Le Creuset, the highly revered French-Belgian cookware brand, to the destination. Best known for its colorful array of heirloom-quality enameled cast-iron crockery, Le Creuset has set up shop adjacent to REISS, and opposite Calvin Klein and Gant on the outlet’s upper level.
“We’re so excited to welcome Carvela to The O2, with this launch once again demonstrating the appeal of our destination to global retailers”, adds Louisa Dalgleish, Leasing Director at Outlet Shopping at The O2. “This year we’ve witnessed continuous growth for Outlet Shopping at The O2, with new well-known brands joining, existing retailers upsizing or renewing their commitment, and our pop-up spaces thriving. We are in such a strong position as we move into the final quarter of the year and look forward to what’s to come for Outlet Shopping at The O2.”