Spanish restaurant La Sala is to open its first UK site as part of plans for a wider roll-out, chaired by former La Tasca entrepreneur James Horler (pictured).
A new company financed through an enterprise investment scheme aiming to raise £3.5m to 4.5m, the La Sala UK brand is hoping to expand over the next three years. Initial plans for the first year include two restaurants including this first site, which is expected to be close to London, while the second planned location – possibly Essex ‒ is under consideration. More sites are still at planning stage.
The UK branches will aim to serve the same menu as the Spanish restaurant-bar, which is located in the upmarket celebrity hang-out of Puerto Banus, near Marbella. An all-day offer includes drinks from coffee to Champagne, and a Mediterranean-style menu championing fresh produce. There will also be live music in the evenings.
Famous names are part of the existing La Sala brand, with celebrities such as Prince Albert of Monaco, Eva Longoria, Jamie Oliver and footballers David Bentley and Ashley Cole known to have frequented the Marbella bar, as well as and TV and music names such as Little Mix and the cast of The Only Way is Essex.
Horler is overseeing the UK rollout as chairman, alongside his other ventures 3Sixty Restaurants, Red Hot World Buffet, Charterhouse Leisure, Ping Pong and Patisserie Valerie. He previously took the Spanish tapas and paella brand La Tasca from 16 restaurants to 74, and oversaw its £134m sale in 2007.
Commenting on the plans, Horler said: “The La Sala brand already has international recognition, celebrity style status and is a firm favourite with Britons who holiday in Southern Spain.
“We are aiming to bring a little bit of sunshine to these shores transferring the La Sala blend of atmosphere, quality, exceptional service and value that is part of the proven formula for success. I am really excited about this opportunity.”