Russell Norman and Richard Beatty – the founders of Polpo – are to launch their Spuntino brand in UK airports.
Following an exclusive franchise agreement with TRG Concessions, Spuntino will open its first airside site this year. The location is yet to be decided.
Spuntino, meaning snack in Italian, offers small plates of Italian-influenced New York cuisine, including: the Marla Singer burger (named after a character from the 1999 film Fight Club); truffle egg toast; lobster mac ‘n’ cheese; Bismarck pancake with fried buttermilk chicken and maple syrup; and snacks such as sesame eggplant chips with fennel yogurt, and homemade pickles.
Norman (pictured) said: “When I fly and I’m killing time in airport terminals, I often think, ‘why isn’t there somewhere more like Spuntino – tasty small plates, comfort cooking, lots of donuts, real cocktails and friendly service?’ Our partnership with TRG Concessions has given us a unique opportunity to achieve that.”
Nick Ayerst, managing director at TRG Concessions, added: “We have been in talks with Russell and his team for a number of years and are pleased to have secured a top London restaurateur as our franchise partner. We are looking forward to announcing future openings in the not too distant future.”
Earlier this year, Norman and Beatty announced the closure of the Polpos in Exeter and Bristol and the company’s Ape & Bird in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. Managing director Scott Macdonald said it would be “tempting and convenient” to blame negative market forces for the sales but insisted the company enjoyed a record-breaking final quarter of 2017 and had plans for the expansion of the Polpo and Spuntino brands in 2018.
Beatty and Norman’s restaurants now include Polpos in Brighton and London’s Chelsea, Covent Garden, Soho, Smithfield and Notting Hill, and Spuntinos in Soho and Bristol.
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