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Out of Town food court group calls in administrators – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

19 July 2010
Out of Town food court group calls in administrators – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Out of Town food court group calls in administrators

The Out of Town leisure group has fallen into administration following the resignation last week of its sole director, James Burdall, whose other business interests have attracted the attention of the police. Out of Town, which was re-acquired by owner Lawrence Wosskow in 2007, operates restaurants, bars, mall cafés and fast-food kiosks in shopping centres under brands such as Bitz & Pizza, Gardner's Arms, French Cafe, the Lounge, Fresh, Oriental Express, and PotatoBakeHouse. The Sheffield-based group employed around 350 staff, including 100 at the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. According to the Yorkshire Post, the police have been called in since another company owned by Burdall, Forge Dam, went into administration on Friday, when Burdall also resigned as a director of Bradwells Ice Cream in the Peak District. The police are looking into the alleged removal of hundreds of thousands of pounds from Bradwell's accounts. Wosskow, the owner of Bradwell's, has pledged to ensure the company has the funds to survive. - 16 July

Read the full article in the Yorkshire Post >>

Prisoners win £500,000 compensation over food poisoning outbreak

More than 300 prisoners at Wandsworth Prison in London have won compensation in excess of £500,000 after a food poisoning outbreak last September caused by egg mayonnaise sandwiches from the prison kitchen. The prison's infection prevention team admitted responsibility for the suspected salmonella poisoning and the Health Protection Agency blamed the outbreak on "badly cooked eggs". "It affected about 300 of our prisoners and quite a few of the prison wardens," said a prison source. "They suffered from stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea and had to be seen by the prison doctors," a prison source told the Mail. Inmates will be able to claim between £1,000 and £5,000 and it is believed a number of prison staff are also seeking compensation. - 17th July

Read the full article in the Mail >>

Glasgow chosen for first "affordable luxury" citizenM hotel outside Holland

Dutch hotel group citizenM is to launch its first "affordable luxury" hotel outside the Netherlands, ahead of planned openings in London, New York, Paris and Milan. The £100m Glasgow hotel, which opens on 15 August, has been built next to the Theatre Royal at the corner of Hope Street and Renfrew Street. Its 198 double bedrooms, which cost less than £50 a night, feature super-sized beds, flat-screen LCD TVs, power rain showers, full-length mirrors and global plug systems. Moodpads allow guests to control room temperature, TVs, window blinds, alarm clocks and room lighting colour. CitzenM said it "redefines both the budget and the luxury hotel standard." Bookings are made online, electronic touch pads offer self-service check-in and check-out, and bills must be paid by debit or credit card. The bedrooms are built in a factory in Holland, then shipped to Glasgow to slip into the building's superstructure. - 17 July

Read the full article in the Herald >>

Killers of Reform Club chef sentenced to 33 years

The killers of a Scottish chef who worked at the Reform Club in London's Pall Mall have been sentenced to at least 33 years in jail. Naples-born Claudio Lamponi and Sardinian Massimo Manai were found guilty of the murder of Donald MacPherson and his flatmate, Luciano Schiano, at their flat in south London last October. The killers had initially targeted Schiano after falling out over a woman. The body of MacPherson - a twice-married, 60-year-old father of four - was discovered four days after he failed to turn up for work. He had suffered 80 stab wounds and injuries and had been smashed in the face with an iron bar while Schiano, 49, sustained 26 knife wounds. "This was a cold-blooded and remorseless murder. First your compatriot and then an innocent man in his bed - in the wrong place at the wrong time. The injuries to Mr MacPherson beggar description," Old Bailey judge Richard Hone said as he sentenced the accused at the Old Bailey. - 16 July

Read the full article in the Herald >>

Divers retrieve world's oldest drinkable Champagne in shipwreck

Divers have recovered a cache of 30 Champagne bottles believed to date back to the 1780s - making them the world's oldest drinkable Champagne - from a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. Diving instructor Christian Ekstrom said the crew had sampled one of the bottles retrieved from a shipwreck 200 feet below the surface of the Baltic Sea and found it to be a "fantastic" sweet Champagne "with a tobacco taste and oak". He said the bottles, discovered near the Aland Islands between Sweden and Finland, were probably destined for Russia. They have been sent to France for age testing. Swedish wine expert Carl-Jan Granqvist believes the Champagne has been stored in-near perfect conditions and could raise £50,000 a bottle if the corks remained intact. The oldest recorded drinkable Champagne to date has been claimed by Pernod Ricard subsidiary Perrier-Jouet for its 1825 vintage. - 18th July

Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

Pub boss faces life after stabbing customer

A Glasgow pub boss faces life in prison after being convicted of murdering a customer in a row over a bottle of vodka. John McCarron, who has run the Cavendish bar in Glasgow's Nitshill for eight years, was accused of knifing William Auld 16 times in the packed bar. The row broke out around closing time when the son of Auld's girlfriend tried to buy a bottle of vodka. As Auld tried to calm things down, McCarron came at him from behind the bar with a knife. McCarron told the court that the only knife he had handled had been confiscated from a customer earlier. He said he had intended to remove Auld from the bar as he had believed he was the aggressor, adding that Auld had fallen before he was attacked by a mass of other people. Police found a number of weapons at the bar, including a baseball bat, machete and hammer. The verdict followed a two-week trial at Glasgow's High Court. Judge Sean Murphy, remanded McCarron in custody and deferred sentencing until next month. - 17 July

Read the full article in the Scotsman >>

By Angela Frewin

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