London Cocktail Club owner Nightcap has revealed plans to grow the brand from 10 to 40 sites over the next five years with negotiations on "several" new leases already underway inside and outside of London.
Nightcap, co-founded by ex-Dragon's Den investor and hospitality entrepreneur Sarah Willingham to focus on the UK bar and late-night sector, has released interims for the period to 31 December 2020, reporting good progress in building a property pipeline for its first acquisition, the London Cocktail Club (LCC), which it acquired for initial consideration of £5.7m.
In the period – from the inception of the group in September 2020 to 31 December 2020 – the company was essentially a cash shell, as its first acquisition did not complete until 13 January 2021, the same day of its initial public offering on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
Of LCC's existing sites, five are planned to reopen in April when guests can be served outdoors, with the remaining five planned to reopen in May when indoor trading can recommence. The group reported a strong cash position with £3.75m as at 28 February 2021.
Nightcap chief executive Willingham said: "In line with our expectations, the damage done to the property and hospitality sectors by the pandemic is giving us access to new sites in prime locations with lower rents, increased incentives and lower capital costs per site than previously experienced. Given this, we are confident in our ability to provide even better returns on our capital employed than historically."
She added: "Our mission and the reason for establishing Nightcap has not changed. We want to grow LCC especially beyond London, and we need to find more great businesses with strong and motivated leadership teams, which perhaps now lack the capital to expand and release their growth potential."