Fledging mid-market restaurant chain Coal has appointed Loch Fyne's Ian Glyn as chairman and revealed plans to open three new sites in the first few months of 2008.
Ian Glyn and Mark Derry were instrumental in transforming Scotland's Loch Fyne restaurant business into the group it is today, which was acquired by Greene King in August for £68.1m.
Coal is set to open in Basingstoke's Festival Place in February, Leeds, subject to final negotiations in March, and Sheffield's Meadow Hall shopping centre in May.
The group, whose first site is in Wimbledon, is also in talks for two other sites but will not now be opening at Liverpool One.
Coal managing director John Gater said a central London location was still being sought and after a brief delay funding of between £5m to £6m was now in place.
"We've enough money now to get to 12 to 13 sites and plan to open five to six restaurants next year and the same the year after," said Gater.
Coal at Festival Place will showcase an evolved look for the group developed by design firm Fusion. Future restaurants will feature wood burning ovens, an open kitchen, charcoal bed and a Scott's of Mayfair style ice counter for produce to add to the theatre of dining out.
By Chris Druce