Bristol-based casual dining and bar group Loungers has opened its 19th site, in Southampton, as it announced an addition £1m of funding after switching to Santander from RBS.
Santo Lounge is now open in the Shirley suburb of Southampton following a £300,000 investment.
The high street site, which is the group's 17th under its Lounge café/bar concept, is 2,300sq ft and was secured at a rent of £32,500 per annum.
Loungers managing director Alex Reilley (pictured) said: "We actually agreed a deal on the site three years ago (subject to landlords works) so it's great to finally have it open, particularly as the first week of trading has been very strong", he added.
Talking about the bank switch, Reilley added: "A lack of consistency and too much uncertainty from RBS compared to a genuine appetite to support the growth of the business from Santander". The move to Santander will see the refinancing of Loungers' existing £1.3m debt with the addition of £200k headroom into the business plus a £800k revolving facility.
"With the £800k facility from Santander in place we can now develop out our pipeline of sites at pace and push ahead with our goal of having 32 sites by mid-2013", Reilley said.
Loungers is working on its 20th site, which is in Stamford, Lincs. It will be the group's third Cosy Club and is expected to open in late October.
It is understood that Loungers has Cosy Club sites lined up in Exeter, Cardiff and Salisbury and has Lounge sites lined up in Bournemouth (two sites), Birmingham, and Hove.
By Neil Gerrard
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