Steve Locke, co-founder of cocktail chain Be At One, is returning to the central London bar scene with a new solo project entitled Lockes, Propel has learned. The venture has soft launched at the former Great Queen Street restaurant site in Covent Garden ahead of what is expected to be a full opening next month. Propel understands the new concept is aimed at the “discerning drinker looking for less and better”. The bar will offer classic cocktails and signature drinks along with an extensive wine list available by the glass, craft beer and sharing plates. Locke founded Be At One in Battersea in 1998 with fellow former TGI Friday’s bartenders Rhys Oldfield and Leigh Miller. Private equity firm Piper invested £8m in the business in 2011. Be At One, which had grown to 33 sites across the UK, was acquired by Stonegate Pub Company in July 2018 in a deal that valued it at circa £50m. Stonegate has opened a further five sites under the brand since the deal, with the remaining Living Room site in Manchester’s Deansgate set to become the 39th Be At One. Earlier this year Oldfield invested in fledgling kebab restaurant concept BabaBoom. (PROPEL)
MKR Property acted on behalf of Great Queen Street Restaurant who had been trading successfuly for 12 years. Given the sencitivity of the sale, MKR Property were tasked with marketing the site very discreetly. Despite this, MKR Property managed to secure a number of bids and ultimately negotiate a successful assignment of the lease for a substantial premium.
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