Grosvenor’s Liverpool ONE is “the perfect shopping centre”, according to Scott Munro, co-founder of restaurant Red’s True Barbecue which is set to open its first Liverpool branch later this year.
“At Liverpool ONE, we feel like we’re part of a shopping centre, but not ‘in’ a shopping centre,” Munro said. “There needs to be a centre like that in every city. It’s not centralised, it’s perfect and is exactly the kind of place we need to be.”
The Liverpool ONE site will be the second Red’s in the North West, following the success of the branch in Manchester’s Albert Square.
Munro was speaking as part of a BCSC seminar panel, titled ‘Eat, Drink & Be Merry’, alongside Ross Shonhan, founder of London-based chain Bone Daddies; Ben Russell, acquisitions director of Ennismore; and Phil Derbyshire, group property director of Casual Dining Group, which controls brands such as Las Iguanas, Bella Italia, and La Tasca.
The tricky issue of how a restaurant or hotel could retain a sense of individuality across multiple outlets was a key topic for the panel.
“We have an 80/20 rule with our sites,” said Munro. “We aim for 20% to be recognisable, and 80% to be something new. Barbecue is a tiny part of the market here, but it’s massive in the US, so we feel like we’re on the precipice of a much larger phenomenon.
“We want to push the barriers and be more risky, which we couldn’t do if we tried to open lots of sites at once because you need to go for a ‘lowest common denominator’ approach.”
By contrast, Casual Dining Group’s Derbyshire said that,