It's a 'no' from Nando's as search goes on for Grantham cinema restaurants
The man tasked with finding two restaurants to operate out of the new cinema complex says Nando’s will not come to Grantham.
Julian Welch, a director of chartered surveyors Barker, Storey, Matthews, says the national chain of chicken restaurants has said it will not consider taking up one of the units in the new cinema, which is due to open in August.
Mr Welch told the Journal: “Nando’s are taking up quality sites in bigger conurbations with bigger footfall. That’s not to say [Grantham] is not a quality site, but a company like Nando’s gets hundreds of opportunities across its desk every day.”
Mr Welch says he is in talks with potential operators of all sizes, from local businesses to regional and national chains.
He added: “We are struggling to attract serious interest at the moment because people want to see the cinema finished and it has been a building site for a while.
“With the economy as it is at the moment, the food and beverage industry is struggling, but this is a key site which can bring life to the town centre and we hope that will be enough to spur interest.”
A spokesman for Nando's later told the Journal: "We look at a lot of potential sites every year and unfortunately this one didn’t fit into our current restaurant schedule for 2019."
In a recent Facebook poll held by the Journal, an overwhelming number of readers, about 1,500, voted in favour of Nando’s coming to the cinema complex.
Two ground floor restaurant units – one of 296 sqm (3,186 sq ft) and the other, 279 sqm (3,003 sq ft) – are available at the cinema on St Catherine’s Road. The cinema will be run by Savoy which is expanding across the Midlands.
When Barker, Storey, Matthews was appointed last year, Mr Welch said: “Grantham is poised for growth but, historically, the town has not been well-served for quality food and beverage leisure opportunities.
“Restaurant occupiers offering contemporary dining options will see the chance offered by the Grantham Cinema Quarter development to capitalise on commercial opportunities at this new leisure landmark.”
A spokesman for InvestSK said: “Both SKDC and InvestSK continue to work hard to identify potential operators for the A3 units in the cinema. Whilst we all recognise the well-publicised difficulties being faced by national A3 operators, talks are ongoing with a range of parties with a view to securing tenants at the earliest opportunity.”