Bagel business ready to spread

Oi! Bagel has announced plans to expand the chain, which launched in December 1998, with the opening of six more outlets in central London over the next 18 months.

The company, branded by Essex design consultancy Pocknell Studios, launched its first site in London’s Marylebone station and is building on its success with a second venue in the capital. It is planning to open a shop in Throgmorton Street in the City at the end of March.

Oi! Bagel founder and general manager Steve King says: “We have now secured funding for a further three outlets and are looking at other sites in London. We are also planning for an AIM listing in June 2001 to raise further capital to expand the chain.”

“We have not yet looked at sites outside London, but will look at expanding into all the major cities including Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff once we’ve got a firm base in London,” he adds.

Unlike the original shop, the new site includes bar stool seating. But King maintains that “its ethos of ‘cawfee and bagel to go’ will remain very much the same”.

“I did research in the US and found that the more successful chains have seating in too.

The 47m2 Throgmorton Street site will have stools for six people, but future venues will be 186m2 and carry seating for 40 to 50 people,” explains King.

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