Restaurant chain with 200 outlets that's 'better than Wetherspoons' to open seven new branches from next week | The Sun

A MAJOR restaurant chain is taking over high streets around the country, but you may not have even noticed.

Lounge is set to add seven new locations to its portfolio of more than 200 restaurants around the UK over the next few months, the Sun has learned.

The group then plans to open around 20 Lounges each year over the medium-term.

The towns set to get Lounges from next week are:

  • Hexham – November 1
  • St Ives, Cambridgeshire – November 15
  • Paignton – end of November
  • Cramlington – end of November
  • Penrith – start of December
  • Caerphilly – end of December
  • Ashby-de-la-Zouch – mid-January

This follows openings in Carlisle and Louth earlier this month.



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Founded in Bristol in 2002, Lounge opened its 200th restaurant in Buckingham in September this year.

But despite growing to have more outlets than popular brands such as Prezzo and Wagamama, Lounge has kept pretty low key so far.

This is partly because each branch has a different name and appearance, meaning fans may not realise their local is part of a group.

However, those in the know are raving about how much they love it.

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In one review on TripAdvisor, a fan said it's "better than Wetherspoons" with "just the right vibe".

Other customers commented on Instagram that it's "the best" and some fans are begging the chain to come to their town.

While each outlet has unique decor and its own name, the menu is the same wherever you go and includes a wide range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes.

You can find your nearest Lounge by putting your town or postcode into the "find a Lounge" tool on its website.

The high street has struggled since the Covid pandemic due to rising costs forcing households to cut back and a shift towards online shopping.

A number of retailers have closed stores while some, such as Wilko, have disappeared from the high street altogether.

But Lounge joins a number of other shops and eateries expanding throughout the UK this year.

Bakery chain Patisserie Valerie began reopening branches in August, three and a half years after it collapsed into administration in 2019.

Meanwhile, fast food chains Burger King and Dunkin' Donuts have revealed plans to hugely expand in the UK.

Burger King is opening 30 new restaurants by the end of 2023, while Dunkin' Donuts told the Sun it plans to open 30 stores in the next two years.

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US chains Chick-fil-A and Popeyes are also set to open branches in the UK for the first time.

Popeyes is launching its first site in November, while Chick-fil-A should land in 2025.

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