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Benito’s Hat to open in St Albans & The O2 Arena

Mexican casual dining chain, Benito’s Hat has announced two brand new branches in St Albans and The O2 Arena, opening in December and early 2019 respectively. The news comes following an investment of £1m to fund a three-year growth plan in London and throughout the UK.

Benito’s Hat St Albans will open in the site previously occupied by Jamie’s Italian Deli on Chequer St and will feature the full Benito’s Hat menu of burritos, tacos, salads and quesadillas as well as a separate bar area serving their renowned margaritas, traditional agua frescas and fresh coffee.

The 02 Arena promises to be a far larger concept and certainly the flagship of the Benito’s Hat brand, boasting 80 covers and a large standalone cocktail bar. The restaurant will form part of the O2 Arena’s new retail and dining development, a stone’s throw away from the new Icon mall, London’s largest cinema and of course the iconic entertainment venue.

Full concept restaurants such the O2 Arena are just one aspect of the Benito’s expansion plan, with new smaller format stores like St Albans opening up growth opportunities in smaller footprints than Benito’s has previously been capable of operating.

The last year has seen small format Benito’s Hat’s opening up in Oxford Westgate and Leicester Highcross shopping centres, joining a portfolio that includes Goodge Street, Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, Bromley, Farringdon and King’s Cross.

Managing Director of Benito’s Hat, Michael Pearson said, “We are hugely excited by this new chapter in Benito’s continued growth but it would not possible without the ongoing support of our investors, particularly Calculus capital who have been a massive support.

'We have been working towards these two new openings for over 12 months, adapting our store model, bolstering our supply chain and further improving our design. The hard work is now finally paying off and we can’t wait to open our doors to new audiences in St Albans and at the O2.”

Benito’s Hat was conceived by Ben Fordham and Felipe Fuentes Cruz. Since launching the original restaurant in Goodge Street in 2008, Benito’s Hat has kept true to its original goals of bringing simple and fresh but modern Mexican food to the UK.