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New chicken restaurant concept to launch at intu Lakeside £72m expansion

A new chicken restaurant brand, created by some of the dining industry’s most successful figures, has been served up to shopping centre owner, intu for the launch of its multi-million-pound intu Lakeside expansion.

Chiktopia, a start-up fried and grilled chicken restaurant backed by a group of casual dining and branding experts, will make its debut within the new leisure-led part of intu Lakeside this summer where it will benefit from being in close proximity to a range of incoming attractions.

intu has selected the brand and a range of other leisure and dining operators for the £72m extension of the popular shopping destination which is predicted to boost intu Lakeside’s 20 million footfall by over 2 million a year according to data and analytics company CACI.

Other new arrivals include Puttshack, a hi-tech mini golf experience currently only operating in London, and Hollywood Bowl, which has already launched a 24-lane bowling venue there. Thriving food halls business Market Halls has also selected the site for the launch of its first shopping centre concept, The Hall.

Chiktopia will lie within the heart of the scheme and offer around 120 covers from breakfast until late, serving up fried and grilled chicken burgers and tenders, skinny fries, salads, wraps, vegan and veggie options and thick dairy shakes.

The new concept is being led by Alastair Gordon, formerly of Ole & Steen, and advised by a group of senior industry figures including Dan Einzig, founder of Mystery Design, Mark Lilley, CEO of Abokado and Richard Morris MD of Tortilla.

Alastair Gordon said 'We’re so excited that Chiktopia will be hatching soon and absolutely delighted to have been chosen by intu to launch in this flagship new leisure scheme. It’s unusual for a start-up concept to have such a high profile first site but credit to everyone at intu who has taken the time to really understand our vision for Chiktopia.”

“A huge amount of work has gone in over the last few months, all focused on giving British consumers the best possible chicken experience imaginable. intu Lakeside, with its mix of couples and families and driven by both state-of-the-art leisure experiences and a well-established retail destination, is the perfect platform on which to demonstrate the broad appeal of our brand and our philosophy of fast food to feel good about.”

Rebecca Ryman, regional managing director for intu, said: “intu Lakeside is one of the country’s most popular and best-known shopping centres and competition for space within our new leisure development has been high. This has allowed us to select the brands who we believe will offer the best possible experience to our customers and who will really thrive at intu Lakeside as a result.

“Chiktopia is an exciting new concept with a really strong appeal for our customers, making it the perfect addition to our flourishing line-up of new operators.”