Inception Group reveals plans for Mr Fogg’s roll-out

Duncan Stirling and Charlie Gilkes

Inception Group has revealed its plans for rolling out its Mr Fogg’s concept to three new bars this year, with more to follow in 2019.

After the success of Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair and Mr Fogg’s Tavern in Covent Garden, the group is to open Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals in Newman Street in Fitzrovia in June in the former site of Dickie Fitz restaurant and bar.

Continuing the theme of Jules Verne’s adventurer Phileas Fogg from Around the World in Eighty Days, Inception Group will open Mrs Fogg’s in Broadgate Circle in the City of London in September, inspired by Aouda, his Indian wife.

This will be followed in October by the arrival of Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration in the former site of Bedford & Strand off the Strand in Covent Garden. The group promised there would be further new Mr Fogg’s to follow in 2019.

Charlie Gilkes, who co-founded Inception Group with Duncan Stirling nine years ago, said: “We are delighted about this year’s biggest expansion in the history of Inception Group and the Mr Fogg’s Collection. We look forward to bringing London the next thrilling chapter in our Around the World in Eighty Days journey.”

Growth capital to initially fund the roll-out of the three new sites has been provided by OakNorth, the bank that specialises in supporting entrepreneurs. Its senior debt finance director Deepesh Thakrar said: “The London bar and restaurant scene is one of the most competitive in the world – there are numerous chains and, while these can work very well, a lot of people prefer sites that feel more like hidden gems or speakeasies.

“Charlie and Duncan’s approach – developing venues that have a unique look and feel, as well as individual concepts – has proven to be extremely successful and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Inception Group’s other bars include Barts and Maggie’s in Chelsea, Bunga Bunga in Battersea and Covent Garden, and Cahoots in Soho. They launched Mr Fogg’s Residence in 2013 and Mr Fogg’s Tavern and Gin Parlour in 2015.

The site in Newman Street in Fitzrovia was secured through Restaurant Property, the hospitality property specialist. Its senior surveyor Guy Marks said: “I am a big fan of Inception Group’s quirky, original bars, restaurants and clubs and I realised straight away that the former Dickie Fitz site would be a perfect fit for the group. It was off-market when we approached Charlie and Duncan with the details and I am delighted that we have been able to help them acquire the site.”

Mrs Fogg’s will be part of the new-look Broadgate area that is receiving £1.5billion of investment from joint owners British Land and GIC, creating a mix of workplaces, retail, bars and restaurants.

Claire Barber, head of central London retail and Meadowhall at British Land, said: “Mrs Fogg’s will be yet another great addition to an already fantastic choice of bars and restaurants at Broadgate.

“The team at Inception Group has an excellent reputation for creating unique, fun places for people to eat and drink. Their decision to open at Broadgate shows how successfully the neighbourhood is establishing a reputation as a public arena for new food, retail and culture.”

Pictured: Duncan Stirling and Charlie Gilkes at Mr Fogg’s Residence

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