Premier Hospitality



Barburrito – Shoppers flock to new Mexican eatery


Award-winning burrito bar, Barburrito has launched in the new Qube II dining and leisure quarter of the Gateshead Metrocentre shopping mall, with the new venue having been completed on schedule in a fast track project, and reportedly doing very well.

The Mexican restaurant, which provides approximately 58 covers and employs 20 new staff, is part of Barburrito’s latest roll out, incorporating a fresh new store design and revised brand artwork.

The project concept design was created by Afroditi Krassa, with Just H Architects Ltd carrying out the detailed interior design and Medlock FRB as main contractors.

The scheme to create the new venue commenced with an empty shell on the first floor of the development, giving the interior designers a ‘blank canvas.’

An ‘external’ mall seating area is situated before an open 12 m wide open shopfront incorporating branded planters and high level feature metal shelving which is to be filled with plants and arranged around the main ‘Barburrito’ brand signage.

Lucy Jones, director at Just H Architects said: “Internally, a servery counter with digital menu boards along its length is located to the left of the space. Here customers can choose burrito fillings including meat, vegetables and accompaniments such as guacamole and salad from the bespoke servery counter. The counter section also incorporates a bottle fridge, drinks dispenser and two tills.

“Using a palette of greens, greys and natural timber with accents of the brand red, the adjacent dining area incorporates a selection of furniture, including banquettes, dining tables and chairs and a high table and stools.

“A Barburrito brand feature, a huge bespoke floral-patterned commissioned artwork piece by artist Saddo, runs along the back wall of the customer area, and two of the other walls have been treated with a special render to give a textured concrete finish. A selection of Mexican and Latin lifestyle photos and images have been added to the wall in a fly poster effect which is characteristically Mexican’.

“A ‘green wall’ incorporating exotic plants provides another key brand feature in this area, with the overall aim being to create a sophisticated and contemporary indoor/outdoor theme.”

Other design features include a varied series of metal mesh pendant lights over the banquette seating, a red metal ceiling raft and ceramic tiled timber-effect flooring. Walls are adorned with bespoke artwork incorporating witty wordplay.

A window in the back wall of the dining area allows customers to see into the kitchen where burrito fillings are prepared before being transferred to the servery.

Another element of the scheme involved the installation of a complete state of the art stainless steel catering kitchen including flatbed grills, ovens and a preparation area. A wash-up and storage area is located out of sight to the rear of the space.

Other accommodation includes customer toilets.

Lucy Jones said: “The project went very well and was carried out within a fast track programme of just five and a half weeks.

“The main contractors are well experienced in fast turnaround leisure fit outs and did a very good job. We understand that the new venue is currently doing very well and burritos are proving popular.”

The Gateshead opening takes Barburrito to a total of 19 sites across nine cities throughout the UK.

Morgan Davies, Founder and CEO of Barburrito, said: “We are thrilled to open our latest restaurant here in the North East – the Metrocentre is a fantastic destination and a thriving shopping centre. We have proven to be popular in major shopping centres across the UK and provide customers a fast and fresh alternative to traditional restaurants.

“Since we started Barburrito ten years ago, we have striven to provide high quality food at an affordable price and are now welcoming the Metrocentre shoppers to our new look Barburrito!”

Mexican cuisine has taken the fast food industry by storm. Capitalising on this foodie trend, Morgan Davies and Paul Kilpatrick founded Barburrito, the UK’s first burrito bar chain, back in 2005.

The duo were determined to put a fresh spin on this pre-existing restaurant concept and journeyed across North America to see what the world’s best burrito bars had to offer. Inspired by what they tasted, they set up shop in Manchester and later opened a further ten sites across the UK, each selling fresh, Mexican-inspired food in a fast-paced, casual dining environment.

Morgan says: “We started the great burrito revolution in this country and we intend to keep growing and developing to become the UK’s most-loved burrito bar brand.”



LAUK is a Midlands based lighting distributor that specialises in providing turnkey lighting design and supply chain solutions for corporate customers within the commercial, retail and hospitality sectors.

LAUK was established in 1996 in response to a demand from retail businesses to partner an independent lighting expert that could specify, stock and distribute products that formed part of an estate upgrade programme in addition to every day product replacement requirements.

During its 20 years of operation, LAUK has serviced a wide range of blue chip clients such as BMW, Next, Marks & Spencer, Alpha Fiat, Vision Express, McDonald’s Restaurants and Aston Martin.

LAUK’s involvement with Barburrito was made via an architect’s referral where specialist lighting design and the use of bespoke lighting products were an integral part of the new restaurant design concept which included the change of lighting moods at different times of the day. The initial concept design used at Barburrito Cardiff became a roll out template for use at both new and refurbished restaurants.

LAUK has an established credibility within the lighting industry and enjoys purchasing agreements with all of the leading commercial lighting manufacturers; this has facilitated long term relationships with both specifiers and customers.

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