Nightcap is celebrating its first full year of trading, announcing significant growth, despite the tough covid climate.
Following inception in early 2021, Nightcap was immediately floated, which provided a cash injection to acquire: The Cocktail Club (former The London Cocktail Club). In May, through a significantly over subscribed second funding round, Nightcap successfully acquired: The Adventure Bar Group (including bars such as Tonight Josephine, Bar Elba, and Blame Gloria), and more recently, Barrio – the tequila and taco focussed group of bars.
Each of its brands offer premium, late-night, drinks-led concepts, centred around the consumer experience. The current locations for the groups’ bars are primarily in the capital (with others in cities such as Reading, Bristol, and Birmingham), all continue to thrive, even under the recent pressures that the entire hospitality industry has faced.
Founded by ex-Dragon and renowned UK businesswoman and entrepreneur, Sarah Willingham and public market specialist, Michael Toxvaerd, Nightcap is continuing its expansion in 2022 with openings across the country, including the recently signed Tonight Josephine site in St Mary’s Street, Central Cardiff.
All new bars in the Nightcap portfolio will replicate the uncomplicated business model of its current dwellings, which aim to produce a high return on capital to investors and are proving particularly popular with a resilient millennial audience.
Whilst navigating the continuing obstacles of covid, the appeal to consumers is obvious as the group reported strong sales growth since covid restrictions were gradually lifted from April 2021 and has an unaudited current healthy balance sheet with approximately £9.4m of cash.
Nightcap CEO, Sarah Willingham, comments: “We are delighted to celebrate our first birthday by announcing such a successful H1 of 2022. Despite The Government’s plan B guidelines during the important Christmas trading time, we saw group net sales increase of 46.2% and 22.4% on a like for like* basis for the 26 weeks ended 26 December 2021 – which is fantastic.
Willingham’s hospitality successes include the purchase and sale of Bombay Bicycle Club, Clapham House Group, Chair, and investor in Tonkotsu and investing in businesses such as Craft Gin Club and Feast it, while appearing as a Dragon on the successful BBC TV show, Dragon’s Den.
She continues, “Nightcap was born out of an observation and belief that consumers would continue to enjoy premium drinks-led bars post the pandemic. Since re-opening we have seen unprecedented demand across our sector, even during times with restricted trade.
By floating Nightcap we were able to use our knowledge and experience in public markets and hospitality, with much-needed cash injections from investors to acquire and invest in popular groups of bars, which have, like many others in the UK, taken on substantial debt since the start of covid.
“Whilst Michael and I started the Nightcap journey, this success represents a monumental effort from the entire team who we are grateful and excited to work alongside.
“With our current healthy bank balance and ambitious growth strategy, I am very excited about what 2022 – and beyond – holds for Nightcap, our teams and not least our supportive investors”.