Emke Group expands restaurant business

Emke Group, the parent company of Lulu Supermarkets and hypermarkets, is expanding its restaurant business with the opening of another outlet under new brand in Al Barsha, Dubai, on Tuesday.

Tablez Food Company, group’s subsidiary, will open three new high-end restaurants in the UAE and has ambitious growth plans for  the UAE, GCC and Indian subcontinent, said Shafeena Yousuf Ali, Chief Executive Officer, after opening the first 5,000 square feet Pepper Mill Restaurant.

The group already owns a small restaurant called Bloomsburry’s in Abu Dhabi.

“We have big plans in food retail business and our first outlet, Bloomsburry’s, has been quite successful in Abu Dhabi. It is based on a cup-cake-concept with London-based master pastry chef Bea Vo to create the cupcake concept in the Middle East. Pepper Mill is a fine dining Indian restaurant to provide Dubai residents with an exceptional and delectable dishes of the colonial Indian Era,” Shafeena said.

She said Tablez flagship stores will first be rolled out in GCC and India - where the group has a dominant presence of Lulu shopping malls, hypermarkets and supermarkets - before taking the brand worldwide. The group enjoys location advantage in different parts of the UAE as the parent company has outlets all across the UAE, GCC and plans to have the biggest retail market in India.

“We plan to open De Thale in Abu Dhabi bringing the Thali culture to Abu Dhabi and an Arabic restaurant, Tanjara, offering Iranian, Lebanese and Moroccan food all in a new cultural environment.

“We want to be exclusive to Lulu outlets, but in terms of business we are just tenants and buyers of our raw material from the supermarket chain. We also plan to open Catch, a high-end sea food restaurant, in Mushriff Mall, Abu Dhabi. We have many ideas in the food industry and major expansion is planned before 2012,” she said.

Along with Lulu Group International, Tablez will expand to India where the group is opening the country’s largest shopping mall — which will have 1.8 million sq. metres of retail space – in Kochi. “The mall is a gateway for Tablez to showcase our concepts into the Indian market. The projects around the GCC include three new malls in Kuwait, three in Oman, two in Saudi Arabia one each in Qatar, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain,” Shafeena said.

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