Brighton’s Chilli Pickle has reached its £700,000 crowdfunding target to bankroll an expansion into four “affulent market towns” in southern England. The first new branch is expected to open this summer.
Chef Alun Sperring and his wife Dawn opened the original Chilli Pickle, serving authentic regional Indian cuisine, in Brighton’s Lanes in 2007. Having twice outgrown its surroundings in 10 years, it is now in the newly built Arts Quarter, where it has an annual turnover of £2.2million.
This year, fellow Brighton-based restaurants Giggling Squid and the Coal Shed have announced ambitious expansion plans, reflecting the strength of the dining scene in the south cast city.
Kevin Bacon, the former managing director of Jamie Oliver International, is among the investors who have taken almost 24% of equity in Chilli Pickle, which he has also joined as chairman.
Chilli Pickle regularly attracts top scores for its food in the Harden’s Survey, which this year praised “stunning cooking from a varied and imaginative menu, a great range of craft beers, and amazing breads”. It feels very different from the traditional curry house, and uses non-standard ingredients including venison and oxtail.