Coffee Republic has opened the doors to its first new-look store, in Hove, and has revealed plans for revamping the coffee chain’s bakery range.

Just over a year after Arab Investments bought the chain out of administration in July 2009, CEO Tariq Affara told British Baker that the firm had received positive feedback on the new store design, which will be rolled out gradually across its estate. He said it was also set to open new premises on Tottenham Court Road in London and in Doncaster, both of which will be fitted out in the new style. And he revealed he had around 10 sites earmarked for new outlets. Coffee Republic now has around 50 outlets and 80 concessions.

The new store design, along with a "refresh" of the firm’s brand identity, has been carried out by Terence Conran’s architecture and design company Conran & Partners, in a bid to broaden the appeal of the brand.

Affara said the inspiration for the interior has come from Continental European coffee shops, as well as New York diners. "The founders of the company had lived in New York, so I wanted to bring some of the New York diner feel to the UK," he explained. Window bar seating areas have been introduced, and there is a mix of wood and black-and-white chequerboard flooring.

"In terms of the food, I want to do more than just bring it up to date; I want the firm to really have the finger on the pulse of what is happening," said Affara.

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>>Coffee Republic is sold to Arab Investments