TWO new London sites, its first foray into Europe and a new electronically synced indoor karting experience form the pillars of unrelenting growth plans announced today by the hospitality group behind the pioneering Lane7 and Level X concepts.
They say its plans will keep them at the epicentre of how city centre’s will prosper in the future.
Growth at the group, who operate the Lane7 chain of high-end bowling and gaming sites, as well as the newly introduced, futuristic Level X gaming and entertainment venues, has been electrifying in the last 12 months. Owners there say they’re unrelenting with their expansion in the coming year.
There’s an assault on the capital with two new London openings before the end of 2023. The ambition is to open in Victoria towards the end of the year, with another as yet unnamed site also in progression. It will also add a second site in Birmingham’s Bullring, which will be the groups largest venue yet, adding that to another imminent Lane7 opening in Bath this month. Topping all of that will be its first foot into European expansion with a site in Central Dublin, also due to open its doors before the end of the year.
Level X launches will look to continue to take on now vacant city centre, multi-floor department store sites. The popularity of its first Level X, opened in central Glasgow just months ago, has exploded. The first of several new Level X venues will opening in Middlesbrough in the first half of 2023.
Owner and founder of Lane7 and Level X, Tim Wilks says: “When we launched the Lane7 brand ten years ago in Newcastle, the insane customer response immediately told us we had a pioneering concept that other locations across the UK would love.
“Every new site opening has enabled us to push the boundaries further than what even I thought possible. Every time, the customer demand has told us to keep pushing to introduce new experiences and concepts. We’ve been imitated many times over, which is unbelievably flattering, but every new opening, and our breathless expansion plans, show that we remain way ahead of the competition.”
He added: “The growing team here consists of some of the best creative and operational brains in hospitality. We remain fiercely independent, so their shackles are off and the possibilities are endless. Making plans for an aggressive European offensive AND to land hard in London with two sites this year is an enormous statement of intent. We dream big and then deliver. It’s what we do.”
The next Level X site due to open in Middlesbrough in the first half of 2023, Wilks says, will be even bigger and better than Glasgow. It will create a platform for futuristic gaming brands like Alt-Verse and Big Putts and showcase a variety of AI-led games and attractions under the same roof.
The centrepiece in Middlesbrough will be the unveiling of a never-before-seen concept called ‘Drift Hall.’ Wilks explained: “We’re so excited to unleash Drift Hall. This is an indoor karting track, but all karts are electronically synced. Racers will be able to drop virtual banana skins, leave virtual oil patches or throw virtual bombs that will have the ability to physically slow or stop rival racers.
“It’s a mind-bending concept, mixing virtual and real-world experiences. Level X is the future of entertainment today.”
Wilks added: “Ten years ago, we broke the mould and disrupted a social scene that was crying out for evolution.
“We’ve reached a stage where there is not only continued huge demand for our product, but also an expectation from our customers that we keep pushing the boundaries of late-night socialising. Culture evolves, and our high streets need reimagining. Our expansion plans keep us firmly at the forefront of UK hospitality.”