Northern news wrap

Fine-dining restaurant in Harrogate to close for good

AWARD-WINNING chef Tom Van Zeller announced on Instagram that he is closing his fine dining restaurant in Harrogate’s Montpellier Quarter for good.

Zeller said via the social media site that the restaurant, Van Zeller, couldn’t cope with the ‘staggering’ amount of recent openings.

“Further economic uncertainty and a staggering eight new openings in Harrogate leave me with little choice. Thank you for your custom & support,” he said.

A number of chain restaurants, including Byron Burgers, Cau, ASK and Yo Sushi! have recently opened with Five Guys set to open later this year.

These chains will be accompanied by other recently opened town centre restaurants including Nandos, Jamie’s Italian and Las Iguanas.

The increasing amount of competition across the town has already seen Harrogate’s landmark Bed Restaurant announcing its closure in April.

CELEBRITY chef Gordon Ramsay is to open restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh more than a decade after his last Scottish venture closed.

It comes 12 years after Ramsay shut the doors on his Glasgow restaurant Amaryllis.
The chef said online: “I can’t wait to open up again in Glasgow. “It would be a dream come true again, definitely.”

THE Michelin-starred chef has opened two French restaurants – Brasserie Blanc in Knutsford and The Oakwood in Alderley Edge. The pubs, Blanc’s first foray into the north of England, were opened under his White Brasserie brand.

The 120-cover Brasserie Blanc has transformed the historic Royal George building on Regent Street, Knutsford, into a “chic European dining room” designed to give diners a feel of French family life.

The Oakwood on Brooke Lane has around 60 covers for dining, 50 flexible seating spaces in the bar for drinks and casual eats and a 50-cover beer garden. The menu is said to be influenced by the old pub it occupies.

A NEW report by Rabobank warns that Brexit will have critical implications for the UK’s beverage sector when considering the UK’s role as both a major importer of wine and a major supplier of scotch.

The report said the Brexit vote would have critical implications for the wine industry, with knock-on effects felt in nearly all major wine-producing regions.

It stated: “The prospect of the largest wine-importing country in the world leaving its free trade agreement with the largest wine-producing region in the world will have an obvious impact on trade flows in the long term, but the marked devaluation of the British pound will begin to drive some of those changes almost immediately. The EU is, by far, the largest supplier of wine to the UK – France, Italy and Spain alone supplied 60% of British imports in 2015 – and assuming the soft British pound reduces demand for wine imports, those wines will need to find new markets. EU suppliers are expected to redouble their efforts in other markets, such as the US and China, which will impact domestic suppliers, as well as other foreign competitors.”

For beer, the report said although the UK was a fairly open beer market (18% of consumption volume is imported and 13% of production volume exported), most leading brands were owned by international brewers with production facilities in both the UK and abroad. It said British brewers, including the craft beer sector, could see domestic competition ease as foreign competitors were affected by weakness in the British pound and the long-term threat of trade barriers.

For the global spirits market, the weakness of the British pound would begin to have an impact on British spirits imports but would provide opportunities for scotch exports in the near term. It said scotch suppliers were clearly concerned about the potential of losing the free trade agreement with their largest market. However, it added that if Scotland broke away from the UK and remained in the EU, this would alleviate the problem for scotch suppliers but EU wineries might be “less happy about providing free access to the EU market for scotch without receiving reciprocal access to the British market for wine”.

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it will revisit the rules on crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending to check customers know the risk of placing their money on such platforms. The industry has ballooned from £500m in crowdfunded investments in 2013 to £2.7bn last year, according to the FCA. The regulator said it was exploring whether inexperienced customers are properly informed before placing their money into these online vehicles. It added any rule change should “support the development of this dynamic market”.

INDIAN restaurant Tapasya is opening its newest restaurant at Hull’s Fruit Market in September 2016. The restaurant follows a £1m investment by founders Tapan Mahapatra and Mukesh Tirkoti, who launched the first eatery for the brand on Beverley Road. The site, overlooking Hull Marina, will be named Tapasya @Marina in keeping with the branding of the major cultural development. It is expected to create 30 jobs.

DANIELI Holdings has announced plans to expand its bar-restaurant concept Yolo with a second site, in Newcastle city centre. The company, led by Neill Winch, opened the first Yolo, which stands for You Only Live Once, in Ponteland, Northumberland, in September 2015. Now Winch hopes to open a second Yolo venue at a site in High Bridge. Collective Design is working on interior designs for the venue, with a possible name tweak to reflect its location. The three-storey site spans 2,556 square feet. A licence application has been submitted asking for permission to open from 7am to 2.30am. The city centre venture would mark the company’s third bar venture after its takeover of Bar B, formerly Bannatyne, in The Gate, Newcastle.

ARRAN Brewery is set to launch a new crowdfunding initiative to fund its expansion plans in the UK, Europe and the US and bring bottling production in-house. Arran Brewery used a first round of crowdfunding in late 2013 to open import companies in the US and Spain, to purchase sites for expansion, and to complete the first phase of an upgrade of its brewery on the isle of Arran. It also developed a lager brewery, hotel and visitor centre on the banks of Loch Earn in St Fillans, Perthshire. In addition, Arran’s Devils Dyke Brewery in Cambridgeshire, which the company acquired in April 2015, is set to begin production later this summer. Arran has also been seeking expansion through acquisition, having recently failed to purchase the Loch Ness Brewery from its liquidator.

CELEBRITY chef Michael Caines to open a fine dining restaurant in North Wales country house hotel. The Two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines plans to launch in late August/early September at Palé Hall Hotel in Gwynedd, North Wales. Caines is working alongside new owners Alan and Angela Harper on refurbishment of the grade II-listed country house hotel in Llandderfel, near Bala. The restaurant will feature three dining areas offering breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The largest will be the grand main dining room, followed by the Venetian-themed alternative dining room, and the library for private dining. The 18-bedroom hotel will host musical evenings and outdoor activities in the grounds. Palé Hall dates to the late 19th century and has hosted some of Britain’s most famous figures, including Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill.


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