Expansion For Cathedral Quarter Business
A Cathedral Quarter bar and coffee house is due to open the latest expansion to its business following a £200,000 refurbishment of its 200-year-old building.
Sadlergates originally opened last year – relocating its long-established Café B coffee house which has since developed into a bar in the evening serving a wide range of fine beers and wines from throughout the world.
Owners Paul Hurst and Greg Hutchby had always intended to open a restaurant on the first floor and, since completing a major external and internal refurbishment which attracted funding from the City Council and English Heritage under the shop front restoration scheme – their dream has now become a reality.
Sadlergates Black Rock Grill will officially open on Friday September 23 – bringing a new restaurant experience to Derby – and will be closely followed by the final stage of fully utilising the building with an imminent launch of a business lounge and meeting room and private dining rooms.
The restaurant will specialise in the 2,000 year old concept of cooking and serving food on specially-sourced volcanic rocks which are heated to a scorching 450 degrees for a menu ranging from beef, kangaroo and crocodile steaks to seafood and vegetarian fayre.
The rocks are then brought to your table so the food can be cooked to perfection and to diners’ own personal tastes.
Greg explained: “I first came across this concept in America and the Mediterranean where it is extremely popular and was keen to offer something new to Derby’s restaurant scene.
“The volcanic rock method works best with prime cuts of meat with no fat – making it ideal for more unusual and high quality cuts and, as the hot rock seals all the natural juices, nutrients and flavours into the dish, it is healthy as well as delicious.
“The restaurant will initially be open on Friday and Saturday nights with seating for 50 people and we then plan extend our opening hours to compliment the coffee shop which is open 7 days week.”
Paul, who is a member of the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District management group, continued that the restoration of the building had been a labour of love and the restaurant opening will be a major milestone for him and his staff.
“When we decided that we had outgrown the previous Café B, I was keen to remain in the Cathedral Quarter which is a fantastic area and is becoming renowned for its café culture.
“This building came on the market but was totally unloved and needed considerable investment to firstly bring it back to its former glory and to make it fit for the purpose we wanted.
“As part of the restoration and in line with the heritage grant, everything from the lime plaster and horse hair walls to the original sash windows and shop front has had to be restored exactly to the original design.
“This has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done and my heart still pounds when I walk along Sadler Gate and see how fantastic the building now looks – both inside and out.”
Final preparations are now underway for the launch of the business lounge and meeting room – giving people the room and facilities to work remotely with access to free wifi and also meet up with their customers away from the office.
Paul concluded: “We are now using every single room in the three-storey building and have even had to lease a unit in Blacksmiths Yard behind us for administration staff and to provide our restaurant and café staff with suitable changing facilities.
“Many people have said that we must be mad to be expanding in this tough economic climate but we were determined to invest in the Cathedral Quarter and do our bit for giving more people a reason to come here both during the day and in the evening and a very important part of this is to bring unique new and exciting ideas to Sadlergates.
“Offering a high quality service with a diverse range for people of all ages is the only way to survive these times and I am confident that by diversifying what Sadlergates has to offer – we and the rest of the Cathedral Quarter will reap the benefits.”
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