Thistle’s Crown Social restaurant is to be rebranded as the Social following the collapse of its partnership with Crown Hotels and Restaurants (CHR).
The joint venture at Thistle’s Cardiff property, the Parc, which saw former Michelin-starred chef Martin Blunos (pictured) at the helm, was awarded two AA rosettes in May, but will now end on 31 August. The restaurant will subsequently be renamed the Social and will be run by the in-house Thistle team.
The venture had required Crown to manage not only the fine-dining restaurant but other elements of the hotel’s food and beverage operation such as meeting and events, and breakfast. Thistle is currently looking for another chef of Blunos’s calibre to take over the fine-dining restaurant.
Thistle regional operations director Darren Patt said: “This partnership enabled us to launch something fresh and unique to the Welsh capital and we’re looking forward to continuing to exceed our guests’ expectations as we relaunch as the Social in September.”
While a statement from CHR called the split “amicable, to suit both groups’ business development plans”, it comes as an unexpected move, only nine months after the collaboration was announced.
Blunos, who had been running the Crown Social on behalf of CHR, is set to remain with the CHR group while it actively seeks another Cardiff venue.
Jonathan Davies, director of CHR, said: “We are parting on the best of terms from Thistle. The venture at the Parc Hotel with Thistle was a rewarding experience for us both, however we now feel it is the right time to move on and grasp the opportunity to relocate a Crown restaurant at a new premises within the city.”
He added that Blunos is currently reviewing a number of different locations in the city centre in which to establish a new, independent fine-dining Crown restaurant.
CHR is a private family-run hotel group. It has two remaining properties in its portfolio, the Michelin starred Crown at Whitebrook, near Monmouth and the Crown at Celtic Manor.
By Emily Manson
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