Double Catey-winning restaurateurs Andrew and Lisa Radford are set to return to the Edinburgh restaurant scene after being forced to close their last business just over a year ago.
The launch of the 80-seat Timber Yard in mid-June in the theatre district of the city - situated just below Edinburgh Castle - will be very much a family affair. The Radford's oldest son, 27-year-old Ben, currently head chef at Café St Honoré in Edinburgh, will head the kitchen, while second son Jo, 24, will be front of house and daughter Abi, 20, will be the restaurant's personal assistant in charge of social media.
Located in a former warehouse which at one time stored theatrical props and costumes, the Victorian building was used as a timber yard - hence the name - until four years ago when it became derelict. It will cost £100,000 to convert to a restaurant and will retain a warehouse feel to the interior.
"Timber Yard will be better and more exciting than anything we've ever done before," explained Radford, who previously ran Atrium for 18 years and Blue for 14 years. The two restaurants closed early last year due to a catalogue of events including the recession, the ash cloud, bad weather, a reduction in the number of people working in the building where they were located and building work in a neighbouring concert venue.
"We have had a bit of a fight with the authorities to retain the character of the building, but they've now agreed that we can keep the four metre high ceilings, the beams and the timber floors," said Radford.
"Our approach to the menus will be as it has always been: good, easily accessible and affordable food. There are several courtyards - one where we can accommodate an additional 40 seats in good weather and another where we intend to grow fruit, vegetagbles and herbs in raised beds. We shall also have a smoke house and produce our own home cured and smoked meats and fish."
The Timber Yard will employ 16 staff.
Radford won the Newcomer Award at the 1994 Cateys and the Independent Restaurateur of the Year Catey in 2000.
By Janet Harmer
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