Holm to launch £60,000 crowdfund to become restaurant with rooms

13 March 2023 by
Holm to launch £60,000 crowdfund to become restaurant with rooms

The team behind Holm in Somerset have announced plans to launch a £60,000 crowdfunding campaign to add seven bedrooms to their restaurant this summer.

Founders Nicholas Balfe, Mark Gurney and Matt Bushnell, who also operate south London neighbourhood restaurants Levan and Larry's, opened Holm on the ground floor of a three-storey former bank in South Petherton in November 2021.

The trio had always wanted to make use of the full building, which dates to the 1830s. As the restaurant progressed, they were able to convince the landlord to transform the top two floors into accommodation.

The aim is to raise £60,000 for the pre-opening costs of the rooms, which include back of house systems such as booking engines and websites, as well as decorative vases and ceramics for the "finishing touches".

Funds will also go towards the fit-out of a mixed-use community space that will host yoga classes in the mornings and honesty bar gatherings in the evenings.

Chef and co-director Nicholas Balfe told The Caterer: "It's a really ambitious project which comes with significant costs, so we are going to run a crowdfunding campaign to get the project over the line. We've funded the building project at our expense [so] we've gone 90% of the way; we just need that last push to get the last 10%."

He said being able to serve an additional 14 guests at his 44-cover restaurant every night would be "really significant in this day and age of tight margins".

The team have collaborated with architect Gundry & Ducker to restore all the period features of the building, such as Georgian windows and original arches.

They were also keen to ensure that the accommodation shared the "same DNA" with the restaurant's contemporary feel and design.

The rooms will build on the restaurant's wider ethos of championing sustainability and working with local suppliers, Balfe said.

A designer and friend of Balfe's will build bespoke furniture for Holm's rooms, while all the joinery will be made from sustainable oak.

The crowdfunding campaign, which is due to soft launch on 4 April and officially start on 26 April, will offer anyone who pledges £500 or above an exclusive overnight tasting menu experience.

Balfe said: "Having that experiential element is the thing that people get really excited about in hospitality. I'm really excited about creating that inner circle of people who have supported us from the get go and looking after them."

He added: "We want to try and be accessible, but we want to offer a level of luxury and make someone feel special."

Room rates will start from £140 and are expected to rise to the £200 mark at peak time.

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