Former Restaurant Sat Bains chef, Alex Bond, has announced the launch of a new solo venture in Nottingham, which is expected to open early next year.
The 40-cover restaurant, which is yet to be given a name, is owned by Merchant House of which Bond is the director.
An application to change the use of a 225 sq m garage on 192 Derby Road, which has been vacant since 1840, was submitted on 13 June, and was given the go-ahead on 11 August by Nottingham City Council.
Bond is hoping to start working on the restaurant soon. Approval has been given to replace the windows, reinstate roof lighting and remove flora from the roof to enable the insertion of ventilation terminals.
After leaving Turners 14 months ago, Bond has been carrying out supper clubs around the country. He regularly hosts evenings at Wired Café Bar in Nottingham, giving him an opportunity to experiment with ideas for the menu.
Dishes will include combinations such as cauliflower and roasted yeast, and raspberry and fermented garlic.
Bond said: "It's about thinking outside the box! Everything has a reason - roasted yeast tastes like cheese, and fermented garlic tastes similar to liquorice, so we aren't just putting random things together. Now I think people are looking for things they can't make at home. Their expectations are higher than ever. It doesn't mean we have to make obscure things but if something is out of the ordinary and done well then that ticks the boxes."
The décor within the restaurant will complement the characteristics of the Victorian building. "It will be relaxed and natural with lots of plant life including living walls and living moss," said Bond. "The roof is flat, so we want to create an urban oasis up there. In the long run, I'd love to have seating up there. That's why we took this building on; it's got so much potential. You can fit almost the same amount of covers upstairs as inside the restaurant."
Bond trained in a variety of Michelin-starred restaurants including Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham and Turners in Birmingham.
Speaking to The Caterer, Bond explained why he wanted to open in Nottingham: "I moved here eight years ago to come and work with Sat and really liked it. If I was to open in London, I would be a small fish in a big pond. Business up here is very different and I think we will be able to stand out more.
"If we are going to create something special does it matter where it is? Sat's restaurant is a perfect example. It's next to a pylon, under a flyover, next to a cigarette factory. Nobody cares where it is! People come from all over because of the reputation. I want people to get on a train from London to Nottingham. We want to be on the Midlands map."
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