Custard Factory seeks restaurateur with flair

14 August 2008 by
Custard Factory seeks restaurateur with flair

Birmingham-based development company CFNX is looking for an independent restaurateur to launch a brasserie-style venture at the city's arts and media venue, the Custard Factory.

The company is calling on chefs and restaurateurs to submit concepts for an "original catering operation" at the centre's Fazeley Studios, in Birmingham's Digbeth area.

The site, which has a separate street entrance, comprises a 120-seat dining space with outdoor area and adjacent winter garden.

CFNX managing director Lucan Gray told Caterer

"For someone with a track record, flair, commitment and a sound business brain, we can remove the hurdles that most people face when they start their business," he said. "With the quality of the location and the right person behind the project, this has the potential to become one of Birmingham's best-loved restaurants."

However, Andreas Antona, chef-proprietor of the Michelin-starred Simpson's restaurant in the city, was doubtful about the project. "The Custard Factory's location isn't great. The venue has struggled over the years and, from a business point of view, whoever takes on a restaurant there will risk a lot," he warned.

"Birmingham now has a sophisticated dining offer and, while any new addition will always be welcome, I'm not sure a restaurant at this venue would work."

But former Antona protégé Glynn Purnell, chef-proprietor of Purnell's, thought the project had huge potential. "I opened Jessica's in the ‘wrong end' of town and it became one of the first restaurants in Birmingham to gain a Michelin star," he said.

"If the right operator goes in there and launches something with an edge, that really works in the space, there's no reason why it shouldn't become massively successful."

The Custard Factory complex is over 100 years old and was once the centre of production for Bird's Custard.

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By Kerstin KÁ¼hn

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