Birmingham is to lose one of its Michelin-starred restaurants with the closure of Jessica's this summer.
Co-owners Keith and Diane Stevenson plan to call it a day when head chef and business partner Glynn Purnell leaves the restaurant they set up together in 2003. Purnell is planning to launch his own project.
The closure of Jessica's, which won the AA's Restaurant of the Year in its first 12 months and a Michelin star in 2005, will leave Birmingham with a single Michelin-starred restaurant, Simpson's in Edgbaston.
Purnell, with his wife and business partner Kerry O'Carroll, has secured a 15-year lease on a former contemporary furniture show room in Birmingham's financial district, which will open at the start of July. The restaurant will be called Purnell's, and will open from Tuesday to Saturday.
It will be the first time Purnell, 32, has been chef-proprietor, and he described the move as a dream come true. "The food will be an evolution of what I have been doing at Jessica's," he said. "But I'd certainly like to think that I can push on and in five to seven years achieve two Michelin stars."
Purnell's will be housed in a corner-facing Victorian building with a "gallery feel", courtesy of heated black-slate tiles, skylight and gantry with studio lighting. The 45-cover restaurant will feature a separate private dining room of 12 covers. In the kitchen, Simon Szymanski will continue in his sous chef role from Jessica's, while Jean-Benoit Burloux will step up from assistant restaurant manager at Jessica's to manage front of house.
By Chris Druce
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