Property developers in Liverpool are calling on Michelin-starred chefs to raise the bar of the city's dining scene as it prepares to become European Capital of Culture next year.
Since being chosen for the 2008 Capital of Culture title, Liverpool has experienced increased investment in its restaurant offerings, such as the £950m Liverpool One development, which will feature the likes of Brasserie Blanc, Loch Fyne and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
However, developers are warning that Liverpool is in desperate need of more top-end restaurants and high-profile chefs.
Simon Evans, director of development group Huntsmere, which is working on a £13.5m mixed-use development called Atria, said that while the status of European Capital of Culture was worth celebrating, Liverpool was missing out on the huge element of culture that is fine dining.
"Liverpool is booming, with new hotels, a new convention centre and the Liverpool One development," he told Caterer.
"But to complement this glory, the city needs a diverse top-end restaurant offering including a signature restaurant by a celebrity chef."
Paul Heathcote, director of Heathcotes, who has an eaterie in Liverpool, said a Michelin-starred restaurant could be hugely beneficial for the city, but he also issued a word of caution.
"Liverpool could certainly do with more of a fine-dining offering and this could be a great asset to the city," he said. "However, it need not necessarily be a three-starred establishment by a really high-profile chef as it would be difficult to sustain business at such a high level in Liverpool, both in terms of the market and the continued investment in staff."
Huntsmere is currently in talks with chefs to bring a fine-dining restaurant to its Atria development, which will include space for a restaurant, gourmet deli and a spa.
Read more restaurant news here >>By Kerstin Kühn
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