Ernst van Zyl, the chef-owner of three-AA-rosette Cheshire gastropub the Lord Clyde, is to open a second location in the county.
South-African born van Zyl (pictured
With 72 covers, including 30 outside, it will serve a similar level of high-end food as the Lord Clyde, but with simpler recipes at more accessible prices, and in a more pub-style setting.
Van Zyl has said that it was never the plan to open another site so quickly, but once he had been approached by the property owners to open a new, similar-style place, it seemed too good an opportunity to turn down.
The chef will divide his time between the two sites, but will mainly remain cooking at the Lord Clyde, with Richmond moving between the two locations much more. Head chef at the Lord Clyde, Josh Singleton, will move along with much of the existing team to the new site, while van Zyl recruits new staff to manage the original pub.
The move comes almost two years exactly since the opening of the original Lord Clyde pub in 2013, which van Zyl is planning to expand by 20 more covers too - taking it to 50 in total by November - plus a new six-cover chef's table near the pass.
Van Zyl moved to the UK aged 21, and has worked at establishments including London's Park Lane hotel, the Radisson in Manchester, four-star hotel Stanneylands in Wilmslow, and the Etrop Grange hotel in Manchester, as well as stages at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, the Fat Duck and Noma.
Commenting on the new opening, he said: "We got approached, and the offer was just too good to turn down. We saw in it the same potential as we did in the Lord Clyde two years ago. It's a building from the 1600s, proper-style old, traditional pub, surrounded by Mother Nature at her best."
He added: "We want to offer a city-centre style quality of food, but in a country setting. Food is exciting, challenging, and theatrical - it makes you smile and laugh, reminds you of childhood memories. If you want to come in your pyjamas, that's fine, we just want you to relax."
He confirmed that the expansion was not part of a wider plan to create a succession of new pubs, but that if the opportunity arose, he would be open to the idea.
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