Clarkes leaves a hole in city cen­tre

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Food And Drink -

Lead­ing Peter­bor­ough fine din­ing restau­rant Clarkes has served its last meal in the city cen­tre af­ter more than three years. The restau­rant, which quickly es­tab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion for its food af­ter open­ing in Lin­coln Road in 2011, moved to Queen Street, over­look­ing St John’s Square, two years later.

But New Year’s Eve was the last day trad­ing at the restau­rant be­fore the team re­lo­cates to The Fox in Folksworth, where a huge re­fur­bish­ment has been un­der way since the late sum­mer.

Owner Di­nesh Od­e­dra, who had pre­vi­ously spo­ken of run­ning the two venues in con­junc­tion (The Fox was orig­i­nally sched­uled to open in Novem­ber), said the time was now right to move on.

“Af­ter a busy fes­tive pe­riod we al­ways close in Jan­uary, so this gives us a nat­u­ral break be­fore the whole team starts again at The Fox, hope­fully in the sec­ond half of Jan­uary,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, Queen Street is a stun­ning lo­ca­tion, with views of some iconic build­ings in the city cen­tre, and it has served us well.

“Af­ter mov­ing from Lin­coln Road we were able to take things to the next level, and the move to the new premises in Folksworth will again al­low us to do things a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ently. But you can ex­pect the food to be of a sim­i­lar high stan­dard to what din­ers have be­come ac­cus­tomed to at Clarkes. We have got some great things planned.”

Brew­ery Charles Wells, which owns the for­mer Grapevine pub, is yet to out­line what its plans for it are, al­though the eat­ing and drink­ing scene in the cen­tre has changed im­mea­sur­ably since it last op­er­ated as The Grapevine, with new bars and restau­rants at­tracted to Cathe­dral Square in re­cent years,

How­ever, Di­nesh did add: “They let us know they were in­ter­ested in tak­ing it back but have been good as gold and we have been un­der no pres­sure to move out. The time is right though.”

The Fox has been closed for nearly four years and at one time looked in dan­ger of be­ing flat­tened and the site de­vel­oped for hous­ing be­fore Di­nesh stepped in and bought it ear­lier this year.

The re­fur­bish­ment of the run-down build­ing has gone much fur­ther than first imag­ined, but a new des­ig­nated fine din­ing restau­rant area is be­ing cre­ated - seat­ing about 80 cov­ers - while a new bar area, with its own din­ing space will greet vis­i­tors as they en­ter though the front doors - giv­ing the vil­lage a pub once more.

“The pub side of the busi­ness is very im­por­tant it is some­thing that has been miss­ing in the vil­lage for some years, and peo­ple we spoke to are ex­cited about it,” said Di­nesh.

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