Bucking the trend - new life for the former Queen’s Head
PUBLISHED: 10:21 10 August 2018
Suffolk entrepreneur Ben Hutton is set to open his second restaurant in Bury-St-Edmunds with the support of a £30,000 funding package from NatWest bank.
A Suffolk entrepreneur and chef is bucking the trend in the hospitality sector by opening his second business in Bury St Edmunds.
Queens Bar and Grill on Churchgate Street will open a few doors down from Ben Hutton’s existing business, the award-winning Ben’s Restaurant, and has been supported by a £30,000 funding package from NatWest bank.
The funding has enabled him to purchase the lease of one of the town’s oldest free house, The Queen’s Head, and to re-open what previously had been a busy town centre pub which closed down two years ago.
The venue will have a bar and an American inspired grill menu, with a courtyard garden for al fresco dining and space to host regular live music and to show live sports.
The revival of the venue has created 10 jobs, said Mr Hutton, including full and part-time bar, front of house and kitchen staff.
Mr Hutton said: “It has been hard work, lots of repair and renovation and cosmetic work, with a six-week turnaround.
“I have a strong family and I am grateful to them for their support, They have been very helpful.
“We have been recruiting, and we are just looking for one more chef. We are opening just with drinks on Saturday, with food from Tuesday. It is really exciting - I am looking forward to it.”
Ben Hutton opened his first restaurant in 2014, serving a menu predominantly sourced from Suffolk producers and suppliers, as well as his own farm where he raises pigs and sheep. He is a champion for local, fresh produce.
Mr Hutton said: “Queens Bar and Grill offers something different to Ben’s Restaurant. It is predominantly a bar with a simplistic grill-style menu for a more informal drinking and dining experience.
“Thanks to the funding from NatWest, I have been able to resurrect a fantastic pub that is part of the town’s history and re-open it with a fresh approach. I look forward to welcoming new and familiar faces as we re-establish The Queens as part of the community.”
The drinks menu includes cocktails, wines, real ales and craft beers, he said.
Frank Moss, NatWest agricultural relationship manager, said: “Ben is undeniably passionate about the restaurant trade and Ben’s Restaurant is evidence of this. With the funding we have provided, he can grow his restaurant offering to cater for a different type of customer and we wish him every success when he opens in August.”