Martlesham: Black Tiles under new management

SUFFOLK pub and restaurant entrepreneur Tim Yeo has called time on his involvement in the Black Tiles, the popular dining pub at Martlesham, after 22 years.

Mr Yeo has sold the business to Greig Barnes, previously general manager at the Yeo Group, which also includes The Alex and the Caf� Bencotto in Felixstowe, and Adrian Carr, formerly head chef at The Alex.

In a message to customers, Mr Yeo and his wife Julie said: “It is with mixed emotions that we write to tell you that as of April 1st, Black Tiles will no longer be part of Yeo Group. We are handing over the reins to Greig Barnes and Adrian Carr who will operate as Black Tiles Pub Company.

“Greig has most recently been our general manager at Yeo Group overseeing the three venues, but has particularly identified with Black Tiles, and Adrian was our first head chef at The Alex and has continued to work with us on an ad hoc basis since.

“We have great respect for them both and know that with their knowledge, skill and ambition to succeed in their own business that they will put their all into Black Tiles and build on its success in a way we feel Yeo Group is no longer able to do, as we concentrate our attentions on the venues in Felixstowe.”

Mr Yeo took on the tenancy of the Adnams-owned Black Tiles following the sale in 1988 of the Ordnance Hotel in Felixstowe, which his parents Mary and Denys had leased in 1979 before later emigrating to Spain.

He initially ran the Black Tiles, and The Pickerel, a Greene King pub in Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds, in partnership with his brother, James, but when James left the business Tim decided to concentrate on the Black Tiles.

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In 2000, Tim and Julie Yeo purchased Cordy’s Alexandra Restaurant on Felixstowe seafront and, after trading for a time, closed it for a major refurbishment before reopening as The Alex in 2001.

In 2006, they also acquired the Bencotto Restaurant and an adjacent caf� in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, which, following another major refurbishment project, was relaunched in 2009 as Caf� Bencotto.

Besides the two Felixstowe restaurants, the Yeo Group also made its first foray into the hotel sector in January this year with the acquisition of the Fludyer Arms Hotel in Underlciff Road, Felixstowe.