Restaurant regains historic identity

AN ESSEX restaurant has gone back to its historic roots by reverting to its previous name of The Old Siege House due to popular demand from its customers - and puzzled taxi drivers.

AN ESSEX restaurant has gone back to its historic roots by reverting to its previous name of The Old Siege House due to popular demand from its customers - and puzzled taxi drivers.

Restaurateur Patrick Benois has been operating under the Gastro 1603 identity for the past year but found that local people still referred to the building - a key location in the siege of Colchester during the Civil War - by its old name.

“When we ring for a taxi for our customers and we ask them to come and pick up from Gastro 1603 they still say 'Where?',” said Mr Benois. “You have to mumble something about The Old Siege House after it so that they then say 'Oh, yes, we'll be there right away!'.”

“I suppose in retrospect it was like trying to rename the castle! This beloved building will always be The Old Siege House to the people of Colchester and I am making sure I am listening to them.”


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To mark the renaming, the restaurant put on a special lunch offering including period entertainment provided by Don Quinn and Terry Croucher of Colchester events company Snake in the Grass, in the form of a re-enactment of the Roundheads versus the Cavaliers. Zac Pickering of signage company E Sign UK, which was involved in the rebranding, also got in on the act.

“This change of name will also bring with it some new ideas we have wanted to try for a while, from new menu additions and lunchtime specials through to exciting opportunities for dinner theatre,” Mr Benois added.

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