The popularity of independent restaurants in Nottingham and the success of its thriving food and drink scene continues to grow, following the news that latest venture Urban Kitchen is due to launch in the city this autumn.
The new restaurant, in the city’s Hockley area, will provide a unique dining experience and breathe new life back into an old forgotten and unused building. The business, which will provide 13 new jobs to the area, has just secured planning permission and licenses and renovation work is already underway, ahead of its opening and launch later in the year.
The historic property, which dates back to the early 1900s, will be sensitively restored to enhance Hockley’s cultural vibe, while adding its own splash of personality with a contemporary, inner city, industrial theme.
Hockley is considered one of Nottingham’s hotspots for independent businesses and especially new restaurants. Located within the city’s Creative Quarter, the area is buzzing with high quality independent bars and restaurants.
The team behind the new venture are Kevin Wright, a former director of a large German company who are famous in the UK for Vileda cleaning products, his daughter Naomi Wright and Jasmin Barlow-Wilkinson, founder of Nottingham’s successful Homemade Café.
Between them Jasmin and Naomi have almost 25 years of experience working in the food trade in Nottingham, and all three were born locally and live in the city.
Kevin said, “Hockley was the key location for us because we have seen first-hand how its food and drink scene has grown over the last few years and become a thriving area for local independent businesses.
“I’ve lived in Hockley for the past eight years and I have seen a tremendous amount of change in the area over recent years with more and more independent shops, restaurants and cafes opening up.
“Hockley is currently the hottest part of Nottingham for development and I think this has a lot to do with the culture created by these independents and the fact it boasts some fantastic historical buildings, such as ours, which offer the potential to create great spaces for dining.”
“Naomi added “Nottingham City Council’s commitment to the Hockley area has been one of the big catalysts to the area’s current success, particularly in the way it is encouraging independent businesses as well as developing the area’s café culture with different initiatives such as limiting road traffic and allowing more outside pavement seating.”
Nottingham’s independent food and drink scene is now the third biggest for growth in the UK. According to a recent study, Nottingham has seen a 12.5 per cent increase in the number of independent bars and restaurants which have launched over the last three years, just behind Leeds and Newcastle. The research said that factors for the city’s growth included a strong business community and thriving universities.
The team behind Urban Kitchen is now working hard on putting together a menu which reflects their unique style.
Jasmin said, “Our look for the building will be urban, inner city with an industrial feel. We will have bare brick walls, a double height ceiling, exposed metal and original wooden floors which will provide the perfect space to offer an informal, all day, dining experience, from brunch and after work eats, through to dinner.
“We want to be a destination restaurant where you can socialise and share a meal in a cool and casual setting and are in the process of developing our menu which will feature modern British/European food, and provide great mains and sides, as well as smaller dishes which are designed to share. Overall, our aim is to offer high quality fresh food, cooked in an interesting way and to deliver a great dining experience.”