Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on the revamped restaurant within the ABode Chester hotel which has a new focus on relaxed dining.
The new-look restaurant and bar is called Brasserie ABode.
It replaces the fine dining restaurant and Champagne bar on the fifth floor of the hotel which used to bear the name of celebrity chef Michael Caines. It is only the second Brasserie ABode after the brand was launched at ABode Manchester in April.
Restaurant manager Joe Rowlands, who was born and bred in Chester, says the transformation is not only in looks but with a new emphasis on relaxed all-day dining, generous portions and good value.
“We’ve made more of the views and it’s much brighter as well. It just feels more relaxed, open and chilled rather than being more elegant and more hushed,” said Joe, who learned his trade with the company that runs Barlounge, Upstairs at the Grill and Hickory’s Smokehouse.
“We literally want everybody here so if you want to come with the kids, shorts, t-shirt, be my guest. It's not a problem. We‘ve moved away from the fussiness of fine dining but the quality and local produce is still there. We’ve got pretty much all the same chefs. There are much bigger portions and good value.
“We’re trying to satisfy a bit of everyone’s palate. So if you want to come in and have a burger. If you want to take it the other side and start off with oysters, have a bit of lobster, go for a steak, you can. There’s such a range on this menu, there’s an item for everybody.”
As for drinks, there is an extensive wine list and a classic cocktail menu or, alternatively, challenge the professional bartenders to come up with your bespoke tipple.
“They’re all served in elegant, stunning glassware with a little nibble on the side,” explained Joe.
Hotel general manager Phil Newmarch described the new restaurant as ‘a world class eatery’, with panoramic views over Cheshire, that aims to compete with dining venues in the heart of the city centre, especially with its reduced prices across the board.
He added: “There are lots of restaurants that have opened in Chester over the last 12-18 months – 16 I think I counted last time I looked – you know Opera Grill and around that area. This product to us is something that’s going to add to Chester, give the diner another choice and with views like this, why wouldn’t you?”
A revamp is also taking place at the ground floor bar in ABode Chester, launching on June 29, with new decor and seating, cocktails, a mini-version of the all day brasserie menu and featuring an improved outdoor area with rain cover, wind protectors plus heaters.