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Independent restaurant shuts permanently with new owner sought

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:00 17 August 2020

Outside The Kitchen in Roudham. Picture; The English Whisky Co

Outside The Kitchen in Roudham. Picture; The English Whisky Co

The English Whisky Co

The owners of an independent restaurant have said they have no plans to reopen the venue after it shut during lockdown.

The newly rennovated shop at The English Whisky Co. Picture: The English Whisky CoThe newly rennovated shop at The English Whisky Co. Picture: The English Whisky Co

The Kitchen at the English Whisky Co’s St George’s distillery has closed under its current ownerships with its owners saying the business needs to focus on its core whisky operation.

Andrew Nelstrop is the owner of the English Whisky Co, and said: “The restaurant opened in 2017 and we’d managed to iron out any teething problems – it was going really well. When we were told to shut it became clear we need to focus on whisky as that took a hit with bars and restaurants being shut.”

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Around 20 people lost their job as a result of the closure, but Mr Nelstrop is hopeful that a buyer can be found.

The Kithen, owned by the English Whisky Co, is looking for a new owner. Picture: The English Whisky CoThe Kithen, owned by the English Whisky Co, is looking for a new owner. Picture: The English Whisky Co

“I hope it won’t be closed forever. It’s got a commercial kitchen and it’s a huge space so it can easily be used as a restaurant or even a farm shop. Because of the site we’re on there’s also 10 acres of land around as well as a river running through it, so there’s plenty you can make of outside as well,” he said.

Mr Nelstrop added that because of the core focus of the business being whisky opening The Kitchen at peak times often had not been possible.

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“We opened it during the day which was fine but for an offering like that it really needs to be open in the evenings. That’s what will make it really profitable and for a restaurant business that’d just be what they would do,” he said.

He added that the Roudham-based business had navigated the coronavirus storm fairly well given the lead times on their products.

“We work in years and decades as opposed to days and months – so a six-month blip doesn’t really damage us the way it would other businesses. We’re distilling whiskies now which will be ready in 20 years,” he said.

“The majority of our business is now exports as well, and in lockdown that has hugely shifted to China and France which is interesting. We’ve been trying to crack into the Chinese market for years now and it’s strange that we’ve seen a huge surge in recent months.”


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