Hull's Vanilla Bistro moving to target evening economy
THE owners of Vanilla Bistro have made a major investment in new premises to take the business forward and invest in the city.
The popular city centre bistro has occupied its prominent position opposite St Stephen's shopping centre in Ferensway for almost five years.
Now, in order to develop, it is relocating to Jameson Street.
Owner Les Pooley, who runs the business alongside wife Jacqui said: "Jameson Street is one of the main shopping streets going through the city centre.
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"We are a bit nervous as it is a massive investment but we're looking forward to it.
"It was a big decision for us but I still feel we are in a good position for customers.
"More people will notice us here from the station and we are really excited to launch."
Mr Pooley said making this investment will take the business forward and he believes one of the best ways for businesses in Hull to stay afloat is to invest in the city.
He said: "As far as the recession is concerned, we think it has bottomed out, so if we can invest in this now, get it right and make it profitable, we think we will be OK."
Mr Pooley admitted that while weekend business was strong at the bistro and Vanilla didn't always have enough seats to accommodate people, during the week, it was not so busy.
He also said that because of a lack of evening economy in Ferensway, Vanilla did not open at night but now they are ready to target the evening economy, too.
Mr Pooley said: "We wanted to change the ambience here and open up on an evening.
"When this building became empty, we found it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
"It will be strange seeing another business in Ferensway but we feel confident in this new venue.
"We have made a substantial financial investment and I think this is going to be a better place for us."
Since 2005, Vanilla has been one of the region's dining scene's success stories.
It started life in Beverley before launching into Hull city centre.
The new refurbished 300sq m building was previously home to Shine bar and Barclays bank.
The extensive renovation work has seen the business knock through into the old Barclay's bank and create a large, open plan space ready for evening dining, functions and private parties – something additional to its offering previously.
The Jameson Street venue is able to seat up to 200 people inside and 40 outside.
Behind Vanilla, Hall Construction Group is behind transforming Paragon Square into a new dining quarter.
Vanilla will cease trading from its Ferensway location on Saturday and reopen in Jameson Street on Monday, March 18.