An acclaimed chef is to realise a long-held dream to create his own restaurant, after Newcastle City Council gave the green light to a licence application. Council bosses have approved the plans for the former Sale Pepe eatery at St George’s Terrace, Jesmond to turn it into Lovage, a Mediterranean-style bistro.
And that’s good news for chef and part-owner, Kleo Tabuku, as it means he will finally be able to “create the kind of food” he grew up eating. Kleo has been in the hospitality industry for more than 25 years, having previously worked at hotels including Jesmond Dene House and Wynyard Hall. He also spent time with the group behind the recently opened Novello’s in Washington, who are now partners with him on the new venture. Kleo says:
“It’s extremely exciting and it means I can cook the kind of food I love best, the kind of food we would eat at home but obviously elevated to a very high level. It will be about seasonal food and I want to talk to local allotment owners about them being able to provide us with produce we can use, so that our ingredients will always be freshest we can get.”
Work on the restaurant
Work is now underway on transforming the restaurant, which will have 50 covers and with décor which will ensure it has a light and airy feel. Kleo says the restaurant will have a “laid back, elegant vibe” and the food will reflect that.:
“Flavours from all over the Mediterranean will be combined with seasonal produce and fresh fish and meat. Think grilled sardines, fish and meat all simply marinated and accompanied by grilled vegetables and fresh salads, fresh pasta dishes, fresh bread with aioli and hummus. We are totally committed to providing good quality, fresh food. The menu will reflect the different seasons and we really believe it will be a huge asset, not just to Jesmond but to Newcastle as a whole,”
Lovage hopes to open in late September.
For further details visit www.lovagejesmond.co.uk
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