Rebooting a restaurant that closed more than a decade ago is no easy task.
But top-notch chefs Ellan and Jim Lyle are hoping their experience will return the Sefton Hotel’s Chesterfield Restaurant to its former glory.
Having purchased the property 18 months ago, the couple, with help from Ellen’s parents, Jane and Michael Plawecki, have dedicated themselves to breathing new life into the Sefton, on Flamborough Road.
“We want to open a smaller, intimate restaurant. If it’s a special occasion and you want a specific dish, we can work with you,” said Ellan, 33.
“And you will have the table for the night - there won’t be a rush with more tables coming along.”
Ellan and Jim both kick-started their culinary careers as at Rags Restaurant, where Jim was head chef for 12 years.
Jim, 36, reckons he’s picked up a trick or two in that time, and is now drawing up a menu ahead of the Chesterfield’s opening on Friday October 15.
He said: “It’s going to be bookings only. If they give us enough time, we can order the ingredients they want.
“I’m starting with basics. It’s a process. It’s good quality, home-cooked food. Everything will be locally sourced using all the local suppliers.”
The restaurant closed around 10 years ago, but the hotel side of the business remained a profitable and popular attraction to visitors.
And having secured that loyal following of guests who regularly stay at the hotel, the couple believe now is the time to relaunch the Chesterfield.
Jim added: “We have been updating and renovating. We have done quite a few other things. We have done two summers now and we have people coming back. It’s gathering momentum. Word seems to be spreading.”
Even with the prospect of Premier Inn just around the corner, Ellan and Jim are confident their venture will be a viable one.
Jim added: “People say it’s very homely, coming here. I wouldn’t stay in a Premier Inn for seven days.
“We want to get a good restaurant trade going, and we want to hire more people once we need them.”