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Restaurant chain close to opening city venue.

Byline: COREENA FORD Business writer coreena.ford@reachplc.com @Scoopford

RESTAURANT chain Banyan Bar & Kitchen is gearing up to open its Newcastle venue following a PS1.5m transformation of the former Jamie's Italian.

The new arrival on the region's nightlife scene was first revealed last October, when it emerged that Jamie's Italian was to close its Monument Mall restaurant after failing to agree new rent terms with landlords.

The Italian restaurant closed soon after the New Year, prompting interior teams from Arc Inspirations, owner of the Banyan Bar & Kitchen brand, to move into the building to start work on converting it into a two-story drinking and dining venue.

Teams of interior specialists are set to complete work soon, in preparation for a March 30 opening.

Once open, the bar and eatery will span over 5,000sqft across two floors - including a private dining room for private parties, meetings and events - and create 70 full and part-time jobs.

Banyan Newcastle will join the likes of Leeds, Manchester and York, becoming the ninth Banyan Bar & Kitchen to open in the North and the first in the North East.

Owners Arc Inspirations, based in Leeds, was founded 20 years ago and currently operates 18 barrestaurants in the North under the Manahatta, Banyan, The Pit, Kith & Kin, and The Box brands.

And, following the successful openings of its other brands in neighbouring Northern cities, the organisation is already exploring other sites to bring its Manahatta and The Box bars to Newcastle.

The firm had originally hoped to open trendy New York-style bar Manahatta on Newcastle's Collingwood Street but later withdrew that licence application to focus on its plans for Banyan.

The company said it focuses on providing memorable experiences, premium food and drink, quality cocktails and excellent customer service.

Alongside an extensive cocktail menu the venue will serve up breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner options, including healthy "powerbowls", chateaubriand and locally caught fish of the day.

Martin Wolstencroft, chief executive of Arc Inspirations said: "We're really excited to launch our first site in the heart of Newcastle.

"It's a dynamic city with a diverse food and drink offering and we feel Banyan Bar & Kitchen brings a sophisticated and lively atmosphere to complement Newcastle's existing scene.

"Banyan Newcastle will be the 19th venue in our portfolio.

"We're building on our experience and expertise to bring a setting which meets the needs of locals throughout the day - from a pre-shopping brunch, to business lunches through to after-work and late-night weekend drinks."

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Banyan Bar & Kitchen opens in Newcastle on March 30

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 19, 2019
Words:426
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