The historical restaurant, renowned as ‘the birthplace of British haute cuisine’, has been bought by the Dorset-based family-run restaurant operator Stable Bar & Restaurant.
It will be renamed as ‘The Stable’, taking up the concept of a neighbourhood restaurant offering stone-baked gourmet pizzas, a range of pies and 57 different varieties of cider – many of which coming from small, local producers. The number of covers will also be upped – from 85 to 120.
Housed within the vaults of two Georgian townhouses, The Hole in the Wall was previously owned by local businessman Guy Adams. It came under a new management team in 2011 after falling into administration, but was closed again in May 2012 after Adams made claims he was being ‘robbed by the staff’.
Due to the economic climate and changing consumer habits, the restaurant remained closed and was placed on the market by specialist property advisor Christie & Co for a leasehold interest of £175,000.
Valerie Turner, restaurant specialist at Christie & Co, said: “The Hole in the Wall site attracted numerous interested parties from both local and national operators and demonstrates that Bath is still a highly-sought-after location for many.
“I am sure the introduction of this new concept into the city will be a hit with everyone, and we wish Stables the very best of luck with its latest venture.”
It’s new owner opened the first Stables restaurant in October 2009, with a second site acquired in Weymouth in 2012.
South West buoyancy
Turner added that this latest addition to the Stables brand is indicative of a lively restaurant scene in the South West. “Restaurants experienced strong activity in the South West last year and we are seeing an even stronger start to the first half of 2013,” he said.
“Cities are still at the forefront of the corporate branded operations and the suburbs are still attracting the first-time buyer, experienced chefs or growing community brands.”
Originally known as The Cellar, the restaurant on George Street was first given the nickname The Hole in the Wall by American servicemen just after the Second World War, and the name stuck. The site was established by the influential restaurateur and chef George Perry-Smith in 1951.