"I'm not trying to save the world, but it's nice to be part of the regeneration": Gary Usher on his two new restaurants

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

"I'm not trying to save the world, but it's nice to be part of the regeneration": Gary Usher on his two new restaurants

Related tags: Gary usher, Restaurant

Chef and restaurateur Gary Usher is opening two new restaurants in the north west in the style of his popular neighbourhood bistro, Sticky Walnut.

Pinion will open in the small town of Prescot, near Liverpool, and Kala will open in Manchester city centre.

Usher, who famously secured funding for his restaurants Burnt Truffle, Hispi and Wreckfish through Kickstarter, hopes to fund Pinion in the same way.

“I will be trying to crowdfund this restaurant, but it will be a relatively small crowdfund compared to the ones we've done before,” says Usher.

“If we had loads of money I wouldn’t crowdfund - but we're not backed by anyone. I hope the crowdfunds are as transparent as the fact that we are just trying to sell meals in advance. That's always what I wanted crowdfunding to be and I hope that's what it's turned into.” 

Speaking to BigHospitality​, Usher revealed that plans for the restaurant have been in the pipeline since before his Liverpool restaurant Wreckfish opened last October. 

Pinion will open on the site of a former betting shop in the town’s centre, which has “died off” in terms of trade, says the chef, following the arrival of a large shopping complex nearby. 

The restaurant opening is expected to coincide with the launch of a £30m Shakespearean theatre, which Usher hopes will drive trade back to the area, where, he says, “I don’t think anyone would swerve the fact that there’s not much going on”. 

“Without sounding like I’m trying to save the world, because I’m not, and without sounding like I’m some kind of fucking saviour to the area, because I don’t think I am, I do think that it would be quite nice to be a part of what they're already trying to do, which is regenerate the area,” he says. 

“I wouldn't be doing this for a business decision. I'm doing it because I think it's a nice thing to do and it would be nice to be part of something.”

Usher’s Manchester restaurant will be called Kala, meaning ‘black’ in Urdu, a language in which Usher’s grandad was fluent, but the chef declined to give more details on the project until the confirmation is official.

Members of Restaurant​ magazine’s R200 Club of multi-site operators can hear Gary Usher in conversation with Restaurant​ editor Stefan Chomka at the next R200 event in Liverpool. Usher will be talking about his latest opening, Wreckfish, in Liverpool as well as his future plans for his burgeoning restaurant group and will also join a panel talking about his experience with crowdfunding.

The event is being held in Liverpool on Wednesday 21 March and will include a half-day conference featuring a wide range of speakers, including Mowgli's Nisha Katona , chef Paul Askew, and John Ennis , co-founder at Graffiti Spirits Group. It will be followed by a restaurant and bar tour of the city. To register to attend the event contact Stevie.robinson@wrbm.com​ and visit www.r200.co.uk/uk-tour for more details.

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