John Whitehead joins Nottingham’s The Island Quarter development

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

John Whitehead joins Nottingham’s The Island Quarter development

Related tags: John Whitehead, The Island Quarter, Laurence Henry, Chefs

Bistrot Pierre co-founder John Whitehead has joined upcoming multi-faceted Nottingham restaurant development The Island Quarter as food, beverage and events project director.

Whitehead - who founded the French brasserie chain with Robert Beacham in 1994 and grew it to 25 sites - will work with former Restaurant Sat Bains chef and MasterChef: The Professionals winner Laurence Henry to create and oversee a restaurant, bar events and live music venues on the 36-acre central Nottingham site.

“The majority of the site has lay derelict and an eye-sore on the Nottingham cityscape over the 25 years that I have lived and worked here,” he says.

“The Island Quarter is the most exciting development to happen to the East Midlands in recent times; we have a unique opportunity to create something special across a 36-acre canvas in Nottingham that will energise the city for generations to come.”

The names of the various sites within the upcoming development have also been announced. Canal Turn, which is expected to launch in late Spring, is the first phase of The Island Quarter and will pay homage to the site’s eclectic past and the pioneering local Victorian businesspeople who thrived on what was known as ‘the island’ in the 1800s.

Canal Turn’s ground floor, including an outdoor plaza that will boast a large stage area for live entertainment, has been named Binks Yard after Mr Henry Binks, a Victorian beer retailer based on the site in 1895. 

Meanwhile, the ‘sophisticated but approachable dining offering’ on the first floor to be led by Henry later this year has been named Cleaver and Wake. Cleaver and Wake is named after two entrepreneurs who had a lace dressing business on the site – in almost exactly the same spot where the restaurants will be based.

The name Cleaver and Wake is further reflected in the second-floor events space - Upstairs at Cleaver and Wake, which is a 250-person events venue.

Beacham - who left Bistrot Pierre in 2020 as a non-executive director - will also be directing Phase 1B, with a 223-room hotel, 247 apartments and extensive food and beverage outlets in the pipeline to ‘expand the site’s appeal’. 

Related topics: Restaurant

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