The last six months have seen a boost in independent eateries in Leamington, with the town welcoming three new cafes and restaurants.
The Tame Hare, Aubrey Allez and The Steamhouse have all opened in Warwick Street, all independently owned and offering a diverse range of food, including the addition of a family-run butchers as an add-on to one of the cafes.
Home to more than 50 bars, restaurants and cafes in the town centre, with 15 new venues having opened their doors in the last 12 months, the diversity of eateries on offer have added an additional boost to the town’s economy.
Family-owned Aubrey Allez is the latest addition to the town, offering a café, takeaway shop and Aubrey Allen, an additional fresh food and butchers store next door.
Peter Allen, chair of Aubrey Allen, said: ““Aubrey Allen is already a well-established, award-winning butchers and catering company, and one of the town’s biggest employers.”
“The next natural step was to move our takeaway food offer to its own premises hence the name Aubrey Allez - or Aubrey to go - which we believe will enhance our reputation for high quality food.
“The resulting space in our current store has given us the opportunity of increasing our selection of goods including a small specialist cheese shop.”
A second family-run endeavour is The Tame Hare, a pub jointly overseen between chef director Jonathan Mills and his father Simon Mills.
Jonathan, who previously ran a pub in the Cotswolds and relocated to Leamington Spa to launch The Tame Hare, said: “I’m born and raised in Leamington so when the opportunity arose to manage my own venue, my father and I jumped at the chance.
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“We’ve had great feedback already and a lot of repeat customers, which is really promising.
“It’s great to have the support of local businesses and BID Leamington – we’re already signed up to exhibit at the Food and Drink Festival, which we’re looking forward to.”
Joining the newest trio of businesses is The Steamhouse, a specialist bagel shop offering New York deli bagels and coffee, from Ashley Baker and partner Kayleigh O’Mahony.
The pair - who previously managed their own business selling fresh coffee from a VW van at events – decided to take their work to the next level by opening their own restaurant.
Ashley said: “After enjoying a successful stint touring major events across the UK, we discovered a love of hospitality and catering but yearned to take the business to the next level with a permanent base.
“Leamington is a charming town popular with tourists, students and shoppers, so the ideal fit for The Steamhouse.
“We’ve had a really warm welcome and are now hosting monthly beer and bagel nights, and in recognition of the town’s major student population, we now deliver through Deliveroo.”
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “These new restaurants follow the opening of a number of new independent stores across the town centre, revealing the continuing trend and popularity of small business in Leamington.
“The town is a champion of independent business and this is shown by the collaborative, community approach many adopt.”
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