Not a city for gastro pubs
June 19, 2013
So its official. Leicester people aren’t too bothered about good food. That at least would seem to be the view of the Peach Pub company. After three and a half years they have now closed The Almanack, their pub in the city’s Highcross Centre, prompting the heading on industry website Propel of “Peach exits city unsuited to gastro pubs.”
What they actually said was “Peach has thought for a while that Leicester wasn’t the right site for a Peach gastro-pub offer”. I don’t want to come across all defensive, in fact in a way I kind of agree with them. But what I would say is that it might have been the right place if that offer had been a bit better.
I liked the place – staff were great, it was nicely done out and was a good, welcoming place to go in the daytime. It made all the right noises about “honest and ethically sourced” food, and I remember one rather good lunch when it first opened. But on subsequent visits, the food just wasn’t quite good enough, and most other feedback I received wasn’t over-enthusiastic.. There was poor cooking on occasions and dishes that just left you thinking they didn’t measure up to their promise.
Peach say they never lost money on the place but couldn’t “make it work”. They took the chance to get out when they had an offer from Turtle Bay, the Caribbean chain that opened last year in Nottingham. Peach meanwhile is carrying on expanding in its core environment of well-heeled market towns.
A shame then. It could have been a beautiful relationship, but I suspect both sides are left thinking “It wasn’t me, it was you”.