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.

Welcome-1

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”.

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4 Responses to “Not a city for gastro pubs”

  1. Kevin said

    So, Turtle Bay? I look forward to trying that, after an unfortunate experience (administrative not culinary) in Nottingham.

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  2. alex said

    i think its a real shame – while yes the food at times could be hit and miss it was still nice to be able to eat and drink in a (vaguely) independent setting amongst a sea of distinctly average chains – case in point the newest arrival of ‘coast to coast’ yet another steak/fajitas/burgers place – just what Leicester needs…

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    • riponia said

      I don’t disagree, Alex – it is a shame. Some people seemed to struggle with the “concept” of the place. Don’t know why really – it was a pub, it was in a city centre, it was focused on food. So why not call it an urban gastro pub.

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  3. steve88 said

    No great loss – the Almanack served mediocre food at best

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