Kitchen to reopen at restaurant shut down by council

A Smithdown Road restaurant which closed its kitchen to comply with environmental health demands is to re-open this weekend.

The Tavern Co, which has twice been named the UK’s Best Breakfast for its full English offering, was stung with a poor hygiene rating by Liverpool Council’s environmental health team earlier this year leading to a complete shutdown of its food preparation area. In March, officials deemed major improvements to be required at the popular venue.

Now new management has confirmed guests will be able to eat at the south Liverpool venue once again from Friday.

Officials from the Cunard Building and the Tavern confirmed to the LDRS the kitchen had to be shut down following a visit from the council’s team in October. The Tavern Co was set up by Keith Gurney who moved to Liverpool in 1986 from the USA. 

He first travelled to Europe with university friends who were on football scholarships from Liverpool. The business opened in 1990 and at the time was made up of just the bar area which today customers wait to be seated in. 

Over the last 33 years, it has developed into an award-winning restaurant. 

A Liverpool Council spokesperson confirmed last month the kitchen had been closed “in compliance with environmental health regulations.” The venue’s bar has remained open since.

A spokesperson for the business said the kitchen had been closed prior to the inspection by council officials but a planned refurbishment had been “expedited” when issues were raised. In September, the lease for the building was taken up by the JSM Group, which owns a variety of buildings in the city centre, including the old Bank of England site on Castle Street.

Lewis Gibbons, general manager of The Tavern Co said, “We are absolutely delighted that we are launching on Friday and all of the team are continuing to work especially hard to make sure every detail is covered. Our new owners are hugely aware of the longstanding love that people have for The Tavern Co – no matter what trends have appeared, or which areas of the city have become fashionable, this is a venue which has maintained a considerable presence on the restaurant scene here due to its location, menus, and welcoming service. 

“As a team we want to respect that heritage whilst ensuring the long term future of this wonderful space. Our breakfast menu has not changed at all as we know this is a well loved menu. Evening wise customers will see a new look menu which we are sure they will love.”

In March, The Tavern Co was handed a one out of five hygiene mark, meaning major improvements were needed. This is assessed on a number of factors including handling, storage and preparation of food, cleanliness of facilities and management of food safety.

A spokesperson for the business said they expected a fresh inspection to take place by Liverpool Council in the next three months.

Image: The Tavern Co (Bond Media)

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