Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth read.
The earliest reference we can find of the pub dates from 1864, when it was being used as the venue for a meeting of the Royal Lord Belgrave Lodge of Oddfellows. In those days it was called the Talbot Inn. We don't know when the name was changed, but by 1890 it had become the Grosvenor Arms, and a third floor had been added. It subsequently became the Grosvenor Arms Hotel.
The pub went through a purple patch in the sixties and seventies under the aegis of Ted Roberts, when the great and the good of Cheshire used to flock there.
The Grosvenor was the second pub that we opened in the Chester area after Harkers, and it was one of the 'white elephant' sites that we seem to be fond of - when Jerry and Graham first looked at it, it was shut up and in a sad state of repair. It was damp, musty and unloved.
The story of how we got it is great - Allied Lyons had the lease, but had seriously failed to maintain the property, which they were contractually obliged to do. They were looking to sell the lease on for a hefty amount, but by dint of some hard-ball negotiating, they ended up paying us £60,000 to take it off their hands - a sweet result. The Grosvenor estate, who owned the property, have proved to be lovely people to do business with, and share many of our core values.
Many people thought we were bonkers to spend so much on a site with such a history of failure, and of course we're very pleased it has proved to be so successful.
Anyway, the building is not that great - it was designed by a famous local Victorian architect called John Douglas. People rave about his work and there are all sorts of societies and individuals devoted to preserving the buildings he designed, but Jerry for one thinks he was an architectural vandal. He destroyed many of the fine medieval buildings in and around Chester in the name of progress, re-facing them with fake black and white timbering and often simply demolishing the original. His designs are made to look good from the outside but are often impractical, with windows you can't see out of and doors in the wrong place. Jerry should know because he lives in one. Still, John Douglas wasn't alone - the Victorians were generally arrogant when it came to building, believing that the past was worthless and just had to be replaced with the new and the modern. It all happened again in the 60's. Plus a change...etc.
Photos courtesy of the archive dept, Grosvenor Estates, and Alan Cotton.
Justin came to us from a successful career in the motor trade, but after 18 years it was time for a complete change. He is a natural host and genuinely enjoys looking after people, dashing about the place in a whirlwind of enthusiasm. Justin is married with two boys, and when he isn't running around the pub, he runs up and down hills.
In a previous decade Dave would have been hanging out with the Beachboys. Being of an aquatic nature, he has taught windsurfing and water-skiing in Greece and Australia for 4 years. He did a bit of work in his local boozer in Kelsall when he got back from abroad, liked the job, joined us and the rest is history. Dave can now be found spending any free moments he has riding one of his many bikes, whether it be road or mountain.
Ollie started his Brunning and Price career in the kitchen at the Pant, after spending five years at Darland University and a gap year touring Wrexham, he quickly found he actually prefered to be behind the bar, and looking after customers, than washing dishes, and this was the first of his clever moves, the second was to invite Ellie his girlfriend into his life and his third was to come and join us at the Grosvenor. Ollie takes great pride in everything he does and if you are lucky enough to be served by him you will see why we are so fortunate to have him with us.
Sally first walked through our doors looking for a part-time job whilst her children were at school. Now, 8 years later, her children are all grown up and she is very much part of the furniture. Sally enjoys a good G&T, and is currently working her way through our ever growing collection of gins, she assures us this is for research for our customers!
Stuart's hobby is cooking, so he is in his element. He hails originally from the town renowned for a world class rugby team, St Helen's, and remains a keen supporter of Saints RFC to this day. He plays squash (all be it not since 2006) and enjoys the odd game of golf, believing that you should get as many swings for your money as you can. Stuart is married with two young children.
Dan has two major passions in his life, cooking and cycling, luckily they haven't yet invented chef whites made from lycra, so we only ever get to see the best of him. He also has a love and encyclopedic knowledge of eighties music, but rest assured his cooking style and influences are right up to date.
Jason breezed into the pub for his interview and we were so impressed by him that he started the following day. He is Glaswegian by birth and still keenly follows Rangers football club, he is the father to five children who keep him busy when he is not cooking wonderful food in the kitchen or at the game.
I would like to say that Alex breezed into our kitchen, but he actually blasted in astride a super bike much like Valentino Rossi at the Italian Moto GP, leaving us with no doubt what his second passion in life is apart from cooking. He has settled in to our kitchen with ease, liberally dispensing banter and wit to his colleagues in equal measures to herbs and seasoning to his dishes. It is great to have him on board.
Senior Chef de Partie
Wictor is another chef who has returned to us after a spell working in other kitchens. Wictor is married with two children, a keen photographer and an enthusiastic chef who describes cooking as his major passion in life (after his wife of course). We are very pleased to have Wictor back home with us.
"Di bach" as we call her (with a heavy Welsh accent) brings a much needed touch of glamour to the often roughie toughie world of cleaning! Married with two children, Di likes nothing better on a Friday night than being tucked up in bed with some cocoa watching her favourite Welsh soap, Pobl y cum. We feel very lucky to have her with us at the Architect after a long stint at our sister pub The Grosvenor.
Phil joined us from the laminated plastics industry, after many years at a senior level Phil decided to start his own gardening business and follow his passion for horticulture. Phil's other passions are Welsh rugby and Liverpool football club, when the results are going his way we are pleased he isn't working at the weekends.
Use the calendar to book a table. If the time you're after is not available, give us a call and we will try our best to fit you in. We keep some tables for phone bookings.
We don't reserve any of our outside tables so if you enjoy a little alfresco dining these are first come first serve.