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Birmingham oyster bar plan falls through

Developers pull out of negotiations for specialist restaurant at Harborne School Yard food hub development

Artist's impression for the food hub plan at Harborne

A Birmingham millionaire’s plan to open the city’s first oyster bar in Harborne has failed to come to fruition.

Harborne businessman Gary Baldwin said he had hoped to create the oyster and steak restaurant at the town’s School Yard development – but had been unable to conclude a deal.

He had hoped to be part of wider plans for a food hub at the Harborne Clock Tower development and thought he was close to an agreement with developers, only to be left disappointed.

It is understood that while Mr Baldwin was prepared to invest £500,000 at the Grade II-listed former school premises, negotiations fell down in talks with developer Neil Edginton.

Mr Baldwin, who has run his own Harborne-based marketing and events company for 20 years, said he had hoped to create 20 jobs through the proposals.

He said: “On Tuesday, January 28, [Mr Edginton] told me that the deal was off due to the fact that he had been advised by agents that the value of the business being sold was detrimental to the deal.”

He added: “It was going to be called the School House Grill and it would have been the only oyster bar in Birmingham.

“It was costing me half a million pounds to refit the property.”

Proposals for the £5.5 million development at the old Victorian school premises with its famous clock tower in Harborne High Street were first revealed in 2011 .

Italian restaurant Prezzo and Urban Coffee Company have since signed up.

However, the Post has recently reported that proposals for Metro Bar and Grill to be part of the scheme have also fallen through , leaving Mr Edginton in talks with “three or four parties” about signing up to the scheme.

Mr Edginton told the Post: “We have spoken to a number of parties over the last couple of months and interest in the one remaining commercial unit at the School Yard has been exceptional. The space is now formally under offer.”

Plans for the second phase of the School Yard development, which includes residential apartments , were revealed earlier this year.

 
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