The owners of top Birmingham restaurant Loves have committed their future to the city despite considering proposals for a new venture.
Husband and wife team Steve and Claire Love had considered selling the leasehold for their site in Canal Square, off Sheepcote Street, as part of a review of Loves, which opened three years ago.
However, Mr Love insisted the couple had only “tentatively” looked at moving within the Birmingham area after instructing business agents Christie & Co to market the restaurant.
He said the decision was “not about the money” and formed part of an evaluation of the business.
Mr Love said: “We took everything into account and realised we were best where we are.”
The chef said the restaurant would be undergoing a revamp during a four-day closure at Easter and it was a case of business as usual.
Mrs Love, who runs front of house, said: “Yes, we were reviewing our options but in order to facilitate any future move we would have had to find a buyer for the Canal Square premises.
“But two factors have persuaded us to stay where we are and invest in the business going forward.
“We looked at the options available but none of them really worked for us, and sometimes you don’t know what you have got till you have had a good look at the alternatives.
“And our decision has been supported by the reaction we had from our regular customers – not just the weekend clientele, but also our midweek regulars who sometimes like to pop in for supper and a glass of wine on the way home after a hard day in the office.”
The 50-cover restaurant, which has three AA rosettes, offers a three-course à la carte menu for £42 and a three course prix fixe for £25. There is a private dining room and a chef’s table in the kitchen.
Mr Love added: “The chef’s table is something we are looking to push, to get that experience out there, so people can see what is behind the scenes. A lot of people don’t actually realise what goes on in the kitchen.”
The chef’s interpretation of modern British cuisine was rewarded when Loves was ranked 72 in the UK top 100 restaurants.
Now the restaurant has further cause to celebrate after Edward Attwell, a senior member of the kitchen brigade, cooked his way to the final of the prestigious Roux Scholarship – previously won by his boss – last week.
Mr Attwell impressed judges Brian Turner, president of the Academy of Culinary Arts, and two Michelin-starred Sat Bains, who won the competition in 1999, during a regional cook off at University College Birmingham. He and his fellow competitors had two-and-a-half-hours to create dishes using ingredients including spring chicken and veal.
Mr Attwell and Robert Hutchins, of Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate, both went through from the UCB heat to the final at Westminster Kingsway College, London on April 2. Mr Attwell said: “I’m very happy to get through to the final. It’s an honour.”
The six finalists will not know what they have to cook until the day. They will be given the recipe and ingredients for a main dish, either classic or modern, 30 minutes before cooking commences. Previous winners include Andrew Fairlie and André Garrett.