A chat between traders at last summer’s HullBID-organised Street Food Nights has kick-started the next phase of development of a city centre craft beer bar in time for it to play a key part in this year’s events.
Following the departure of Nick and Rachael Watts, who opened Furley & Co in December 2015 in partnership with Ian and Yolanda Allott, the arrival of Howard and Michelle Hewitt has triggered a new investment programme.
The coming weeks will see the opening of a permanent dining area in addition to the pies and other bar snacks which have proved so popular since Furley & Co opened. The new management team have also struck a deal with neighbours to extend the quayside al fresco service, and they plan to be up and running in time for the first of the 2018 Hull Street Food Nights on Thursday 5 April.
Howard, who brings great experience of running bars, restaurants and event catering services, said:
I had a stand at a few of the Hull Street Food Nights last year and met Nick when he had the stand next to us. He mentioned they were thinking of moving on so we had a few meetings and I decided to come in.
I saw it as a great opportunity. Summer’s coming and this is a fantastic location with all the festivals in addition to Hull Street Food Nights. It’s like having another fruit market area and I think it’s going to be massively popular.
It’s also very close to Hull Venue – a short walk through Princes Quay and a great option for people who want craft beers and great food from a local independent business before or after a show.
Ian, who also owns Chequers Micropub in Beverley, said Furley & Co has retained the original concept of a rolling beer festival with snacks and finger food and is adding new ideas to make the most of the space available.
The bar menu will feature more speciality burgers and the first-floor – Spice @ Furley & Co – will serve Mexican food including tacos and burritos seven days a week, whereas previously it only opened for functions.
The top floor will open soon as studio space for professional photographers and enthusiastic amateurs, with huge windows filling the room with natural light.
The immediate priority is to get the outdoor area finished with good quality Italian glazed screens, parasols, heating and lighting to protect drinkers and diners from the winds off the Humber! We’ll share part of the area with Steinbeck and Shaw’s cocktail bar next door and should have around 100 seats altogether, which is far more than we had last year.
Spice @ Furley & Co will give us another 40 seats and we’ll create another three or four jobs taking us up to about 20 staff in total.
Kathryn Shillito, HullBID City Centre Manager, said:
Furley & Co is a great fit with the other bars and restaurants in Princes Dock Street.
The new plans are very exciting and will support our ongoing efforts to promote the city centre as a destination for top quality food and drink. The back story about how the deal resulted from Hull Street Food Nights is a great example of what can happen when businesses unite, further enhancing an already popular venue in Hull’s Old Town.