Award-Winning Chef Opens First Pub

Award-winning chef and MasterChef finalist Matt Healy and his team Seventh Course are opening their first pub this week – The Beehive in Thorner near Leeds – after a joint £180,000 refurbishment with Star Pubs & Bars.

The move follows Seventh Course’s success at Matt Healy x The Foundry in Leeds (named Best City Centre restaurant in the Oliver Awards) and Grön Kafé, a healthy-eating Scandinavian-style café in Oakwood, North Leeds.

The Beehive’s revamp has been undertaken by Seventh Course using their contractors and designers Nanu Soda, who have renovated the exterior, added new signage and lighting and completely refurbished the interior with a more contemporary look that is sympathetic to the pub’s traditional rustic architecture. The kitchen has been extended and refitted and an open pass added so that diners can see Healy and his team finishing dishes.

The Beehive will have a gastro pub feel, where customers can enjoy outstanding food but also feel comfortable coming for drinks. Created by Healy, the menu takes the strapline ‘Nowt Fancy’ and focuses on simple pub classics with a modern twist, using high-quality ingredients that are locally sourced wherever possible. Bar snacks will include Scotch eggs and pork pie with homemade piccalilli; starters will range from a ploughman’s sharing board to French onion soup, whilst dishes such as chargrilled sirloin steak and baked whole sea bass will feature as mains. Building on Matt Healy x The Foundry’s award for Britain’s Best Roast Dinner, Sunday roasts will be a specialty.

Seventh Course expect The Beehive to have a 40/60 wet/dry split in trade. The pub will stock craft and cask ales and premium lagers as well as an extensive choice of spirits and excellent wines.

Says Healy: “The Seventh Course team all love pubs, and The Beehive is perfect for our first gastro pub-style venture. Leeds has a shortage of high-quality destination pubs away from the city centre. Thorner is a beautiful village and easy to reach from the middle of Leeds, so we hope The Beehive will start to fill that gap, whilst also catering for the local community. We want the pub to be accessible; somewhere you can have a great meal with your family or catch up with your mates over a pint.”

Dale Wynter, Director at Seventh Course, said: “Our business is growing and we don’t want to tie up capital in buying property at this stage so a leased pub is ideal. We’d heard positive things about Star in the trade and it’s proving to be a good collaboration; they’re flexible and very supportive plus we’ve appreciated being able to use our own designers and contractors. We’ll consider more pubs with them but in the short term are concentrating on consolidation of our existing three sites.”

Comments Star Pubs & Bars operations director Grant Morgan-Tolworthy: “The Seventh Course directors have a brilliant range of business experience between them and bring a fresh approach to the pub industry. Their entrepreneurialism, combined with Matt’s talent as chef, promise to make The Beehive another success for Seventh Course.