Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle and Hinnies Restaurant in Whitley Bay, has teamed up with head chef Troy Terrington to open Dobson and Parnell at 21 Queen Street, specialising in refined British and European cuisine.
Set within a Victorian Grade II listed building, the elegant high-ceilinged dining room will add a touch of old-school, understated glamour and comfort to the venue.
The 65-seat restaurant, which has created 20 new jobs, has been named in honour of two of Newcastle’s Victorian architectural stalwarts, John Dobson and William Parnell, who designed the original building in 1863.
John Dobson was one of the North’s most famous architects and was responsible for the design of many local landmarks including Newcastle’s Grainger Market, Central Station and several areas of Grey Street, whilst fellow architect William Parnell designed Newcastle’s Grade I listed Tyne Theatre.
The Victorian building has since been an attractive location for restaurateurs. It was the original home of Terry Laybourne’s Michelin-starred 21 Queen Street as well as the popular modern-British restaurant Pan Haggerty.
Chef Patron, Troy Terrington, who is taking the reins within the new Dobson and Parnell kitchen, moved to the North East in 2005 and worked as head chef at both Blackfriars Restaurant and Jesmond Dene House. His menus, which he’ll re-write every day depending on the freshest produce he can find, will use ethically-sourced local, seasonal produce direct from nearby farms and markets.
He said “I’m really enjoying having the freedom to work closely with small producers and really nurture the relationship between supplier and chef. It means I get a better understanding of what’s coming through the door every day”.
Andy Hook said: “I fell in love with this site the first time I saw it. That was back in in the mid-nineties when I used to peer longingly through the windows at the elegant Victorian dining room and happy diners. It’s perfectly proportioned as a restaurant with a cavernous kitchen ideally suited for Troy’s innovative and creative cooking.
“What’s more, Newcastle’s Quayside has experienced a revival of top notch restaurants and bars in the past year, so when we saw an opportunity to open in such a vibrant location, we just couldn’t resist.
Meanwhile, at Blackfriars Restaurant, Andy has further plans to expand into the unused areas of the historic 13th Century building at the beginning of 2017 including a new Parlour, Workshop and Tasting Room, as well as a refurbishment of the existing restaurant. Andy took over the running of the medieval friary in 2001 and it has since become one of the best-known restaurants in the city, winning the Taste of England accolade at the North East England Tourism Awards.