The two driving forces behind some of Liverpool’s best-known and respected restaurant brands are about to launch their latest business.
Jonathan Poole and Paddy Smith of the Red & Blue Restaurant Group are set to open the French bistro ‘Bouchon’ this summer with an opening in mid-July reserved for the site formerly known as Rocket & Ruby in Castle Street in the center -city.
For Poole, it was a journey that came full circle after the creation of Chez Jules Chester in 1997, which he describes as âthe original stopperâ.
He said: âI guess I’m best known in commercial circles for the Ego brand that grew out of Chez Jules. Twelve restaurants later and it’s back to my roots.
Poole was also part of the consortium that bought the Pierre Victoire chain at the end of the 90s: âThis period of my professional life was just a whirlwind. I learned a lot about the industry after jointly establishing the Ego company in 1999, eventually sold to the management team behind La Tasca.
âCritically, I met Paddy the same year that Ego was founded and really since then we’ve been a very solid foundation together as business partners.â
He added, âBouchon is our latest creation and we are both very proud of the concept and confident that our existing customers from Bacaro, Salt House Tapas and Hanover Street Social will become fans as well.â
Smith describes the late 90s and early 2000s as “operating with blind confidence” working in the industry.
âMy beginnings as a chef have allowed me to acquire roles in the Caribbean and to work with five-star cuisine until recently for more accessible, inclusive and affordable cuisine.
âBouchon is really thatâ¦ a French bistro in its most authentic form, serving comfort food, open continuously from morning to night, at moderate prices, housing an active bar where people gather to eat, drink and chat.
Highlights of the menu at Bouchon will include oysters, classic French onion soup, charcuterie boards, roast chicken, sole meuniÃ¨re with tarte tatin and chocolate fondant.
Bouchon will create 30 jobs, bringing the total workforce of the group to 140, which is also investing a six-figure sum in the development of the site.
Smith added, âThis is an exciting time for the company after 14 months of inactivity for us and all of our colleagues in the industry.
âWe’re very happy to be back, and for me and Jonny, Bouchon is the culmination of all the good things we’ve learned about hospitality over three decades with our roots in French cuisine.