A multi-award winning businesswoman is preparing to open her £650,000 restaurant in the heart of Leicester’s cultural quarter this autumn.
The Queen Victoria Arts Club is currently having its finishing touches made to the historic building before it opens its doors to diners in October.
Business owner Cassie Soulsby said she had wanted to convert the Grade II-listed Victorian Baroque property for some time, and work started on creating the restaurant in May.
She said: “Work started on converting the building and the flats above the restaurant 18 months ago, but the idea for the Queen Victoria Arts Club has been in the making for three years. The building itself had been derelict for many years, and was in much need of real attention, especially since the Curve Theatre opened and the whole area had started being redeveloped.
“The building had been a complete eye-sore, and everyone had been campaigning for it to become something better, so it was important for me to help with that,” she added.
The site itself, which was built for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, has seen quite a dramatic transformation, having been derelict for many years, and Cassie and her team worked hard on the design of the restaurant which is on the ground and lower floors, to help it stay in keeping with the style and décor of the period.
“One of the main things we wanted to do was add some light into the rooms, and so a number of windows were created, and this has made an incredible
difference,” she added.
Guests to the club will all be welcomed by a maître d and the food served will be of a modern European style.
“Our emphasis will be on exceptional service and high-quality food. This is going to be a really accessible restaurant. I have a background in working in Michelin star and Rosette establishments, so it’s bringing all of that experience to the front of house service, while also making it more comfortable for diners,” added Cassie.
The main ground floor restaurant and bar area can accommodate 80 covers, while downstairs there is room for 50 alongside private meeting spaces and dining rooms.
Around 30 jobs will be created by the work, and all staff are being recruited locally.
The head chef, Steve Durham, has also worked alongside Michelin starred chefs and is highly regarded within the industry.
“This is a huge investment for me, but it is something I feel passionate about and it will be a great addition to the Cultural Quarter and to Leicestershire too,” she added.
An exclusive members restaurant will be developed later this year, but more details on this will be released then.
For more details visit www.queenvicleicester.com