Stars of stage and screen came out to mark the launch of Blackberry Grove in New Brighton.
The new bar and restaurant specialises in gluten free dishes, with a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options too.
Owner Joanna Jones explains: “Our food varies massively - there is something for everyone. We have a vast range of vegan and vegetarian options and we make everything fresh each morning - with each dish being gluten free.
“From pan seared scallops to chicken and herb crusted goats cheese with beetroot risotto. From Halloumi and chilli fritters to BBQ glazed ham hock. From Braised Ox cheeks with mild horseradish mash to aubergine caponata. stone baked pizzas, gourmet burgers with triple cooked chips- I could go on!”
Joanna’s background is in television but she decided to open up a restaurant and bar after struggling to find venues she liked to eat in.
“I’m veggie, my boyfriend is vegan,” she says. “We went down to London recently and bounced from one veggie/vegan place to the other with no bother - also eating at the Michelin recommended veggie restaurant Vanilla Black.
“This is just unheard of in Liverpool - obviously London is a lot bigger but I really wanted to try and cater for a whole host of people. I know some veggies won’t be happy that there’s meat in the kitchen but I’m never going to please everyone, no matter how hard I try.
“We make everything from scratch here and every single dish is gluten free. This is where I don’t want to put people off.
“People who can eat gluten don’t notice and the people who can’t are entering a place where they can choose absolutely anything they want off the menu.
“Yes it’s more expensive for us but I want people who can’t eat gluten to feel safe. There was a thought at the beginning that we would just have gluten free options - but the risk of cross contamination in the kitchen is too much. I thought we either go the whole hog or not at all.
“We’re also starting with our selection of craft beers too. I would like people to see us as a bar too. There are a few people who do come in just for a drink - but this place used to be strictly a restaurant so that has stuck somewhat.”
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