Bistro's hunt for bigger premises leads to ex-pub
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
BUSINESS success during pandemic has led to “homecoming” move for Barnard Castle bistro-owners.
Just seven months ago, business partners Nicole Richardson and Jack Haddon opened the Hayloft Bistro, in Horsemarket, Barnard Castle.
No strangers to the hospitality industry, the pair had run the Stainmore Café, on the A66, for five years and while Covid-19 restrictions meant they were unable to allow customers to dine inside their cafe, demand for their takeaway and delivery service thrived – so much so that they have outgrown the premises and have moved close to the Market Cross, taking over the former Raby Arms Hotel.
Ms Richardson said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the success of the bistro and we have some lovely loyal customers, but we just needed bigger premises.
“We’ve just put the hard work in and it’s taken off.
“It’s a bit like a big circle coming back here as I used manage the Raby Arms ten years ago.”
Refurbishment work, including installation of disabled toilet facilities and access to the rear of their new premises, has transformed the town centre pub, which will be called The Hayloft Bistro at The Raby Arms Hotel, into an inviting eaterie.
“When the licence comes through, the bar will be open,” Ms Robinson added. “But our focus is on creating a family-friendly environment.”
The bistro will be open seven days a week serving home-made dishes including a traditional Scottish breakfast using specially made Lorne sausage created by McFarlane’s butchers.
She added: “When the licence comes through for the bar, we will be offering food in the evening, but it will have different menu with more traditional pub food and we will probably have things like Chicken parmos and build your own burgers.”
Mr Haddon said: “We’re continuing to do the takeaway delivery service as well as some of our customers are not comfortable coming out yet.”
The bistro will be open seven days a week, serving up a range of home cooked dished from 7am until 3pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 2.30pm on Sundays.