Date set for opening of Plymouth Dome as Gary Rhodes restaurant
TV CHEF Gary Rhodes’ £1.5million restaurant on the Hoe will open later this month after suffering a setback when it was targeted by thieves.
The Rhodes @ The Dome restaurant will open to the public on January 25.
Two nights earlier the chef will welcome VIPs from the “culinary, arts, TV and business worlds” to a special opening night.
Mr Rhodes, a Michelin star-winner who has fronted MasterChef and Rhodes Around Britain on TV, will not be based at the eaterie.
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It will be the latest venue in the city to offer fine dining.
Plymouth’s own celebrity chefs, brothers James and Chris Tanner operate the high class restaurant, Tanners, in the city centre as well as the Barbican Kitchen.
The Dome had been scheduled to open last November, but plans had to be scrapped when metal thieves attacked the building causing tens of thousands of pounds of damage by ripping lead flashing from the roof and stealing valuable copper piping.
The crime delayed a huge building project – but now work is complete, with large picture windows created from the solid block walls.
The venue, which will be Mr Rhodes’ only restaurant outside London, will now launch with a special invite-only event, at which Mr Rhodes will address guests.
Present will be Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans, and leading lights from the business world including Tim Jones, chairman of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, and Charles Howeson, chairman of the Plymouth Area Business Council.
Kitchen staff are due to start their training next week and Mr Rhodes is due to arrive soon to carry out some of that training.
During the autumn, the restaurant recruited its key management staff, with chef Liam Rutherford joining from Mr Rhodes’ flagship W1 restaurant in London, and general manager David Pover arriving from the renowned St Ives Harbour Hotel in Cornwall.
Mr Pover said: “The building work is nearing completion, the majority of the staff have been recruited and we are really looking forward to working closely with Gary Rhodes and his team.
“This is a hugely exciting day for us, we have announced the opening date and opened the reservations diary.”
The 16,000sq ft Plymouth Dome visitor centre was opened by the Queen in 1989.
At its peak it pulled in more than 2.3 million visitors before being shut by Plymouth City Council in 2006.
In 2010 the council put the building on the market in a bid to encourage potential occupiers to come forward.