Peterborough entrepreneur Raj Regmi has expanded his hotel and restaurant business with the takeover of a historic venue.
Mr Regmi, who operates two restaurants in Ferry Meadows, Peterborough, among six across the country, has just taken over management of the Fuel Tank Kitchen located in a niche village called Engine Yard, in the grounds of Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.
The Engine Yard was designed by the Duchess of Rutland and was created by converting unused workshops and offices into luxury rural units to enhance the area’s reputation as a destination location.
Mr Regmi said: “We decided to take over the fuel tank only because it is a beautiful site with such potential.
“The site is already working effectively, and we can add much more value to it and create a destination in its own right.”
Describing his future plans for the venue, Mr. Regmi said, “Fuel Tank is currently run as a cafe with counter service.
“Our vision is to run it like a restaurant with table service.
“We will buy all the local meat and bread in the castle park, and we will resell it on the restaurant’s plate.
“We will start afternoon tea to match the decor around next month.
He said: “We want to use the three floors that the magnificent building has to offer our residents and visitors.
“We want to bring the ‘locals’ back to the fuel tank and we want them to use us as a meeting place.
“We will also be working hard on marketing the venue as a local event venue.
“We really want to work hard with our Balloon Bar to make it the most stylish cocktail bar in Lincolnshire, because it looks incredibly pretty.
“Ultimately, we want to serve good, simple food that everyone loves and enjoys every day, from breakfast to lunch.
“We’re aiming to open the upstairs on Friday and Saturday nights as a dinner destination as well, so watch the space.”
Mr Regmi, who won Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2017 Peterborough Telegraph Business Awards, is the manager of the family-owned Meadow Brown Restaurants.
Meadow Brown Restaurants currently has six locations, including Lakeside Kitchen and Bar and Ferry Meadows Cafe, both in Peterborough, Nottingham Castle Cafe, Lincoln Cathedral Cafe, Woodland Manor Hotel, Bedford, and Delamere Forest Cafe, Cheshire.
But like so many businesses in the hospitality industry, Meadow Brown Restaurants has been hit by soaring energy costs.
Mr Regmi said: “In terms of inflation and current energy prices, it will be more difficult than Covid.
“With Covid, we knew things would be back to normal one day soon.
“As a business, our current estimated energy cost is dropping from £132,000 per year to £395,000 per year.
He warned: “This could be the toughest year for us.”
A Belvoir Castle spokesperson said: “We are delighted to confirm that we have appointed an experienced Fuel Tank hospitality and catering operation to help us provide the best possible deal to our visitors to the Engine. Yard.”
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