Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Hoping this is just the beginning...

Within the past couple of months or so, two new outlets have opened in the City Centre of Stoke-on-Trent. This may be a common occurrence in other parts of the country yet in my home town it should be celebrated like a royal (or imminent panda) birth. The lack of progression in the choice of new, independent or in fact any kind of deli, restaurant or cafe is disheartening as the City continues to see established businesses replaced by charity shops or worse, emptiness - apart from a selection of outdated touring circus posters.

Lobby Coffee House
Nom and The Lobby Coffee House are bucking the trend and daring to challenge the apathy in decent and different food and drink. An early morning visit to the latter saw a light and airy venue, cleverly laid out and adorned with (as described by The Lobby guys themselves), 'barista antiques of yesteryear'. A straight forward latte was considerably enhanced by a superb bacon and poached egg sandwich. A proper breakfast butty and at just a couple of quid, excellent value. In the far too lengthy time that this post has sat in my 'drafts' list, the price has gone up but there is still plenty of pig, a perfectly poached egg cushioned by filling fresh bread. The former Prontaprint shop a the bottom of Piccadilly has been reinvented by Paul Legeckis, previously the gardening supervisor on the Trentham Estate. Looking for a change in direction, he has created a coffee house that feels welcoming, is good on the eye and based on the food sampled so far, on to a good thing. Whether Hanley punters will pay just shy of a fiver for a gourmet sandwich is yet to be seen but judging by the footfall as our breakfasts were freshly made, this may not be an issue. Don't be deterred by the picture in the window, it doesn't do the food justice.

On hearing differing opinions of Nom I was intrigued to find out how owner Leon Burton had spent £20k on the former bistro Pastiche. The lunch time menu is varied and reasonably priced (£7 for 2 courses), the venue superbly developed into a comfortable and stylish space. The two main dishes enjoyed that day included an excellently presented burger and onion rings and a homely lasagne, preceded by Jack Daniels BBQ glazed chicken wings and tomato soup.

I sincerely hope that both projects develop into on going concerns and avoid the fate of so many others. The City needs establishments such as these to lure people in and keep them there. Wishing them both the best of luck. 

1 comment:

  1. Good to see new establishments opening, like you said I hope they stand the test of time. The city is crying out for something new