An old pub in Harrogate has been transformed into something thoroughly different.
The £430,000 redevelopment of what was until recently, The Muckles, is the work of hospitality entrepreneur John Quinlan and international chef Lee Murdoch.
The new laid-back, Three’s A Crowd was launched just a few weeks ago overlooking The Stray on West Park.
The refurbishment funded by owners Star Pubs & Bars has seen the building transformed from a dated pub to a contemporary ‘home from home’ venue which pays homage to its roots with the original bar from the 1800s with the addition of Italian marble tables, handmade leather seat backs, and ‘on-trend’ greenery.
New life for Harrogate restaurant after Bica closes
The owners have hailed their "luxury local" as a new concept in independent, contemporary ‘anytime’ dining and drinking for those of all ages who love good food and want to try the best ingredients made using the latest ingredients techniques without any pretentiousness or formality.
The Three’s A Crowd team of kitchen, waiting and bar staff haven been hand-picked from some of the region’s top restaurants and bars, including 25-year-old former Crafthouse chef Joe Carroll.
According to licensee John Quinlan, who started his career at Hotel du Vin in Harrogate back in 2005 when it was the town’s premium destination for evening drinking and dining and has lead on the opening of a string of top bars and restaurants across the UK: “We’re foodies and entertainers at heart and believe we bring something completely different to the table.
"And because we’ve got the freedom and flexibility to do what we want, we can keep adapting to stay one step ahead of the competition.
"We don’t follow trends, we want to set them, and with Three’s A Crowd, we’re setting the bar pretty high. It’s five star food, drink and service without the heirs and graces.”
The ever-changing seasonal menu created by Lee Murdoch, who was previously executive chef for the D&D Group which includes Leeds’ multi award winning Crafthouse restaurant and has worked at the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi as Chef de Cuisine at 55&5th The Grill restaurant and the five-star Turnberry Resort Hotel where he won an Award of Excellence from the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, seems to be proving a hit with locals and tourists alike.
Scottish-born Lee says: “What I love about Yorkshire is seeing the cows and sheep running around and beautiful crops growing right on your doorstep and just knowing it’s going to taste delicious.
"I love meeting producers and finding out what’s new and fresh.
"While we try and source everything as locally as possible, we always strive for the best which sometimes means going further afield for an extra special champagne or the freshest, tastiest oysters.
"Nothing is set in stone, it’s all about the flavour, and that’s what makes us different to the boring high street chains and most other independents.”
The team pledge no compromises when it comes to flavour, from the cocktail menu and hand-picked selection of wines (including the venue’s very own ‘Two’s Company’ French Claret), to classic pub dishes like fish & chips with the perfect batter created with fine polenta flour. Rather than being given their own bland options, kids can pick and choose from the main menu, and there is a separate seasonal vegan menu.
The newly-opened private dining room offers the opportunity for the chefs to work their magic and take the food and drink to the next level for guests who want an extra special experience tailor made for their special occasion/group.