Popular Newport restaurant, the Chandlery, is back in business
A POPULAR Newport restaurant which closed its doors last year is back in business after being reopened by a Caerleon family.
The Chandlery Restaurant began trading as a French bistro-type restaurant last Wednesday, following its takeover by Philip Thomas and his wife Jayne who recently returned home after spending 10 years running a restaurant in France.
Under its previous management, the restaurant won a clutch of awards during its ten-year history, before closing down last May.
Mr and Mrs Thomas, who have been together since they were 18 years old, felt the “time was right” to take over a restaurant in Newport. Daughter Sophie, 27, and their son Sam, 24, will also be helping out at the restaurant.
Mr Thomas, now 53, said: “We are a family business and hopefully we can be very successful. We’ve opened the doors quietly but we feel confident enough to launch it now.”
Mr Thomas ran a restaurant in central Brittany for a decade before deciding it was time to return home.
He added: “People think it’s so much better being abroad, but the UK is great. I felt it was the right to time to come back home and be around my own people.
“You wouldn’t think it but pizzas were hugely popular in France, and we’ll be offering 17 different types of pizzas here.”
The Chandlery occupies a Grade II-listed building that was once the home of a ships’ chandlers.
Since opening in 2002 the restaurant won UK Seafood Restaurant of the Year and was a True Taste of Wales regional award-winner in 2008, before it was put up for sale under a cloud last year.
“We came back to seriously look for something,” added Mr Thomas. “We had been trying for five years before then but couldn’t find anything.
“We are going to aim for a different type of market (than the previous management). We are hoping for something more special than a pub, and not the Celtic Manor. We hope it will be a success.”
Mrs Thomas, who is also 53, said: “We are just trying to build up a bit of trade.
“I think some people might have been a little bit in awe of the place, but we are going down the French Bistro route and hopefully a little bit more informal as well.”
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