A husband-and-wife team have thanked local businessman John Wade after he helped them launch a restaurant which has enjoyed a successful first year.
The King’s Arms in Great Stainton, on the outskirts of Newton Aycliffe, was acquired by John Wade, who also owns the County restaurant and Telegraph pub, both in Aycliffe Village, and re-opened it in August 2017.
A significant investment was put into refurbishing the King’s Arms, and Mr Wade supported Paul Bussey and his wife Ycheng to establish the pub during its first year.
They’ve now taken on the King’s Arms with a five-year lease agreement, and Paul said: “Without John’s help and support we wouldn’t have been able to make this a success, so we’d like to thank him.
“It’s difficult for restaurants to make a profit in its first year, but we’re delighted with how it has gone.
“You need to get to a certain level and then stay consistent – because as soon as you lose consistency, you lose your customers.
“But we’re getting a lot of repeat custom and lots of regulars, and we get great feedback on our food and service.
“We’ve got a good product which we believe in, we just have to keep it going.”
Chef Paul Bussey, who once worked for acclaimed TV chef Gordon Ramsay, left his role as head chef at Acklam Hall in Middlesbrough to take on the King’s Arms, with Ycheng heading up the team’s front-of-house staff.
The King’s Arms now employs 15 staff – including Nepalese sous chef Bhakta Thapa, chef de partie Sylvester Scallon and trainee chef James Lapping – and is winning rave reviews for its evening meals and weekend lunches.
Paul was just 18 when he left the North-East for London to work at The Connaught under the guidance of Angela Hartnett, a protégée of TV chef Gordon Ramsay.
Later he worked for Mark Broadbent, who won accolades during a stint on The Great British Menu.
Then came more experience at The Star Inn at Harome before a spell as a sous-chef in Ramsay’s restaurant in the Hilton Dubai.
Paul was previously head chef at the highly-acclaimed Cleveland Tontine before he joined Acklam Hall.
The King’s Arms is now serving lunches 12-3pm Mon-Sat as well as Afternoon Tea 12-5pm Mon-Sat, and evening dinner 5.30-9.30pm Mon-Sat, with Sunday lunches served 12-6pm.
• You can find the King’s Arms on Facebook and Instagram, or to reserve a table call 01740 630873.