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American style steakhouse to open in Ely

By Ely News  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

The Boathouse is being transformed into an American-style steakhouse.

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An American-style steakhouse and grill is just weeks away from opening its doors in Ely.

Steve and Jo Haslam, who own The Cutter, in Waterside, bought The Boathouse - one of the city’s most exquisite restaurants located just a stone’s throw away - last autumn.

The Boathouse’s former owners, Cambscuisine, put the restaurant on the market in early 2013 after running it for eight years.

Speaking to Ely News at the time, Mr and Mrs Haslam, who run seven pub/restaurants under the name TLC Inns, said they would be announcing “exciting” plans for The Boathouse in the early New Year.

And now it has been revealed that the venue is to be transformed into an American-style steakhouse and grill, serving dishes such as steaks, ribs, burgers and shrimps.

The restaurant will be called Grand Central Ely, around £250,000 is being spent on the refurbishment and all staff who were employed at The Boathouse will keep their jobs.

Mr Haslam, who has run The Cutter for around seven years, said: “We’re extremely excited about this and judging by the feedback we’ve received already, so are local people.

“Ely has a fantastic eating out scene now compared to what it had a few years ago when, to be honest, the majority of people went out of the city to dine.

“But the majority of restaurants are pubs or Italian eateries.

“We felt there was a huge gap on the market for an American-style grill which doesn’t just serve your pizzas and pastas but steaks, burgers, ribs and shrimps.

“We have a Grand Central restaurant in Basildon and it has gone down an absolute storm there. We’re confident it will be just as popular here in Ely.

“The Boathouse closed its doors on Sunday and the builders have now moved in.

“The refurb is costing around £250,000 and is expected to take around six weeks so we hope to open Grand Central Ely’s doors by the end of February.

“The place will be totally unrecognisable.”

Mr Haslam said all eight staff employed at The Boathouse have kept their jobs and that the revamp will create around 15 new ones.

He said: “We want Grand Central Ely to be a place where not only families can come and enjoy great food but also a little bit of a party venue where groups can come and have a good time.

“Our aim is to make it that place which Ely’s stunning Riverside has really been crying out for for some time.”

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