12:11 Thursday 09 January 2014

Steakhouse plans for Ely spark mixed reaction

Written byJORDAN DAY

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

News that one of Ely’s finest restaurants is being transformed into an American-style steakhouse has sparked a mixed reaction.

While some food junkies say a steakhouse and grill is “just what Ely needs” others are disappointed.

As reported earlier this week, work is currently underway to turn The Boathouse, in Riverside, into a US-style steakhouse.

Steve and Jo Haslam, who own The Cutter, located just a stone’s throw away, bought The Boathouse last autumn after its former owners, Cambscuisine, put the restaurant on the market in early 2013.

Around £250,000 is being spent on turning the venue into a Grand Central Ely, which will serve dishes such as steaks, ribs, burgers and shrimps.

Mum-of-two Jess Northfield, from nearby Little Thetford, said: “I think this is great news for Ely.

“The nearest place like this that we have is Arbuckles in Downham Market so it will be great to have a steakhouse on our doorstep.”

Another pleased resident, James Watson, of Columbine Road, Ely, said: “I think this is just what Ely needs.

“Ely has lots of eateries but a lot of them serve the same sort of food so this will certainly spice things up a bit.”

But Rita Roberts, from Little Downham, is “sad” to see The Boathouse go.

She said: “It was one of my favourite local restaurants. Yes it wasn’t cheap but the food was fantastic.

“I, like many I have spoken to, think it’s sad that we’re losing such a fine restaurant to something similar to what you see up and down the country.”

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.

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

Grand Central Ely is set to open its doors at the end of February.

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