The first restaurant to open as part of Middlesbrough town centre’s Bedford Street revival is marking its first anniversary this month.
The Curing House, Teesside’s first charcuterie bar and restaurant, has become one of the region’s leading eateries and has created 14 jobs for local people in the last year, including two apprentices the business is supporting through training programmes.
Peter and Sarah Walker, from Redcar, opened The Curing House just three months after the arrival of their first child, Anna.
The restaurant itself specialises in home-cured meats, specialist brunches and high-quality charcuterie and cheese plates, and has had a strong first year in business.
As well as doubling staff numbers, The Curing House has enjoyed a better than expected footfall and turnover and, as a result, has extended its opening hours to include Sunday lunches, monthly steak nights, wine and beer events and music events.
There are now plans in place to grow the business further. The Curing House has recently launched its deli sales counter and plans to start open bottle nights to allow customers to sample new wines and beers free of charge.
Following the success of their exclusive New Year’s Eve and Burn’s Night events, the restaurant plans to continue to mark celebrations throughout the year.
In addition, The Curing House will be marking vegetarian week in May with a special vegetarian evening to showcase its range of homemade dishes and the skills of the kitchen team.
Peter and Sarah decided to establish The Curing House after Peter was made redundant from his job as an off-shore worker after breaking his ankle. Peter spent many months researching the foodie arts of curing, smoking and brining and carefully sourced some of the best suppliers of French, Spanish and Italian meats.
In addition, he also recruited Joe Taylor as head chef. The 29-year-old, from Stockton, has been working in hotels and restaurants since he was 14 and hand makes nearly all the produce in The Curing House, including bacon, sausages, sourdough bread, cured fish, pickles, sauces and ice cream.
Walker said: “It has been a tremendously challenging but also rewarding first year in business. Bedford Street continues to enjoy its resurgence and we are proud to be part of that.
“We put our success down to offering something different to what’s available on Teesside. Everything is either homemade or sourced from the highest quality producers and we hope we offer a cosy, relaxed dining experience with exceptional food, beer and wine.
“As a family-run business, it has been tough as we combine work with bringing up our one-year-old, but we have a fantastically supportive and talented team.
“In the coming year, we’ll hopefully continue to make our mark on the North East culinary scene as we put more plans in place to help Middlesbrough stand out from the crowd.”