In the latest Baltic Triangle Podcast, Red & Blue Restaurants co-founder Paddy Smith talks about taking its brands – Hanover Street Social, Salt House, Bacaro and Bouchon – to other cities. Tony McDonough reports
One of Liverpool’s most successful independent restaurant businesses says it is now considering taking its brands and expanding into other cities.
Paddy Smith and Jonathan Poole are founders of Red & Blue Restaurants, which opened Hanover Street Social in 2011. This was followed by Salt House and Bacaro and, in 2018, the duo opened Rocket & Ruby in Derby Square.
In an interview with the latest Baltic Triangle Podcast, Paddy talks about how the pair made mistakes with Rocket & Ruby and closed the venue in 2019. Now they have opened Bouchon on the same site, creating 30 new jobs.
Now with four distinct brands up and running, the business is making plans to expand beyond Liverpool. Paddy told the podcast: “What we have created is four different restaurant brands with real identity and uniqueness.
“We have been able to create them in a fairly small city which is Liverpool. We feel we now have a real foundation to take those brilliant brands to other cities.”
Paddy’s roots as a restaurateur go back to 1997, when he opened Chez Jules Chester in 1997 which he refers to as “the original Bouchon”. This kid to another successful brand called Ego.
In the podcast he talks about his journey and about the battles faced by he and Jonathan, and their team, during the darkest days of the pandemic. Paddy, who himself lost a close relative to COVID-19, said: “I would not want to go through that again.”
Also featured on this month’s Baltic Triangle Podcast is Hugh and Howard Miller from Miller Bros who produce high-end handcrafted hardwood kitchens from their workshop in Blundell Street in Liverpool.
They have recently won a top design award for a kitchen and see a great future for the business in terms of expansion over the next few years. They talk about their vision and also about Brexit-related issues and how it’s impacted their business.
Talking about the business, Hugh said: “There are easier ways to make money than the way we do it here. But we are not necessarily trying to be the most efficient or the most profitable. What we are trying to do is the most interesting stuff. That is what Howard and I are most interested in doing.”