New £1m leisure venue creates 60 jobs

Leisure operator Ladhar Group has opened the latest addition to its Newcastle city centre portfolio, following investment of over £1m.

The Central Oven and Shaker restaurant and cocktail bar, which has created around 60 new jobs, serves authentic Neopolitan pizza made by internationally-renowned chef Andrea Muru, who has relocated to Newcastle to take up the post of head chef at the venue.

The casual dining restaurant, located opposite Central Station on the corner of Grainger Street, opens from breakfast time until the early hours. It has been unveiled after more than a year in the planning.

As well as its core wood-fired pizza offering, Central Oven and Shaker also offers an extensive drinks, cocktail and coffee menu. The offering includes a takeaway deli service offering breakfast for commuters and pizza slices throughout the day.

The Ladhar Group – which, through its Crafted Projects leisure division, operates hugely-popular venues including Pleased To Meet You and Hop and Cleaver – has continued the significant investment seen throughout its portfolio in Central Oven and Shaker, to create a unique leisure venue which offers something for everyone.

Law firm Sintons, long-term legal advisors to the Ladhar Group, has supported the business in its latest opening.

Barry Ladhar, director of the Ladhar Group, said: “This is a unique venue for the city. We have spent a lot of time on the design, investment in staff and planning to get it exactly right. We are serving handmade authentic Neopolitan pizzas, created by our head chef Andrea Muru and made in a wood-fired pizza oven that we have sourced from Naples. We are delighted to have enticed Andrea to Newcastle to join Central Oven and Shaker. It’s a big coup for us to have acquired him.

“We have made significant investment to fully refurbish the building, hopefully, bringing something new and exciting to Newcastle’s leisure scene, creating 30 new jobs in the process.”

Alok Loomba, Partner in the Newcastle law firm’s real estate team, acted for the Ladhar Group in acquiring the premises and dealing with the associated development work. Sarah Smith, Head of Licensing at Sintons, acted in securing its licence.

Sarah Smith said: “The Ladhar Group have spent a lot of time planning this new venture and have gone to great lengths to source equipment and staff to make this another key addition to their leisure portfolio. The Central Oven and Shaker offering will add to the vibrancy and diversity of Newcastle City Centre and will be a particularly attractive addition to the Central Station area following the huge investment in this part of the City in recent years.”

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