Clarkes restaurant bows out after three years in the city centre

Clarkes in Queen Street, Peterborough
Clarkes in Queen Street, Peterborough

Leading Peterborough fine dining restaurant Clarkes will serve its last meal in the city centre tomorrow night after more than three years.

The restaurant, which quickly established a reputation for its food after opening in Lincoln Road in 2011, moved to Queen Street, overlooking St John’s Square, two years later.

The Fox at Folksworth EMN-160831-081329009

The Fox at Folksworth EMN-160831-081329009

But Saturday, New Year’s Eve, will be the last day trading at the restaurant before the team relocates to The Fox in Folksworth, where a huge refurbishment has been under way since the late summer.

Owner Dinesh Odedra, who had previously spoken of running the two venues in conjunction (The Fox was originally scheduled to open in November), said the time was now right to move on.

“After a busy festive period we always close in January, so this gives us a natural break before the whole team starts again at The Fox, hopefully in the second half of January,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, Queen Street is a stunning location, with views of some inconic buildings in the city centre, and it has served us well.

“After moving from Lincoln Road we were able to take things to the next level, and the move to the new premises in Folksworth will again allow us to do things a little bit differently. But you cn expect the food to be of a similar high standard to what diners have become accustomed to at Clarkes. We have got some great things planned.”

Brewery Charles Wells, which owns the former Grapevine pub, is yet to outline what its plans for it are, although the eating and drinking scene in the centre has changed immeasurably since it last operated as The Grapevine, with new bars and restaurants attracted to Cathedral Square in recent years,

However, Dinesh did add: “They let us know they were interested in taking it back but have been good as gold and we have been under no pressure to move out. The time is right though.”

The Fox has been closed for nearly four years and at one time looked in danger of being flattened and the site developed for housing before Dinesh stepped in and bought it earlier this year.

The refurbishment of the run-down building has gone much further than first imagined, but a new designated fine dining restaurant area is being created - seating about 80 covers - while a new bar area, with its own dining space will greet visitors as they enter though the front doors - giving the village a pub once more.

“The pub side of the business is very important as it is something that has been missing in the village for some years, and people we have spoken too are excited about our plans ,” said Dinesh.

“It will be a relaxed, casual drinking area, with room for dining from a specific pub food menu.”