Three entrepreneurial graduates are hoping to bring something new to Jesmond, Newcastle, with the launch of a contemporary food and drink venue on the popular Osborne Road.
Jonathan Edwards, Josh Rose and Robert Clarkson – all former students of Northumbria University - have opened Jam Jar at the site of The George Hotel, following a £100,000 renovation project.
The venue stocks an extensive drinks selection, including cocktails, craft beers, continental lagers and rare liquors, while its menu fuses English comfort food with a wide range all-American classics.
The young businessmen, who met while they were studying Estate Management, have long had a plan to launch a venture based on their shared vision for a contemporary, relaxed space with character and charm.
Edwards said: “We had set up an events company together at university, and we quickly recognised that we shared a similar passion for good food, great restaurants and a keen interest in trends in the leisure sector.”
The trio have travelled far and wide over the past two years, taking trips to the likes of Berlin, Barcelona and Miami to explore the latest culinary trends.
Edwards has also spent a year learning the basics of French cooking in the ski resort of Verbier, Switzerland.
To turn their vision to reality, then, they recruited head chef Mark Taylor, who has worked in fine dining restaurants in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, including the three AA rosette winning Hell Bay Hotel.
Taylor said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started at Jam Jar. Having worked in Cornwall where there is an abundance of fresh food within easy reach, I know the value and quality of local produce, and the North East is a haven for that.
“The difference with Jam Jar is that, unlike fine dining, I’ll be making the kind of food that I love to eat day in, day out, at the right price, in the perfect location.
“It’s comforting, wholesome food, served in an unpretentious environment.”