The owner of the North East’s first boutique bowling venue is spreading his wings and opening a pub in County Durham later this summer.
Tim Wilks, who launched Lane7 in central Newcastle last year, is partnering chef Ellie Richmond and experienced bar manager Jack Bowles at The Fox Hole, on the site of the former Carlbury Arms in Piercebridge, near Darlington.
Ellie, who has worked with MasterChef star John Torode at Smiths of Smithfield in London, as well as at the Michelin starred Yorke Arms in North Yorkshire, will head up the kitchen, while Jack will oversee front of house.
Tim says: “Ellie and Jack are two people I have known privately for some time. Their knowledge, skills and unnerving commitment to great service impress me greatly. Their plans to run their own pub and dining operation matched our eagerness to expand our own leisure operations.
“We acquired the Carlbury Arms earlier this year and we’re now busy putting our own unique stamp on it. This will be every inch the welcoming village pub, but we’ll also add some special touches that will bring it bang up to date.”
A contemporary open kitchen is being installed to cater for diners, while the aptly-named ‘wellie bar’, will offer a much more relaxed space.
Further drinking and dining areas, including an expansive new pub garden, are also being created.
Tim adds: “We very much hope The Fox Hole is a facility that those living in and around Piercebridge will find attractive. It’s with these people in mind that we’ve created this.”
Ellie, who has a 10-month-old son with Jack and grew up in Stokesley and Darlington, says: “For me, a great village pub means serving great food and drinks that aren’t intimidating, but will also add something that tempts people to try something different.
“Diners should expect traditional and contemporary British favourites on their plates which I’ll be adding my own special touches to.
“Jack and I have been keen to have our name above the door of our own place, so this partnership with Tim is perfect in all senses. I feel very much back at home now and we’re itching to get in and get the doors open.”