REVERED chef Marco Pierre White is set to bring his culinary genius to the North East for the first time.
The fiery former Hell’s Kitchen star has confirmed that his latest eatery will become the focal point of Hotel Indigo Newcastle, the new £14m boutique venue expected to open in Fenkle Street early next year.
Work on the hotel is due to start shortly at the former Eagle Star House building next to the Assembly Rooms.
The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill will be the 49-year-old’s first foray into the region.
The 120-seater restaurant will offer a private dining area, bar and lounge in the heart of the city’s hospitality district.
The Journal first revealed that the top chef was in discussions about developing an eaterie as part of the new hotel in February.
With 148 bedrooms planned, the four-star Hotel Indigo will be operated by Sanguine Hospitality Ltd and is expected to create more than 50 full and part-time jobs.
Last night Michelin-starred Marco praised Newcastle’s cultural reputation and has vowed to create one of the city’s best eateries.
He said: "Newcastle is a wonderful city, renowned as a relaxed, friendly destination where people can express themselves. The restaurant aims to reflect that culture by offering somewhere for friends and family to gather in comfortable surroundings and enjoy simple food, cooked perfectly.
"Fenkle Street, set within the historical grandeur of Grainger Town and next to the vibrant Collingwood Street area, stands testament to everything great about the city, from its glorious past to its bright future, and offers the ideal location for my latest venue.
"The North East’s dining scene is thriving, with a handful of successful restaurants serving very good food.
"Our plan is to shake things up with our own brand of affordable glamour, giving those more established venues a run for their money and raising the bar even higher."
The famous Eagle Star House building was chosen to tap into Newcastle’s growing reputation as a tourism hot-spot.
The Hotel Indigo group – which is part of the global chain InterContinental Hotels – targets some of the greatest cities, and already operates in Shanghai, New York and Athens.
Nick Taplin, managing director of Sanguine Hospitality, said: "I’m personally very excited about our Newcastle venue.
"I visited the city regularly when growing up to see family friends and Newcastle has always been close to my heart.
"All of us at Sanguine are delighted to be in the North East with our first, but hopefully not our last, venture here."
He added: "We looked at six sites in Newcastle, and the Eagle Star House blew us away. It’s an incredible space."
Marco’s move into the region will see him working alongside Francis Carroll, his long-standing friend and restaurant entrepreneur.
Last year, Newcastle and Gateshead attracted almost 19 million visitors, maintaining hotel occupancy levels of 77% despite the recession.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which promotes Tyneside to tourists all over the world, has backed the project.
Newcastle City Council gave unanimous planning approval for Hotel Indigo last summer.