By Majella Taylor, New Openings Editor: St Vincent returns to Newcastle’s hospitality stage.
North East chef and restaurateur Terry Laybourne is reopening his popular Newcastle wine bar and restaurant St Vincent after a three-year hiatus.
He closed the buzzy Quayside restaurant on the eve of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Other venues within his 21 Hospitality Group (21HG) have since re-opened while St Vincent remained closed.
That all changes on March 9 when the doors are thrown open and St Vincent steps back onto the Newcastle dining scene in a splash of colour.
The Franco/Italian inspired St Vincent, which originally opened in the autumn of 2018, sits alongside Newcastle’s Live Theatre and will be a welcome addition to theatregoers for pre-theatre drinks and food. A fixed price menu will be offered when the theatre has drama productions.
The re-opening of St Vincent will see several fresh changes, along with the return of many favourites from the food and wine choices, as well as some of the original front of house team.
Matt Clarkson returns as general manager; leading the kitchen team is Martin Malinowski, a 21HG veteran who has been involved in most of Terry’s restaurants over the years. Working alongside Martin is Richard Wheatley, who is returning to the 21HG fold.
Terry Laybourne said: “It feels wonderful to be finally re-opening St Vincent after such a long break. The hospitality sector has gone through a rollercoaster period these last two to three years. We haven’t stood still though during that period – opening Café 21 in Fenwick York and establishing the beer garden at The Broad Chare, as well as continuing our 21@Home collection service. We have been carefully managing and building our resources – St Vincent is the final piece of the jigsaw.
“We are re-opening St Vincent with a super-strong core team of familiar faces along with some lovely, enthusiastic new recruits. Customers will be able to enjoy some old favourites they may remember from previous visits; plus, we’ve used the preparation time to freshen things and create some new, less familiar options.
“We will have a concise, ever-changing menu with a seasonal focus, quite often influenced by the punchy flavours of southern France and Italy that we all seem to love so much.”
Wine will continue to take centre stage at St Vincent, with a number of classics, but also with a large proportion from small independent producers. Many are organic, some bio-dynamic, others are natural, while several are ‘skin contact’. There will also be a rolling programme of open wines to sample by the glass. In addition, there will be classic cocktails and vermouths as well as craft beers.
In true wine bar style, small plates will feature but there will be an emphasis on larger plates that will be ingredient-led and highly seasonal. There will always be a fish dish or two on the daily menu, as well as a strong emphasis on vegetables, many supplied by Hexhamshire Organics.
The re-opening has been welcomed around the city. Stephen Patterson, chief executive of Business Improvement District Company, NE1 Ltd, said: “The long-awaited re-opening of St Vincent is great news for the city and the Quayside and highlights the vibrancy of Newcastle’s hospitality scene. St Vincent is a shining example of Newcastle’s hospitality sector, which boasts more independent restaurants per person than any other city outside of London.”
St Vincent will be open Tuesday to Saturday. Weekday openings are 4pm to 10pm. On Saturday the restaurant is open from 11.30am till late with food served 12pm to 3pm and then 5.30pm to 10pm (last reservations).