A restaurant which became a favourite for foodies has served its final diners.
Grant Young – former owner and head chef at Restaurant 65 in the heart of Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town – completed his last evening service to a full house on Saturday night before handing over the keys on Monday.
After years of working seven days a week, 16 hours a day, Grant and wife Gina decided that it was time for a change – but they leave behind a loyal customer base who could not hide their disappointment at the news.
Grant, 42, said: “We’ve done well and we’ve had a lot of support over the years. It’s nice to know we had a lot of happy customers. We’ve had a good run of it.”
The charming 17th century building – at number 65 on the historic High Street – was featured in both the Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide several times, and offered seating for 36 diners with a menu of good, British food with a contemporary twist.
Grant said: “I just want to say a massive thank you to all of our customers, because they made the restaurant.
“I could have been cooking up meals in the kitchen all day, but there would have been no point if there was no one to eat them.”
However, customers will be glad to hear that they haven’t seen the last of Grant, who hopes to move into the private dining business six months or so from now, while Gina will be concentrating on her beauty therapy business.
Grant said: “My cooking’s not stopping – it’s just stopping here. In fact, my customers were the ones who gave me the idea to branch out and do something different.”
His new venture will involve menu planning with his customers, buying all the top quality ingredients and prepping them all so that his customers can take it home, create a culinary masterpiece for friends in their own kitchen and take all the credit.
He said: “It’s a simple idea – it saves someone hassle of making a list, going out shopping and preparing it all.
“This way, you can relax and have a glass of wine with your friends.”