Hairy Biker Si King to open new restaurant in Sunderland's Sheepfolds stables leisure site
Hairy Biker Si King is set to serve up a taste of North East heritage after signing up to Sunderland’s newest food venue.
County Durham-born Si, who attended St Robert of Newminster School in Washington, will be opening a new venue at the stables at Sheepfolds, which is being brought back to life by architects BDN.
Si will be offering a creative menu of comforting, hearty dishes inspired by flavours from around the world – and closer to home: “Stuff that your gran used to make that you’ve forgotten about,” he said.
The TV chef, one half of the Hairy Bikers with mate Dave Myers, will be sourcing as much of his ingredients as possible locally: “We have got a great tradition in Sunderland and across Wearside of growing our own produce – there are loads of allotments.”
The aim is to provide quality food that won’t break the bank.
“The idea is to give people the best possible quality of ingredients and make sure that it is affordable,” said Si.
“It is about making it as affordable as it can be, with the best ingredients I can possibly find.”
Si is excited to be playing a part in the changing face of the city: “When I met BDN and heard more about the vision for the former stables at Sheepfolds, I could see the opportunity to co-design a space that would allow me and my sons – both of whom work in hospitality - to bring some of the unique flavours I have sampled from around the world during my time as a Hairy Biker to the people of Sunderland,” he said.
"That’s what I’m most excited about offering exceptional, unfussy food to Sunderland - delicious dishes that are inspired by other cultures and that take people on a journey.”
Food will be prepared in the unit with a fire pit to keep customers warm outside in all weathers.
“I think Sunderland is crying out for venues like the stables,” said Si.
"The fact that the team behind it are Sunderland-based, and want the absolute best for the city, is what makes this such a special development and one I am thrilled to be joining.
BDN managing director Rick Marsden said: “We’re pleased to be welcoming Si to our venue. We want to bring something really special to the city – a fantastic range of places to eat, drink and enjoy – so Si’s relaxed style of food will be a great addition to the other businesses we’re speaking to.
“Each will offer something different, so there will be a place to suit all tastes when we open next summer.”
The development has been supported by Sunderland City Council, whose team have worked closely with BDN to attract the right businesses to take space in the building.
Council leader Coun Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is a brilliant coup for the city, to attract a chef with such a pedigree to this fantastic new development at Sheepfolds.
"The excitement is certainly building for this new venue, another brilliant addition to our transforming city.”