Bury St Edmunds restaurant Ben's to close in merger with neighbouring Queen's Bar and Grill
A Bury St Edmunds restaurant is to close but its owner says its ethos will live on in a merger with his other business.
Ben’s Restaurant, in Churchgate Street, will shut and merge with the neighbouring Queen’s Bar and Grill, which will have a new ‘Authentic Smokehouse and Taste of Suffolk’ tagline.
Ben Hutton, owner of both businesses, said it was ‘sad decision’ but lockdown had given him time to reflect and it was ‘the right thing’.
He merged Ben’s with Queen’s in July to reduce costs and the Queen's menu will include dishes from Ben’s, which opened in December 2014, including meat from Mr Hutton’s farm.
“Ben’s is quite small and Queen’s is double the size - there are rooms upstairs which gives us more opportunity to grow the business,” Mr Hutton said.
“It’s a relocation to a bigger, better property with more opportunities.
"It’s quite exciting because it gives me time to focus on Queen’s and make it the best we can.
“I will be leading the kitchen team so there will be a lot of consistency with Ben’s and it gives me more time to focus on the farm again.”
With some time left on his lease for Ben’s, he plans to reopen it as a private hire venue in June for weddings, birthday parties and functions with catering opportunities.
The farm shop at Ben’s will continue for the next three Saturdays of this month.
Queen’s will reopen in May but Mr Hutton plans to host a pop-up weekend before then weather-permitting.