Final restaurant will bring long-awaited bar

An artist's impression of what Bar + Block at Whiteley Shopping Centre will look like
An artist's impression of what Bar + Block at Whiteley Shopping Centre will look like
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WORK is under way to transform the last remaining restaurant unit at a shopping centre’s leisure complex into its long-awaited bar.

National chain Bar + Block will be opening at Whiteley Shopping Centre in February, offering steaks and cocktails.

Workers are busy transforming the unit, next to the nine-screen cinema, into a stylish bar-restaurant.

A spokeswoman from the chain, which is owned by Whitbread, said: ‘Bar + Block is all about the beef; our 28-day aged steaks are the real deal.

‘Each week there will be a new steak special. But it doesn’t end at steaks. There’s slow-cooked pork belly, beef short ribs and handmade beef burgers. Lighter dishes include grilled chicken with salad.

‘Wash it all down with our extensive drinks menu. While the evening away with a pint of craft beer, a glass of sparkling Champagne or prosecco, or a cocktail, there’s something for everyone.

‘With its show-stopping steaks and delectable craft cocktails, Bar + Block is sure to become Whiteley’s most popular new kid on the block.’

David Murdin, chief operating officer for Whitbread Restaurants, said: ‘We’re really looking forward to bringing Bar + Block to Whiteley. This is an exciting time of growth for the Bar + Block brand, with our flagship site opening in London this December.’

The Whiteley site will be the third Bar + Block to open. Its first site opened in Waterloo Street Birmingham in March, and its flagship will open in King’s Cross next month.

The £18m leisure complex at Whiteley Shopping Centre saw a cinema and six restaurants – Five Guys, Nando’s, Pizza Express, Coast to Coast, Dim T and Wildwood Kitchen - open in November last year, creating 180 jobs.

Neil Carter, centre manager, said: ‘Having recently been shortlisted for a Revo Gold Award for Catering & Leisure destination, I’m delighted that Bar + Block will complete our restaurant line-up.

‘Whiteley has already attracted the first Five Guys, Wildwood and Dim T restaurants to the area and I’m really excited that we have another first in Bar + Block.’

The shopping centre cost £84m to build and opened in May 2013. It is now 99.2 per cent let.