SUMPTUOUS steaks, craft ales and creative cocktails are on the menu in Whiteley after a new bar-restaurant opened its doors.
Bar + Block Steakhouse opened on Saturday for pre-booked trial runs. It has already served hundreds of people, attracted to try out its sample menu at a discounted rate. The venue is the first bar to open at Whiteley Shopping Centre.
Team leader Jess Ellam, from Havant, said the reaction from customers had been great.
The 22-year-old, who started working for the chain in December, said: ‘It’s been great. It’s been really good fun and the team are more than ready to open. We are raring to go.
‘It’s the only bar in Whiteley but it’s also the best-looking restaurant too.’
Manager Luke Tyler, from Waterlooville, has taken the reins after working for Whitbread, which owns the Bar + Block chain, for 13 years.
He started his career as a pot washer at the Beefeater Rusty Cutter in Havant, which is also owned by Whitbread.
Until recently he was the manager at the Beefeater in Farnham.
Luke, 30, said: ‘It’s incredible to be standing here. To be launching Whitbread’s first fresh food restaurant is a proud moment. It’s something so different and it’s good to be a part of it.’
All the food cooked at the restaurant is freshly prepared.
Alison Dickson, 55, from Portchester, was enjoying a steak yesterday with her daughter Lisa Alderton, 33, and four-year-old grandson Jack. ‘It’s lovely. The flavour of the steak is brilliant,’ she said. It can be hard to get a good steak in this country but it’s great here.’
Bar + Block is the final restaurant to open at the Whiteley Shopping Centre extension, which includes a nine-screen Cineworld cinema.
Neil Carter, centre manager at Whiteley Shopping Centre, said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Bar + Block to Whiteley and complete our fabulous restaurant line up.
‘This is another new offer to the area to debut at Whiteley, and I am confident that our visitors will love the menu and the welcoming bar area.’
Its official opening will take place on Saturday.