Individual Restaurants, the company behind Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill, has opened a 400-cover restaurant in Chester, in a former Methodist church.
Opera Grill is on Pepper Street, opposite sister restaurant Piccolino. The grade two-listed building has undergone a £3m refurbishment, and includes a restaurant and bar over two floors, a music lounge, and south facing roof terrace.
The property dates back to 1836 when it opened as a Methodist Chapel. It then closed shortly after World War One when the building was hidden behind a car garage, which manufactured fuselage and spitfire wings in World War Two. The unit was later occupied by a furniture company.
The listed Neoclassical façade includes pillars, pediment and a portico, and has been restored based on archive photos.
The interior designer for the restaurant was Bernard Carroll, who delivered an industrial design with exposed brick and plaster, polished concrete floors, Crittal Windows, and materials such as hot rolled steel, cerused oak, antique brass and Arabestato marble.
The food is made in front of the guests, with 25 metres of display fridges highlighting a range of fresh produce on offer, including a raw bar, cold counter and in house butchers.