A Royton entrepreneur is bringing a taste of the USA to Oldham’s Independent Quarter with a new smokin’ hot restaurant.
Jack’s Smokehouse – named affectionately after the three-year-old son of owner Carl Taylor – is opening at the former Grapes Hotel building along Yorkshire Street later this month.
Carl, aged 34, and his business partners, Frank Winterbottom and Danny Knight, felt this was the ideal location for his restaurant with it being yards from the ODEON Old Town Hall cinema scheme, as well as the new Marks & Spencer-led Prince’s Gate development at Oldham Mumps.
Both Carl and building owner Guy Barlow are jointly investing more than £150,000 to renovate the external façade, and refurbish the ground floor to create the new smoke house restaurant.
Carl has brought in several local businesses to get the 65-seated restaurant up and running – and all 13 staff are local and have been recruited through Oldham Council’s Get Oldham Working initiative.
Jack’s Smokehouse will create authentic American food, cooked low and slow, in its smokers. The menu will also contain a bit of local heritage – the classic rag pudding.
It’s the latest business to benefit from the council’s £1million investment fund to revitalise the area between Yorkshire Street, Clegg Street and Union Street (East).
The business also received start-up support from the Oldham Enterprise Fund. The panel were impressed with the firm’s willingness to create local employment.
Carl said: “A lot of research went into finding the right location – and we felt Yorkshire Street has a lot of selling points.
“The investment that is going into the town centre by the council and other local businesses was a huge attraction for us – especially with the Old Town Hall transformation and Marks and Spencer coming to Oldham Mumps.
“We could have easily located to Manchester, but I, along with my business partners, are local lads, and we thought let’s do our bit for Oldham – and create a destination that people will love to visit.”
Guy Barlow said: “I could see the strong council-led regeneration plans for the town centre which gave me the confidence to invest into the area.
“The creation of Jack’s Smokehouse on the ground floor is just the first phase for this building. We are already on with planning the second phase which will be the creation of an 11-bed roomed boutique hotel.
“It’s been exciting renovating the Old Grapes pub back to a use aimed at creating a family friendly environment back to the town centre.”