Businessman hopes nod to the past brings success to city venue

Inside The Cromwell Grill & Wine Bar in Ely

The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar in Ely hopes a nod to the premises' past will lead to success in the near future. Pictured: inside the venue and some of the food on offer. - Credit: The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar

A businessman who has helped open a new food and wine venue in Ely believes a nod to its nostalgic past will enable it to succeed. 

The Cromwell Grill & Wine Bar took over what was 11a cocktail bar, lounge and kitchen on Forehill, having closed last year. 

But after battling through extensive flood damage last May, as well as receiving early feedback on its offering, the venue is now in full flow. 

“I didn’t want to launch with a big bang but work into it,” David Toulson-Burke, director at The Cromwell Grill & Wine Bar, said. 

Inside The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar Ely

Inside The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar in Ely, which was previously 11a in Forehill. - Credit: The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar Ely

“We wanted to be multifaceted, so not just a cocktail bar and I don’t think there is nobody else that does a wine bar like this in Ely.” 

Mr Toulson-Burke was previously a managing director at The House Collection which ran hotels including Poets House on St Mary’s Street, Ely. 

His latest hospitality venture offers a range of wine, beer and meat, as well as vegan and vegetarian options both in the daytime and evening. 

Food at The Cromwell Grill & Wine Bar Ely

Some of the food that is on offer at The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar in Ely. - Credit: The Cromwell Grill & Wine Bar Ely

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“We’ve got a variety of steaks, chickens, and the chef brings their own spark to the flavours,” said Mr Toulson-Burke. 

“We would like people to come along and have nice, grilled food on a nice sized plate, and all food is handmade from scratch. 

Food on offer at The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar Ely

Some of the food that is on offer at The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar in Ely. - Credit: The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar Ely

“It’s a wine bar, but we have other items available so it’s trying to have something for everybody.” 

The business is also planning to revive 11a through using its first floor for private hire, too. 

Since opening in June, Mr Toulson-Burke has received positive feedback from potential customers, for a place that aims to cater for friends, couples and families from young to older. 

And as well as focussing on food and drink, he hopes a nod to what used to be The Cromwell will bring some familiar faces back to the venue. 

Inside The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar in Ely

Inside The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar in Ely, which was previously 11a in Forehill. - Credit: The Cromwell - Grill & Wine Bar in Ely

“It’s very nostalgic to people who might have gone there for special occasions,” Mr Toulson-Burke added. 

“As it’s called the Cromwell, people may come in due to its history whereas some might not have been before.  

“We want to get it established as a quality venue where people can come in and it is their venue of choice, that’s our overall ambition.”