Restaurateur says new Ely outlet will have 'Latino vibe'

Urban Fresh new restaurant in Ely

Urban Fresh are due to open their new restaurant on Ely riverside in April. Inset: Gambas pil pil just one dish offered at the restaurant. - Credit: Urban Fresh

A food entrepreneur behind a new restaurant hopes bringing the flavours of South America to Ely riverside will offer something different to the city’s “jewel in the crown”. 

Urban Fresh will become Ely’s latest riverside food outlet, taking over the building which was the Red Herring fish and chip shop

It is an idea conceived, in part, by Steve Haslam who teamed up with other investors to create a new restaurant. 

“We aim to bring out flavours from South America, designed to be inspired from those flavours such as chilli and other ingredients,” said Steve. 

“But we don’t just want Brazilian flavours, but from across the spectrum, so we can twist any dish.” 

Urban Fresh steak plate

A T-bone steak, one of the meat offerings that Urban Fresh provide. - Credit: Urban Fresh

Gambas pil pil prawns at Urban Fresh

Gambas pil pil, one of the offerings that Urban Fresh provide. - Credit: Urban Fresh

Steve, who owns fellow riverside restaurants in The Cutter Inn and RBK, has seen Urban Fresh grow in popularity since it opened in Ramsden Heath, Essex last October. 

The idea to have a venue in Ely was first considered last February, something which Steve believes will exploit a gap in the market. 

“We have this building and looked at everything Ely has to offer and felt there was a gap in the market for something different,” he said. 

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“It will be very relaxed and has a Latino vibe. 

Urban Fresh in Ramsden Heath, Essex

Inside Urban Fresh's restaurant in Ramsden Heath, Essex. - Credit: Urban Fresh

“There was a study that put Ely as the third worst city for eating out; I don't get that as I think it’s vibrant and I think people will appreciate something more eclectic.

"The riverside is the jewel in the crown."

Ely will become home to Urban Fresh’s second restaurant, which will employ around 20 people from the local area. 

Indoor refurbishment is still taking place, with the aim to open to the public during the last week of April. 

Urban Fresh on Ely riverside

A view from the front of Urban Fresh on Ely riverside. - Credit: Urban Fresh

Cllr Mike Rouse opening Red Herring restaurant in Ely

Ex-mayor of Ely, Cllr Mike Rouse, officially opening the former Red Herring restaurant in 2019. - Credit: Archant

The total cost of refurbishment is roughly £120,000, and despite the cost of living and other prices on the rise, Steve is confident Urban Fresh can deliver success in Ely. 

“We are optimistically cautious in the economy and how that may impact us as it’s tough out there,” he added. 

“We are concerned about the costs, but we will do what we can to mitigate that for guests to visit time after time. 

“I hope people will appreciate a new, vibrant restaurant as the riverside is important to Ely and tourism.”