In December 2013, former Manchester teammates Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs will officially open their new restaurant, Café Football at Westfield Stratford City.
Café Football is the first venture for GG Hospitality, the hospitality management company set up by the footballing duo earlier this year. The pair, who developed their love and enthusiasm for the hospitality sector from travelling the world, have brought together a team of industry experts, which includes leading hotelier Stuart Procter as managing director.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality about the new venture, Stuart said:
“This project is all about bringing the global entity of football together. We looked long and hard at various sites in London before we decided on this one, and Westfield Stratford City ticked all the right boxes. Westfield Stratford City is a great location and with the Olympic Stadium soon to be the home of West Ham and with Leighton Orient just around the corner, we believe this is the perfect spot for our first venture.”
“I’ve known Ryan and Gary for a number of years, when I was the general manager of the Stafford hotel, London. We hit it off and when they asked me if I wanted to come on board and head up their company I was more than happy to get involved. I am a big football fan and we all get on very well.”
When it opens in December, Café Football will capture the authentic football culture with hints to the great game running throughout the menu and décor. The design of the 140-seated restaurant includes subtle nods to the game, from footy socks on the chairs through to a goal post at the entrance. Anyone familiar with football will certainly pick up on the design, whilst Ryan Giggs’ Olympic boots are proudly displayed in the boot cabinet.
“Everything about the design of Café Football has been presented in a subtle fashion. There are no football shirts in site, in fact, Ryan’s boots are the only piece of official football memorabilia on display.”
The menu itself, which has been exclusively collaborated by two Michelin star chef, Michael Wignall, and executive chef Brendan Fyldes and will see traditional half time and post match food transformed into something extraordinary. From posh pies to a half time orange with a twist, the menu is set to delight footy fans and foodies alike. There are also a few celebrity treats on the menu too, with dishes from the likes of football fan and TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher, as well as Karren Brady, star of the Apprentice and Vice Chairman of West Ham United.
Creating 40 jobs for the Stratford area, Café Football has worked with The Skills Place and Newham Council Work Place to employ a team of the best local talent, focusing on those who are currently out of work, as well as people who are interested in apprenticeships.
Talking about the launch, Gary Neville, commented:
“Opening a restaurant is a huge step away from our lives on the football pitch, but we are going to apply the same levels of enthusiasm and passion to Café Football.
“We have a great team working with us who share our ambition of making Café Football an enjoyable and surprising experience.”
Ryan Giggs, added:
“Food and football are two things that people around the world are passionate about. Café Football has given us the opportunity to merge these two passions to create something unforgettable.”
“We are extremely proud to be investing in the local area and as a result creating a number of jobs. We are excited to create the Café Football team, who will help us deliver our vision to everyone who visits the restaurant.”
Salix Commercial Kitchens was responsible for the design, supply and installation of the kitchen and bar within Café Football.
Commenting on the project, Rod Cullen of Salix Commercial Kitchens, said:
“We were very happy when Stuart contacted us to be a part of the Café Football hospitality side of the business. We explored all of the various manufacturers’ equipment to select the ideal products to suit the Café Football food and drinks offer.
“Working with Stuart and his operations team in designing, supplying and installing the kitchen and bar has been great, and we wish them luck for London and the future.”
The opening of Café Football will be followed by the launch of Hotel Football in 2014, which is on the doorstep of Old Trafford. With 138 rooms, friends, family and business people will find a relaxed, friendly and welcoming environment with football at its heart.