Waters, who runs The Queens pub in Belbroughton, Worcestershire, is setting up a new restaurant in Chad Square, Edgbaston. The 48-year-old chef is taking over the site of the former Pinocchio’s to launch Waters on the Square – a modern British restaurant with 35 covers.
It was in Chad Square that Waters secured his first head chef’s job, at The Bay Tree, in 2001. He went on to cement his culinary reputation – and won a Michelin star – at the self-managed Edmunds in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.
Waters went on to open Edmunds, named after his late father, in Brindleyplace in 2008.
However, he cut his ties with the restaurant last year following an acrimonious dispute with his then business partners.
The 16th century pub has thrived under the chef’s stewardship and the success of both the business and the new partnership convinced Waters and Driscoll to put in a bid for the Chad Square site.
Driscoll’s son Adam, a successful businessman in his own right with a high-profile music industry background, is also backing Waters on the Square.
Contracts have been exchanged and the new restaurant is due to open in the early autumn following a refurbishment.
Waters, a father of two, said: “Birmingham is the place to be. When I left Edmunds, I always said I would return to the city.
“We have got our own niche of customers who have followed us from Henley-in-Arden to Birmingham and then to The Queens. I still see the same faces now that I saw back in Henley.”
Waters values loyalty, a sometimes fleeting commodity in the restaurant industry, and retains a strong following in Edgbaston, where he also hopes to reach out to a new city audience.
Waters on the Square will give the chef’s long-standing right-hand man Gareth Ward his first crack at a head chef’s position. Although Waters will operate between The Queens and the new restaurant and will work on menu development, Ward will be in charge of day-to-day cooking, assisted by Will Tranter.
Waters said: “The restaurant will be doing comfort food, which is our signature. Waters on the Square will have a bistro feel.
“I want Gareth to be his own chief under the umbrella of the Andy Waters’ name. He has been with me for 12-and-a-half years and he knows the way I cook. I trust him implicitly.”
Menus are still being worked on but three courses are likely to be about £25, with mains pitched at £14-£15.
Waters on the Square will open on Tuesdays through to Sunday lunch, closing on Mondays.
The new restaurant will be a further boost for the food scene in south-west Birmingham. A new boutique hotel and cocktail bar, The Edgbaston, and a dining pub operated by the successful Peach group are due to open in Highfield Road.
A mile away in Harborne, a new cookery school, Kitchen, run by Jayne Bradley, is being launched at The School Yard, a restaurant and residential hub on the High Street.
Kitchen, which is due to open in December, will also feature a training cafe run by students from University College Birmingham and a private dining space for chef demonstrations and functions.
The Grade II listed former Clock Tower building will also house a new tapas-style restaurant by Metro Bar & Grill, an independent coffee shop run by Urban Coffee and a Prezzo restaurant.
*Pictures courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com