Speakeasy cocktail bar and restaurant serving kangaroo kebabs to open in Princes Avenue
The Crooked Skewer and The Safehouse will open their doors to the public in April 2018 (Image: Richard Addison)
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 25 Mar 2019
A new restaurant serving kangaroo kebabs and quirky cocktails is set to open in Princes Avenue.
The Crooked Skewer and The Safehouse will open in the building that used to be home to Aunt Bibby’s Smokehouse and Street, which shut unexpectedly in August last year.
According to signs on the building, the lease was “forfeited”, resulting in the closure of the restaurant. However, new owners Jamie Del Grosso and Aminul Choudhury have been working to bring the venue back to life.
As well as work going on inside the premises, a tyre advertising The Crooked Skewer has appeared in the smoking area with the pair looking to build up anticipation ahead of the launch of the two businesses.
Mr Del Grosso has revealed The Crooked Skewer will serve international kebabs and grills with unusual meats such as alligator and kangaroo set to appear on the menu.
A tyre displaying the name of the new venture has appeared outside the venue (Image: Richard Addison)
The Safehouse will be a prohibition-themed bar selling fancy cocktails in a bid to mirror the style and ambience of the Roaring Twenties.
Mr Del Grosso said: “We took it on just over a month ago and since then we’ve been stripping it out, cleaning it and getting it ready for its new purpose.
“With The Crooked Skewer we wanted to create something that was a little bit more casual and relaxed so that we could let people choose how they wanted to eat.
“We want to serve international kebabs because when people think of kebabs they think of donor meat but we are doing everything from sirloin kebabs to even having alligator and kangaroo on the menu.
The restaurant used to be home to Aunt Bibby's Smokehouse and Street (Image: Richard Addison)
“The skewers will come through to the tables on a contraption where the meat will hang from it. The idea is to encourage people to share their orders between them and there will be baskets of bread too. It will be a little bit like tapas in the way it is delivered but it will be premium quality.”
Mr Del Grosso and Mr Choudhury, who runs Yo! Tuk Tuk inside the Windmill Inn pub in Beverley, have been teasing elements of The Crooked Skewer on its Facebook page during the past few weeks.
However, until now, no clues have been announced as to what customers can expect from The Safehouse.
Mr Del Grosso says the bar will serve cocktails and cask ales with mixologists hired to create sparkling and luxurious concoctions similar to those you would expect at The Alchemist.
The venue when it was Aunt Bibby's (Image: Google Maps)
Explaining the concept in more depth, Mr Del Grosso said: “We are trying to create a story. The focus from the start is not ‘come in and get food and drink’.
“We want to create an experience – something that people can get immersed in so they can get their food and then find out about the history of the building. That is a real focus for us.
“We have been drip-feeding information and we have taken a lot of influence and experience from cocktail bars like The Alchemist.
“The Safehouse will be the open area at the front and will be quite showy and theatrical. We will have people doing fire breathing – it’s going to be that kind of place.”
Aminul Choudhury (second from left) is involved in this new venture
During the past year, there has been a high turnover of restaurants and bars in Princes Avenue. Lucca, The Tiffin Box, Jumeriah, Zara’s and Bait have all shut up shop in the past 12 months with four out of those five premises now filled by a different venture.
However, Mr Del Grosso believes the two businesses will offer customers an experience they will not be able to find anywhere else in the city and he thinks it can help to make Princes Avenue more of a brand.
He said: “People have to travel out or go to Leeds so we are trying to bring something to Princes Avenue that is not in the city at the moment.
“There are a lot of interesting developments here in Princes Avenue but people are changing what they are doing. Princes Avenue has been the same for a while and it has been quite static in what it has been offering so we are working with other independent bars to try and promote and boost the Princes Avenue name.”
Mr Del Grosso said he is already in conversation with bars to try and create a membership scheme where people can enjoy discounts in multiple venues down the street.
“We want to make Princes Avenue more of a destination,” he said. “Places down Humber Street have pushed the Humber Street brand and the area has done very well.
“Princes Avenue has a lot to offer but it has go the point where people are looking for something new and different and we want to offer that.
“People don’t need to travel out of the city to the more high-end cocktail places like The Alchemist because we will be able to give them that experience in Hull.”
Mr Del Grosso said he aims to launch The Crooked Skewer and The Safehouse in April 2019.