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30 July 2014

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Chez Bruce reopens – Bruce Poole talks about the refurbished site

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Bruce Poole - Bruce_Poole.jpgThis weekend, Wandsworth favourite Chez Bruce reopens after a six-week refurbishment. To find out what customers can expect from the newly expanded site, we caught up with chef-patron Bruce Poole (pictured right).

Why did you decide to expand and refurbish Chez Bruce?

The main reason is to get a brand new, enlarged kitchen in here. We’ve expanded the dining room slightly, not by much, but maybe by an additional 15 covers. It’ll give guests more space, more comfort, more light – it’ll be a nicer place to be.

Food-wise, will regulars see anything different?  

The new kitchen will allow us to be a bit more flexible on the menu, but the style of food won’t change at all.

Since it opened in 1995, Chez Bruce has been described as forging the blueprint for the perfect neighbourhood restaurant – how have you gone about building such a reputation?

It’s nice to hear. We do our absolute damnedest to look after our locals. I think we’re fairly old fashioned in that we concentrate on what Nigel [Platts-Martin, the restaurant’s co-owner] and I believe is most important – and that's great food, great wine and great service.

Over that time, you have opened The Glasshouse in Kew and La Trompette in Chiswick. Have you ever had a desire to open more centrally?

I wouldn’t say so. As you know, Nigel has other ventures in the centre of town with Phil Howard, but I’ve never personally had a strong desire to move in there.  

Do you think the restaurant has another 15 years in it? And how long do you see yourself at the helm?  

We’re doing this project because we want to be here in 15 years. It needed doing and this is to make sure we have the kitchen and the space to keep moving forward.  As for me, I’m no spring chicken but I’ve certainly got the hunger to be here for the next 15 years at least. 

Chez Bruce, 2 Bellevue Road, London SW17 7EG, 020 8672 0114.  To read more on the restaurant click here.

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