The latest addition to Beverley’s thriving leisure scene opened today (May 16) with Riva Lounge and Café Bar bringing an authentic European eating and drinking experience to the Flemingate centre.
The stylish venue was conceived as a result of extensive research over a four-year period by the owners, which included visiting Lake Como, Lake Garda, the Amalfi Coast and the island of Ischia, as well as Nice in the south of France and Monte Carlo. The name is derived from the spectacularly beautiful Lake Garda resort of Riva del Garda.
More than £500,000 has been invested in the concept, mainly in the design, fixtures and fittings. A total of 24 full and part-time jobs have been created by the opening.
Shaun Thompson, who is the Managing Director of the business, said: “Our aim from the start was to develop our own brand, to create the look and feel of an authentic European lounge bar and café bar.
“We studied many locations in Italy and the south of France in respect of their architecture, authenticity, ambience, service, menu offerings and how the staff and customers interact. We have learned from lots of places and have listened to what people want to develop our own unique concept.
“We believe there will be nothing in the area offering such a blend of authentic European influences, with a modern twist. We’re looking forward to welcoming customers from Beverley, the wider area and further afield.”
The 118-cover venue features a dining and bar area, gelato counter and chocolatier. It also has extensive outdoor seating, allowing customers to enjoy a meal or drink with views of Beverley’s magnificent Minster.
Riva Lounge and Café Bar will be refined, but informal, offering a sociable gathering place for all ages. It will open from 9am to 11pm from Sunday to Wednesday and from 9am to midnight from Thursday to Saturday.
A brunch menu will be served from 9am to 2pm, with the main menu available from 12 noon. Dishes will include locally-sourced ingredients with European tastes.
There will be an extensive selection of quality wines, all available by the glass, champagnes, cocktails and mocktails and craft beers, bottled and on draft.
The gelato counter will offer a choice of 15 Italian ice creams while the chocolatier will feature 27 different varieties of chocolate from five of the top European producers.
Having considered dozens of sites across the country, Mr Thompson chose Flemingate for the new venture due to its location close to the heart of Beverley, which has a growing population, and the footfall from Flemingate’s shops, Parkway cinema and Premier Inn hotel.
Graham Tait, Flemingate Centre Manager, said: “Riva Lounge and Café Bar is a great addition to Flemingate and the very latest in a steady stream of openings, including high-quality local independent ventures such as this.
“With its superb external dining area and gelato counter, the timing could not be better, as we head into the summer. We’re sure Riva Lounge and Café Bar will prove to be very popular with diners from Beverley and beyond.”
The opening of Riva Lounge and Café Bar comes just two days after Baytree Interiors, the Yorkshire-based homewares retailer, invited the first customers into its Flemingate store, the 12th opening by the fast-growing retailer.
Flemingate already boasts some of the UK’s best-known retailers, restaurants and cafés including Debenhams, H&M, Wilko, Costa and Patisserie Valerie, as well as BOLO, the independent fashion retailer, and Guest & Philips, the independent jeweller.
The 16-acre Flemingate development – Beverley’s largest-ever regeneration project – is a £120m scheme by Hull-based Wykeland Group. In addition to the shopping centre, it is also home to the East Riding College campus, an 80-bed Premier Inn hotel and six-screen, 1,000-seat digital cinema, Parkway, as well as 130 high-quality homes.