Taste Inverclyde is delighted to share plans for a new £100,000 restaurant in Gourock that will create a string of new jobs.
Jude and his wife Hazel are opening KAI Smokehouse within the former Bank of Scotland premises in Kempock Street in January 2019.
Jude said the investment into the new venture should ensure employment for five or six full-time employees.
“We envisage KAI Smokehouse becoming an integral part of the local community. We want it to be a place where people will come to enjoy not only fantastic food but a relaxed, friendly and inspiring atmosphere.
“We’ve spoken about it for years and it is exciting to see it coming together at last.”
The couple, who are both 45, say they have always dreamed of opening a restaurant in the area.
Jude trained as a chef and initially worked in Edinburgh in a renowned bistro called The Tatler in Leith and a steakhouse called Buffalo Grill. He then moved to the Isle of Arran where he worked in the Auchrannie resort, being given the responsibility of launching bistro, Brambles.
Jude was offered chef contracts in Australia and Sweden to train and work for Stakis Crown – however, he chose to make a career change.
Jude later moved to Greenock to pursue social work studies, where he met Hazel, and now practices as a social worker in Inverclyde, which he is also a qualified practice teacher.
Hazel was born and grew up in Inverclyde and went on to achieve an honours degree in social policy and a post-graduate diploma in housing management.
Hazel has worked in the field of social rented housing for about 20 years.
The couple, who have been married for 19 years, say they were inspired to open a smokehouse restaurant following a trip to New Zealand.
“We have been to New Zealand a couple of times in the last three years to visit family and attend a wedding.
“We were blown away by the small independent businesses, restaurants and cafes, it’s so connected to the community. It inspired us to think about what we could do there.”
Jude says the restaurant will offer the community a fresh dining experience.
“It’s a fusion between Texas-style barbecue and a Scottish coastal venue. There will be smoked salmon, smoked cheese, scallops, fish and seafood.
“We will also bring in the Texas-style barbecue, such as brisket, ribs and pulled pork burgers.”
The restaurant received approval for its licence on Thursday at a meeting of the Inverclyde Licencing board.
Jude aims to open the doors to KAI Smokehouse in mid-to-late January 2019.
For more information, visit KAI Smokehouse Facebook page.
This story first appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on 7 December 2018.