Second Helpings at Silversmiths

After 12 years at the helm of the Arundel Street eatery, a period of time which has seen the venue develop a national reputation for fine dining, Silversmiths founder Justin Rowntree is handing the reigns over to new owner Michael Standerline.

In 2005, following ten years working as a recruitment consultant, Justin re-mortgaged his house, risked everything and opened ‘The Runaway Girl’, a late-night live music venue and tapas restaurant. This was an especially brave move, as 12 years ago the now vibrant Cultural Industries Quarter was effectively an industrial wasteland. After a life-changing visit from Gordon Ramsay in 2008, The Runaway Girl ended and Silversmiths was born. Justin has spent the last nine years building the Silversmiths brand of fine Yorkshire food and warm hospitality – making a stirling effort of it with the restaurant winning awards year in, year out (including five-times winner of Exposed Best City Centre Restaurant!).

So with all this success and hard work why is he leaving? Justin told Exposed: “The opportunity to exit after 12 years and do something completely different was something I couldn’t refuse. I’ve just launched my new business consultancy, Sweet Spot, which(I hope) will use my psychology degree, ten years in recruitment and twelve years of building a business to help all sorts of companies grow, and – you guessed it – find their ‘Sweet Spot’. Leaving the business I’ve built with blood sweat and tears was a tough decision, but it’s time for pastures new.” New owner Michael, who has worked with Justin over the last 18 months as his business advisor and accountant, is just the man to take Silversmiths to the next level. Michael has big plans and has already brought in a new GM, Front of House Manager and additions to the kitchen team in hopes of taking the restaurant’s reputation to even loftier heights.

Speaking upon his decision to take the brand forward, Michael told Exposed: “Silversmiths is a real asset for the city and something I truly believe in; when I had the chance to take over it was a no-brainer. Rest assured, it’s in safe hands and I want to push the brand and the standards through the roof – the goal is two AA rosettes this year.” He continued: “My new team has already launched a great new daily lunch and Sunday lunch menu, put in place an early bird menu for the pre-theatre crowd and post-work diners in the area. We’ve even created an intimate private dining area and later this year are planning the ‘Silversmiths Loft’, a secret space for exclusive dining up on the 3rd floor. I can’t wait to welcome old customers and new through the door to show them how our plans for shape up in the months and years to come.”

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