Local chef Thomas Carr, along with his brother Kevin Carr and friend, Richard Evans have launched a crowd funding project to bring a new restaurant to Ilfracombe High street.
Thomas opened the Olive Room in 2014 and quickly, yet quietly built up a great reputation for great quality food. In 2015 Michelin judges started to take notice and in 2016 Thomas gained his, and Ilfracombe’s first Michelin star.
In 2017 Thomas retained the Michelin star and also added three AA rosettes to his collection of accolades. Now – in 2018, Thomas and the team hope to launch a new project, taking over the Lamb Hotel building on Ilfracombe high street to open a new ‘Seafood and Grill’ restaurant.
Thomas said ‘’I pass the building a lot and knew it had been empty for some time. I love the Olive Room and we’re still making improvements there, but we’re limited to 16 covers. Ilfracombe has a wonderful selection of great, small restaurants but lacks a bigger casual dining venue where you can meet with friends for a quick bite and drink, or have an affordable great quality 3 course meal for less than £30’’ he continued ‘’That’s what we want to achieve with the Seafood and Grill’’
Thomas’ reputation for great food is very well known, but this project sees him team up with his brother, Kevin Carr. Kevin also has a wonderful achievement to his name – he’s a World Record holder for the fastest time running around the world! Richard Evans also joins the Carr brothers, who co-founded North Devon marketing agency BlueFrog Media.
It’s not just about business though, Tom is keen for the new restaurant to help in Ilfracombe’s thriving community. ‘’Ilfracombe has had its moments in the past, and still struggles to shift a negative reputation in some people’s eyes – but as a resident, business owner and father I can honestly say it’s one of the best places in North Devon. It’s got a real community spirit like nothing I’ve ever known. We want to give as much back as we can, so we’ll be looking for two local causes to support from the very outset – and offering anything we can to help. You only have to look at the Christmas Lights switch on this year to see what a great spirit this town has’’ said Tom.
To make it happen – the team have launched a project on popular crowdfunding website ‘Kickstarter’. ‘’Every business needs money to begin with, and there are a number of ways to get that. We wanted to find the most effective way, as we have some great ideas for the business and also want to keep the costs to the customers as low as possible. We thought Ilfracombe, and North Devon, would be the ideal place to crowdfund as there is such a great crowd to fund from!’’ said Tom.
There are some fantastic rewards for anyone wanting to back the project. From handmade truffles to tasting menu dinners and lunches at the Michelin starred Olive Room. There are even dine and stay offers for anyone wanting to visit North Devon – and for those with a real passion for fine dining – starting at just £1000 you can have Thomas come and cook in your own home, or even do the catering for your wedding!
To read more about the project, or to bag yourself a meal or any of the other rewards for backers – visit the website