THE doors of a Richmond hotel are due to re-open this weekend for Sunday lunch and live music in the evening.

The Fleece Hotel has been taken over by Chris Miles, head of Delcon Construction, who was an early investor in the scheme to redevelop the Gothic building last year, led by Within Reach Developments.

Mr Miles said despite Within Reach being overcome by obstacles, which led to the liquidation of the business and closure of The Fleece in December 2018, he believes in the potential of the business.

He said: “I bought into the original scheme and funded part of the development. It was a very demanding build, and unfortunately it didn’t work out for them.

“But I felt it was fundamentally a good scheme and concept, and the building was beautiful but needed to be finished in the right way.

“We wanted to carry on and deliver the concept ­– and hopefully make it even better.

“We have spent a huge amount of time and energy on making the interior match the splendour of the exterior of the building.”

Mr Miles has appointed Daniel Williams as general manager to run the restaurant. The hotel is due to open later this month, but currently the team is focussing on getting the restaurant offering right.

Mr Miles said: “We are just finishing the details now. We want to enhance the unique character of the building and are trying to create a warm, inviting atmosphere.”

Mr Miles and his team have altered the main bar area to add booths to break up the large space and create cosy corners, and have put in windowed doors in the entrance hall to better show off the imposing staircase leading to the hotel rooms.

He added: “The previous product that was delivered was not what the customer wanted or expected – but we hope we have got it right this time.”

The Fleece will use as much local produce as possible, including Baytown Coffee from Whitby, and a wide variety of Yorkshire cheeses.

Mr Miles said: “I am passionate about coffee and good quality food. I believe the two meals that are generally done better at home are a full English breakfast and a Sunday lunch – it is my aim to challenge that and really focus on our Sunday lunch and Saturday brunch offerings.

“I’m really proud of our executive chef Sylwester Michalak, who has create a simple but sustainable menu which we want to be consistently good.

“We will have a specials board where we will experiment and test what the customer like.”

Mr Williams, who comes from a background working at Punch Taverns, said: “We are really positive and exciting about opening.

“The concept is a good one, and we have spent a lot of time training in cocktails, our wine, food and customer service.

“Our food is not complicated but full of flavour – and at a sensible price.”

Acoustic guitarist Scott Wilson will perform on Sunday evening from 7.30pm, when sharing platters will be available.

Bookings are now being taken for Sunday lunch. Telephone 01748-503104.