Street food, music, craft beer and cocktails will mark the launch of Coventry’s first permanent indoor street food venue today (Friday). The same day as Coventry’s City of Culture years begins in earnest.
‘Factory’ at FarGo Village in the city’s Creative Quarter will be home to five permanent street food vendors, providing food and drink from brunch until dinner.
Stripclub Streetfood will be tempting customers with their tasty burgers; The Paneer Wrap Street Food Company will be tantalising vegetarians and vegans with their traditional Indian spices; The Grub Shed is renowned for its dirty loaded fries; Dough and Flow will be creating fresh Neapolitan pizzas and Get Us Baked, run by The Brownie Box by Emily which is already based at FarGo Village, will be serving brunch, coffees and cakes from the bar.
The £360,000 renovation work has in part been funded by the Cultural Capital Investment Fund, which includes an allocation from the Getting Building Fund from the Government via the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Arts Council England funding.
Three units have been refurbished into an open-plan dining area with an industrial ambiance to reflect its history as a car radiator factory for Coventry Motor Fittings for 60 years.
The new roof terrace will seat 70 diners, the mezzanine a further 70 and an inside dining area will also have seating for 70 when it initially opens due to Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing. This will rise to a total of 300 when the Government’s road map is due to change on June 21.
Graeme Ellis, who previously worked for Amadeus Food at the NEC in Birmingham, will be overseeing operations as Food and Beverages Manager. Between 15 and 20 new staff will be employed to work across Factory and The Box, FarGo Village’s on-site creative arts venue, also due to reopen with a programme of live music, theatre and family friendly entertainment when restrictions ease.
The new street food vendors join FarGo’s existing food and drink businesses which include a noodle bar, Caribbean and vegan food, a bakery and gourmet food kitchen.
Elyse Cadden, The Box Venue Manager of FarGo Village, said the work was nearly complete and she is counting down the days until Factory opens.
“Everyone connected with this project is really looking forward to seeing the final results at our official opening on June 4,” she said.
“We will be providing a must-visit dining experience with independent street food, music, craft beer and cocktails, which is an element that has been missing from the city.
“To be opening on the same day as Coventry Moves – the signature event to mark the start of Coventry’s 12 months as UK City of Culture – makes it extra special.
“We have signed up five fantastic street food companies for semi-permanent residencies; we will be inviting new operators in at regular intervals to keep the vibe fresh and new.”
Helen Peters, board director and chair of the CWLEP’s culture and tourism business group, said the opening of Factory was particularly timely with the easing of Government restrictions later in June.
“I’m sure Factory will entice a whole range of customers from people living in Coventry and Warwickshire to visitors attending events during UK City of Culture,” she said.
“At the CWLEP one of our aims is to reimagine our city and town centres through bold approaches to enterprise. This kind of innovative dining experience is just the kind of venue that supports our key hospitality, tourism, culture, heritage and retails sectors.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, at the Council, said: “We’ve only just begun our year as UK City of Culture and the fact that small businesses are gearing up to operate at the refurbished FarGo Village is fantastic news.
“We are already witnessing vast improvements we have made in the city centre and elsewhere, where we have secured investment and grants to improve locations like Factory at FarGo Village, and this is creating a new-look to a venue while retaining features of its engineering past.
“Loads of building and regeneration projects have been going on in the city throughout the major difficulties cause by the pandemic, and it all reflects the determination and resilience of everyone involved.
“FarGo Village is a wonderful location that will be providing a really warm welcome to visitors and to local people of all ages and all communities throughout this year and in the years ahead.”