A NEW Coventry restaurant which will help transform the lives of young people was officially opened last Saturday.
Metropolis, run by national Coventry training provider PET-Xi, was launched with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony by radio presenter John Dalziel.
No sooner as it opened, it was welcoming its first guests after dozens of diners who had pre-booked in advance of the opening.
Coventry town crier Paul Curtis was also on hand to proudly and loudly announce the opening to the public.
Metropolis, on the site of the former Drapers Bar on Earl Street, is just a stone’s throw away from the newly-created Assembly Festival Garden, which is hosting a whole range of exciting events during Coventry’s UK City of Culture year.
The restaurant will combine high-quality food and drink with upskilling young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) and giving them a chance to flourish in the hospitality industry.
It has already seen plenty of people pre-book after its website was launched in early July, and more bookings when restrictions ease on Monday.
PET-Xi’s managing director Fleur Sexton encouraged diners to come along book a table, whether for a night out, a business meeting, or community groups having a get-together.
She said: “We are delighted to have officially opened Metropolis after months of preparation, and it’s fantastic that so many people have pre-booked already.
“Being so close to the amazing events at the Assembly Festival Gardens means Metropolis will be the perfect place to enjoy a wonderful meal in the city before heading over to check out some of the incredible shows on offer.
“And not only will we be serving delicious food and drink, Metropolis will be transforming the lives of young people by helping them get a foothold in the hospitality industry thanks to the qualifications they will earn.
“We look forward to welcoming diners and helping young people get ahead in their careers, and we hope Metropolis will go some way to helping fill the skills shortage in the hospitality industry at the moment.”
Under the guidance of head chef Sean Woodall and general manager Kate Maguire, new staff will be given training in all aspects of kitchen and front-of-house work.
PET-Xi will also help the trainees with general qualifications, such as in Maths and English, as well as courses in customer service and food hygiene.
Further opportunities for progress will be available to trainees who show real skill during their time at Metropolis.
Metropolis also features an exhibition of the same name on the top floor, which takes visitors through the story of Coventry through its buildings.
It is also home to Coventry’s ‘Urban Room’, which will produce events related to urban living both now and in the future during 2021 – Coventry’s City of Culture year.
The exhibition has been funded by Coventry University, Historic Coventry Trust and the Coventry City of Culture Trust through the Great Place scheme, which was supported by Arts Council England and National Heritage Lottery Fund.
Dr Geoff Willcocks, Director of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Coventry University and Vice Chair of Historic Coventry Trust, added: “It’s wonderful to have opened our Metropolis exhibition to the public, especially with it being right next to the Assembly Festival Gardens.
“Coventry’s buildings through the years tell a fascinating story of history, architecture and innovation, and the exhibition shows this incredible journey from the beginning to the present, and even gives a glimpse of the future.
“We hope to welcome plenty of visitors to the exhibition during Coventry’s UK City of Culture Year.”
Anyone wishing to book a table at Metropolis should call 024 7622 1100 or visit www.metropolis-restaurant.co.uk