Top Stamford restaurant is in good hands with new owners

Head chef and owner Tim Luff  at Jim's Yard, Stamford EMN-140509-141213009

Head chef and owner Tim Luff at Jim's Yard, Stamford EMN-140509-141213009

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The highly rated Jim’s Yard, one of Stamford’s top foodie destinations, seems to be in safe hands after its sale went through.

The Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, off Ironmonger Street, was doing well in the hands of Jim Trevor and his wife Sharon.

But with their latest venture, the Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill opening at the beginning of July, they decided something had to give.

“In a way it was a difficult decision because we had just had our best year,” said Jim.

“Running two places is easy, three is a nightmare. I was spreading myself too thin, particularly as we have been getting the Six Bells up and running and I still pop in at The Beehive (in Peterborough, run by his daughter) most days.

“I own the freehold at The Beehive and Six Bells, but was paying out rent every month in Stamford, so if anything was going to go, that was it.”

Now reopened after shutting while the deal was finalised and known simply as The Yard, the venue is in the hands of business partners Simon McEnery and Tim Luff.

Simon was the man behind the much-touted Nick’s in Main Street, Oakham, before it closed two years ago. He’s the face of the front of house, while in the kitchen is head chef Tim who learned his trade at the multi-award winning Olive Branch in Clipsham, and more recently was at the Northwick Arms in Ketton.

Tim said he and Simon jumped at the chance to take over, adding: “I was in business at the Northwick Arms until March when the brewery sold the place, and started for Jim three days later.

“When he said this place was available we didn’t hesitate in going for it.”

His spell as head chef gave him plenty of time to have a look at the business and think about changes, which include making the menu a bit more “funky” he said, while at the same time keeping up the standards expected at a Michelin rated Bib Gourmand establishment.

“It helped me get an insight into what was needed in the way of change,” he said.

“There is really not that much, Jim and Sharon have been doing a terrific job.

“We have had a little change in format of the menu, for instance, Jim was into French classics whereas I am not, I’m more modern European, it’s a little more funky.

“Also, we want to reach out to a different clientèle and market, which perhaps Jim and Sharon did not have time to do because they have been busy with their other businesses.”