Food and drink: Launch date for Sheffield’s garden inspired bar

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A new opening date for Sheffield’s latest bar and restaurant - where cocktails are served in plant pots and food on trowels - has been revealed.

The Botanist is to take over three floors of a Grade II listed building, which formerly housed Popolo, in Leopold Square in October, although it was said to be opening in August.

Up to 100 jobs are to be created by the venue, which will have an outside seating area, and offer private dining space for cocktails or ale masterclasses.

Local gins will also feature behind the bar, which is the tenth Botanist site across the UK, following others in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

Chris Hill, chief executive officer at The New World Trading Company which is to operate the venue, said “We are incredibly excited to bring The Botanist concept to Sheffield.

“The character and atmosphere of Leopold Square is the perfect location for our brand and we look forward to making Sheffield our next home.”

The Botanist will also have a deli, rotisserie, barbecue and live music.

Meanwhile, chiefs at independent fine dining restaurnt Rafters in Nether Green are doing their bit to tackle the skilled chef shortage by taking on their first new apprentice.

Sixteen-year-old Sheffield College student Josh O’Reilly impressed the Rafters team with his mature attitude when they met at a college open day - so much so that he was offered the chance to join their kitchen brigade.

Rafters’ owners Alistair Myers and Tom Lawson, who is also head chef, entered the industry as apprentices themselves.

“Tom and Alistair offered me a great opportunity that I simply could turn down,” said Josh.

“I love that fact the restaurant has such a strong and friendly team and offers such high quality food, I’ve always loved working with food and being able to learn new ways of cooking will be fantastic.”

Alistair, who works front of house at the Oakbrook Road restaurant in Nether Green, said: “Apprenticeships are so important: they give real hands on experience of the industry and allow us as restaurateurs to develop a sustainable team, trained to the high standard we’re looking for.

“The industry as a whole is struggling with staff, with young people entering the trade at an all-time low, so it’s important to develop the next generation.”