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Wales’ Bar 44 sets its sights on expansion across the border

Ahead of the much-anticipated opening of Bar 44 Bristol, the first Bar 44 outside of Wales, the award winning 44 Group has launched a major recruitment campaign across their five tapas bars and restaurants.

The expansion into Bristol has created a total of thirty roles across all levels, with openings in Bristol, Cardiff, Cowbridge and Penarth for chefs, front of house and cocktail bar staff.

Since establishing the first Bar 44 sixteen years ago, the siblings behind the 44 Group, Tom, Owen and Natalie, have been at the forefront of the modern Spanish dining revolution in the UK.

The new Bristol Bar 44 will open its doors in Clifton Village in early August after undergoing a complete redesign, including a specially built bar and two new private dining rooms. The menu will serve seasonal dishes using the finest ingredients from the UK and Spain, including Galician beef, Sanlúcar prawns and 100% pure Bellota hams as well as an all-Spanish drinks list and bespoke cocktails.

“We’re looking for people who share our passion for customer service and authentic Spanish food,” explains Operations Director, Natalie Isaac, “Each bar is a different business and must have a unique character, but they all share the same important traits – excellent food, drink and service. We want to find the right people to help nurture and develop each venue to suit the community it is in. It’s a really exciting time to join the team and be involved in helping us achieve our ambitions.”

The expansion also sees the promotion of 12 existing staff with Thomas Maynard (previously at The Hardwick under Stephen Terry and at London restaurants Scott’s and J Sheekey) moving from his role as Head Chef of Bar 44 Cardiff to take the lead as Head Chef at Bristol, while Ian Wood is promoted to Head Chef of the Cardiff sites from his role at Asador 44.

“Tom is exceptional, really strong on fish and seafood,” says Owen Morgan, co-founder of the group, “He has a really light touch and creates great flavours. At the moment, he’s heading up our biggest site, in Cardiff city centre, but he can’t wait to develop the new menu for Bristol and identify what our new community will want from their dining experience. Our relationship is great – he understands us, and how we work.”

As well as prospects for promotion, staff joining the 44 Group will have regular opportunities to travel to Spain to visit some of the suppliers whose world-renowned products are used in the restaurant.   Destinations include the Picos mountains where the Bar 44 Cabrales blue cheese is cave-matured, Teruel where Jamón and black Perigord truffles are produced, Cordoba for the annual Gordal Olive harvest, Haro in Rioja for the annual “Batalla del Vino” (literally a wine fight!) and Segovia to sample the finest suckling pig in the world.

Owen, one of a handful of sherry educators in the UK and a leading authority on this most versatile of wines. He was also most recently named Imbibe Magazine Restaurant Personality of the Year 2018, adds:

“This is a challenging industry to work in so when we find good people, we want to support them to reach their full potential and we always try to promote from within. We offer training and development as well as recognised qualifications to help move careers along and create a positive working experience.”