It started with just one restaurant – in 1988 on Newcastle’s Quayside, 21 Queen Street was set up by chef Terry Laybourne, his wife Susan and brother Laurance. Within three years it had won a Michelin star and become one of the region’s best-loved fine-dining establishments.
Following the success of 21 Queen Street, the 21 Hospitality Group was formed – a diverse collection of some of the North East’s highest-regarded restaurants including Caffé Vivo (2008, a contemporary Italian), Café 21 Fenwick (2006, a stylish department-store eatery), The Broad Chare (2011, a pub serving proper beer and good food) Saltwater Fish Company (2015, a fish bar and fishmonger) and more recently Porterhouse Butcher and Grill (2017, a butcher shop and steak house). 21 Queen Street became Café 21 in 2000 and relocated to Trinity Gardens in 2007. In 2015 it underwent a total interior transformation and was re-branded 21. Today, it remains one of the North East’s best-known restaurants and the flagship of the 21 Hospitality Group. This year, Caffe Vivo closed it’s doors after 10 great years and work began on its successor, St. Vincent – a relaxed modern wine bar, which opened on 28th September.
Terry and his team have won numerous awards along the way – a Michelin Star, Egon Ronay Star, Independent Restaurateur of the Year, Gold Winner Taste of North East England, Newcomer of the Year and an MBE for services to the hospitality industry.
Throughout the group’s expansion and transformation, many of the staff joined as young apprentices, learned their craft, had their talent nurtured and worked their way around the group. It’s a cliché to say 21 is like one big family – but it really is!