In the last 12 months GO Houghton, in Parkside Drive, Houghton Regis, has rocketed to the top of the TripAdvisor charts, being rated the number one restaurant in the Dunstable area and the number 4 in Bedfordshire.
“It took a lot of sweat and tears to transform what was a run down pub into what is the modern and fresh GO Houghton and create 20 new jobs,” said owner Kishor Patel. “None of the big pub owners wanted it and there were lots of break-ins.
“When we put the plans forward there were seemingly endless planning issues, the utility suppliers caused delays and the whole fitting out process caused a lot of headaches.
“At times there were so many delays that it was almost as if people wanted to keep a derelict site.”
But Kishor and his team believed in the project, which was to create a venue where people would travel to for great value food and drink.
GO Houghton finally opened to the public on May 18, 2015 and now has employed a team of 20 local people, with 10 in the kitchen and 10 front of house. The bar restaurant offers multi-cuisine, from the ever popular traditional fish and chips to authentic pizzas and tastiest Indian food.
Since opening GO Houghton has become the focus for the Parkside area of Houghton Regis, which is a large, well-established development in Houghton Regis, and beyond.
There have been many celebrations, anniversaries and birthdays ranging from a one year-old to Jack Miles' 103rd and Ruby Kearny's 95th.
Kishor added: “People love their new high quality venue so much that some locals have dubbed it Houghton Hoo – we are the Houghton Regis equivalent of Luton Hoo! We have had great support from the local community and further afield.”
The bar-restaurant focuses on good conversation and good company and does not have TVs, pool tables, gaming machines or jukeboxes. However it does have free wifi so that guests can keep in touch with their friends and families.
“We have a big lunchtime following, with a lot of elders, mums and local businesses using us, and they don't want that sort of noise pollution,” said Kishor. “They want to talk to their friends without their ears being bashed.”
The first six months were painful physically, mentally and financially, but Kishor says “we are now in profit from month 10. We are never complacent and we will continually keep improving the standards, menu, character of the venue internally and externally and most important the service to guests.”
And the bar restaurant has even picked up a host of awards, including a Five Star food hygiene rating, winning three prizes at the Best Bar None Awards, the Good Food Awards and a nomination in this year's Bedfordshire Food and Drink Awards.
Watch Facebook www.facebook.com/gohoughton Twitter @gohoughton and on the website www.gohoughton.com for more information on GO Houghton and the celebrations coming up in May.