Coarse in Durham received critical acclaim from the Michelin Guide just months after opening in the city centre, with judges praising its modern British cooking style.
The “warm, lovingly run” restaurant was opened last September by chef Ruari MacKay, his manager partner Gemma Robinson and director Craig Lappin-Smith.
The restaurant’s seasonal six-course tasting menus, priced at just £45, attract Coarse guests all year round.
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Now staff have submitted plans to expand the North Road restaurant to include an additional upstairs dining area.
Planning documents submitted to Durham County Council show a desire to convert the upstairs apartment into a private dining area for the restaurant, seating 16 to 18 people.
Grocery chefs say the restaurant is becoming increasingly popular and the need for larger dining space is becoming more important to its future success. The application was submitted after staff discovered the restaurant’s clientele included larger groups that needed more private dining space.
Gemma Robinson said: “We didn’t expect it to be this good, we’ve done really well. “It gives us more space and the ability to hold larger events for larger groups of people.
“Durham has been a bit of a lost space when it comes to restaurants, but there have been more openings lately and it’s definitely picking up steam.”
The one-bedroom apartment is currently occupied by one adult, but is unsuitable for occupancy due to its small size, the application states.
The building was previously used as a café called “Courtyard Café”. The application is scheduled to be examined this year.