A popular restaurant in Hull’s Fruit Market is expanding its offer into new premises, bringing small-plate pasta dishes and gelato to the bustling independent community.
Bert’s Pizza and Gelato opened three years ago in a prime location overlooking the Stage @TheDock amphitheatre.
Following its success and that of its sister restaurant, Bert’s Pizzeria in Brandesburton, East Yorkshire, the family-owned business is now expanding further to open Bert’s Pasta and Bar at 1 Humber Street in a renovated 1,200 sq ft building opposite Thieving Harry’s café.
The new venue will include a central circular bar area where customers can share fresh small-plate pasta dishes over a glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere. Meanwhile, a choice of 16 flavours of gelato will be served within the restaurant and through a hatch to passers-by, along with waffles and milkshakes.
Bert’s Pasta and Bar will have seating for up to 40 customers inside and up to 60 covers for al fresco dining overlooking Hull’s marina. It is expected to open its doors at the end of September, creating at least 10 new full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs in kitchen and front of house roles.
Ellie Mewburn, owner and manager of all three Bert’s establishments – named after her grandfather Robert (Bert) Mewburn – said: “We’ve been made to feel so welcome by the Fruit Market community since we moved in and it’s definitely the place to be in Hull, so we’re incredibly excited to be expanding with this new venture.
“People come to the Fruit Market for something different and there’s nothing like Bert’s Pasta and Bar in the city, so it will complement the area perfectly.
“We’ve extensively researched pasta bars in London and have taken the best elements of these, bringing them all together with our own unique style.
“We love the small plate concept and are confident people will be blown away by the delicious dishes we’ll be serving up.”
The ambience at Bert’s Pasta and Bar will be intimate and suited to friends, couples and smaller groups sharing three to four pasta dishes between two, choosing from a small menu comprising of about nine dishes, changing seasonally.
Although the menu is still being developed, prices will range from £5 to £9 per dish, with starters including burrata, arancini, polpetti meatballs and Italian cicchetti.
Main dishes will include Venetian duck ragu with stracci pasta, gnocchi with sage and nutmeg butter, and fettuccine with Tuscan sausage, garlic, fennel and chilli.
For those with a sweeter tooth, gelato flavours will include amaretto and cherry, pistachio, Snickers and a range of sorbet.
Bert’s Pasta and Bar will have a modern industrial look and feel in line with all of Bert’s restaurants, combined with a burst of colour to reflect the gelato element.
The Bert’s team will make all the pasta in-house daily, with a future plan to offer takeaway lunch boxes and fresh “cook-at-home” pasta bags once the restaurant is established.
Bert’s Pasta and Bar will be the latest addition to the wide range of independent businesses in the Fruit Market, which continues to thrive despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 and is firmly established as the place to shop and socialise in Hull.
Driven forward by the Wykeland Beal joint venture, the area has been transformed in recent years into a vibrant commercial, creative, cultural and residential community.
Wykeland Group development surveyor Tom Watson said: “Bert’s has been a huge success as part of our @The Dock development and it’s great to work with the team to enable yet another local, independent business to grow in the Fruit Market.
“Bert’s Pasta and Bar will be a very welcome addition to the Fruit Market family, occupying a very prominent building at the marina end of Humber Street, and offering a different style of dining to that which is already available.
“It means visitors to the Fruit Market and the ever-growing number of residents and workers in the area have even more choice, which is further excellent news as this very special community continues to evolve.”