Mediterranean success story for Rasen restaurant

Chris and Tommy Haughey outside The Olive, which has relocated to the former Red Lion EMN-181206-102902001
Chris and Tommy Haughey outside The Olive, which has relocated to the former Red Lion EMN-181206-102902001

A Market Rasen business, which began just 12 months ago, is relocating to larger premises to cope with demand.

The Olive opened on June 2 last year and such has been the success, it has outgrown its current premises.

Owners Chris and Tommy Haughey have been overwhelmed with the support they have received since opening the Tapas restaurant in the town’s Queen Street.

There has been a consistent waiting list, with people having to book more than two weeks in advance to secure a table on their chosen night.

Tommy said: “It is amazing how a little business can grow so quickly.

“We have never had to advertise, it is just word of mouth.”

Chris added: “We have met nothing but lovely people, and we have had lots of good comments.

“Thank you to everyone for their support.”

Now The Olive is moving to bigger premises, taking on the former Red Lion pub.

Over the past few years, the King Street building has had a number of reincarnations, but has been closed since the end of last year.

Chris and Tommy have fully refurbished the premises with the same Spanish feel as The Olive’s Queen Street site and they are ready for their launch night tonight (Thursday).

“It is just The Olive but bigger,” said Chris.

“It will be the same welcoming relaxed place - but it is definitely a restaurant and not a pub.

“Even if we could do it, we wouldn’t want things to change as that is what people know now - it would just be lost in translation.”

With the bigger premises though comes a lot more scope and Tommy has plenty he wants to do.

He said: “We are planning to bring lots of different things in.

“We will be offering al fresco dining and we plan to get in a rotiseria.

“We would also like to do some special events too - flamenco demonstrations, Latin night, banquet nights; we just really want to make it exciting.”

One thing though that won’t be changing is the food.

Tommy said: “We will be continuing our menu, which people know.

“We have lived in Spain and I have been taught by some real ‘old school’ cooks - and that is what we have.

“We want to help people recreate that holiday vibe; we can’t provide the weather, but we can provide the authentic taste and good hospitality.”

There have been suggestions the Red Lion has been in existence as a pub since the 14th century and it was thatched until the late 19th century.

It holds a prime position at the entrance to the town.

Now fully refurbished as The Olive it will again welcome people from near and far.

The Olive will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday lunchtime and evenings, and from noon on Sundays.

The move has also created a number of employment opportunities.