Tommy Banks to open family-friendly pub at The Abbey Inn in Byland where he started his career
"We have a new project on the go, a pub,” he told the Yorkshire Post. “It’s actually where I started work as a pot wash when I was 14 years old, so it feels like a bit of a home coming and I can’t wait to get it open which will be the end of May time.”It was be a very different offering to his two other restaurants the fine dining tasting menu The Black Swan at Oldstead and Roots in Marygate in York, which each hold one Michelin star.
“The Abbey Inn will be very different from the Black Swan and Roots – it will be a proper pub really. No tasting menus but kids welcome, dogs welcome – just a good time for all,” says the father of two.
The inn, which overlooks the stunning ruins of Byland Abbey, is currently being given a ‘refresh’ of the historic site, with a state-of-the-art kitchen, relaxed dining room and cosy bar area equipped with roaring fires and a bar, with an opening date of May 26.
“We can't wait to open our doors in two months with a seriously tasty, seasonal pub menu, a great drinks list and a gorgeous venue for relaxing.”
Spearheading the food, alongside Tommy, is Head Chef Charlie Smith who has worked for the Tommy Banks Group for more than five years.
Those stopping in for a drink can choose from snacks like the Pork and fennel pollen danish with brown sauce; Confit chicken brioche dumplings with lemon verbena; and Doddington croquetas with elderflower honey vinegar, as well as home cured Charcuterie plate from the Banks’ rare breeds up the road at the family farm in Oldstead.
The pub will include a number of rooms, in addition to dining, and two-night packages will be available for guests to also experience the The Black Swan, as well as the pub, The new launch also comes with a number of job openings within the group.
The family bought The Black Swan in August 2006. Parents Tom and Anne, along with sons Tommy and James, transformed the site over the years into the Michelin-starred destination, under then head chef Adam Jackson, with rooms that it is today. Tommy maintained the Michelin star aged just 24 becoming the youngest UK chef to hold the accolade.
The family, along with business partner Matthew Lockwood, opened Roots in York in September 2018 and January 2021, Roots became the first restaurant in York to win a coveted Michelin star in 2018. Th pandemic saw the launch of the hugely successful home delivery boxes Made in Oldstead.
Will Lockwood, who is the head chef at Roots, was a finalist in The Great British Menu and Tommy, who got a dish to the banquet twice, was a veteran chef on the BBC show.