Marram Grass chef heads home to Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

THE Liverpool chef tipped as one of the UK’s rising culinary stars has announced plans to open his first restaurant in his home city.

Ellis Barrie, who is on screen this week competing in BBC Two’s Great British Menu, has earned a growing reputation for excellence since opening Anglesey restaurant Marram Grass with older brother Liam. The pair have taken the quirky café on their parents’ North Wales caravan park from chicken shed to the prestigious Good Food Guide. Specialising in carefully sourced local seafood suppliers – mussels and oysters are fresh from the waters of the Menai Straits – and rearing their own livestock, Marram Grass has been hailed as one of the most exciting young restaurant businesses in the country.

Now the brothers are coming back to Liverpool to open a new restaurant in 2019 with a world-famous waterfront location. Having expanded the original tin-roofed shed café to serve more than 2000 covers a week, they are about to fulfil their ambition to return to their home city.

Liam Barrie, Co-owner and Managing Director of Marram Grass, commented on the opening: “We’re incredibly excited to get the site up and running in such a brilliant part of town. What I love about the Dock is the diversity that it brings to the city – it’s full of locals and tourists alike and there’s a real buzz about the place. I’m confident that my brother’s cooking and the two of ours concept will work well here – we’re Liverpool born and bred so we’re really looking forward to being back in the city to showcase what we do.”

For the Albert Dock, the pair are a key signing in keeping with its owners’ ethos of bringing together and supporting dynamic independent and businesses.

Chris Wright, Real Estate Portfolio Manager for Aberdeen Standard Investments said: “Ellis was targeted specifically by our team as he fits our strategy in every way, with his prestige and vibrant energy set to take the destination to a new level. For the Royal Albert Dock to secure his first venture back into the city is a major achievement and he is set to join at an exciting time as a significant number of new openings have taken place around the Dock this year. We look forward to working with Ellis and Liam in making their new concept a success at Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.”

Ellis and Liam began their restaurant collaboration in 2009 when their parents moved from south Liverpool to North Wales to open a caravan park. Then 19, Ellis had just returned from travelling in Australia after a year working at Liverpool’s fine dining Panoramic 34 while trained surveyor Liam was looking for northwest jobs in construction.

Together they agreed to run the greasy spoon serving hungry campers, with Ellis in the kitchen and Liam front of house, transforming the menu from frozen burgers and supermarket pasta to hearty homemade dishes using only the best local ingredients.

Since then Marram Grass has built an enthusiastic following amongst diners and critics, winning numerous national industry awards including 2 AA Rosettes in 2018, a prestigious Good Food Guide entry and putting Ellis, now 28, into the TV spotlight.

Last autumn he competed in the Great British Menu, gaining a hard-fought place in the show’s finals and an invitation to return for the North West heats of the 2018 contest.