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Simon Close, Coventry businessman, has an extensive and eclectic background in business.
Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, has been involved in a number of projects and industries over the course of his career. His talents have been showcased in the restaurant industry, as well as sales and real estate. Close is currently the head of Establishment Bars, Ltd., which owns and operates the Establishment Bar and Grill in Coventry. He also serves as the director for Renewable Micro Solutions, a company that provides its customers with energy solutions.
Establishment Bar and Grill is located in the historic Old County Hall. The restaurant holds a number of special event nights each week, such as Steak Night on Thursday and the Great Sunday Roast on Sunday afternoons. Along with serving food and drink, the restaurant offers a number of entertainment options. Sunday afternoons feature live jazz while Tuesday evening features live music from local artists. Thursday evenings feature an open mic, meaning anyone has a chance to show off their talents.
There are also drink specials during happy hour from Monday to Saturday in the early evening. On weekend mornings, patrons at the restaurant owned by Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, have the opportunity to enjoy a "Full English Breakfast." A full breakfast includes two sausages, two slices of bacon, eggs, hash browns, tomato, black pudding, beans, mushrooms and toast. The restaurant's menu also includes pizza, burgers and sandwiches, plus classic English dishes. The menu features classic fish and chips, plus a Ploughman's lunch featuring a chicken and ham pie, cheese, grapes and chutney, and bread.
A native of England, Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, attended the Bluecoat Church of England School. The Bluecoat school is a secondary school that focuses on music, maths and science. While a student there, Close sat for six General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams, earning a passing grade in each. He passed the GCSE in math, drama, law, psychology, English and economics.
After secondary school, Simon Close, Coventry restaurant owner, enrolled in university at Coventry University. There, he studied Surveying and Building, earning a higher national diploma (HND) in Building Services. Coventry University is the second largest university in the city. From 1970 to 1992, it was known as Coventry Polytechnic. In 1992, it earned university status.
The university's history actually dates back to the ninteenth century. In 1843, it was founded as the Coventry College of Design. In the twentieth century, the art college merged with the Lanchester College of Technology and the Rugby College of Engineering Technology to become a Polytechnic institute.
The school has been highly ranked and regarded. It was named one of the top ten post-1992 universities. For 2014, the "Guardian University Guide" ranked it 33rd out of 119 universities. It was the first school in the UK to offer a disaster management program. Its automotive design and engineering courses are among the best in the country. The school currently educates around 20,000 students.
Located in the county of West Midlands, England, Coventry is the twelfth largest city in the United Kingdom. It's the second largest city in the West Midlands, with Birmingham being the largest. The city is about 100 miles northwest of London and has the distinction of being the city that is the furthest inland.
The area of Coventry has been settled since the Bronze age. The city itself was founded in 1043 by Leofric, Earl of Mercia. Coventry has had its ups and downs over the years. During World War II, it experienced a considerable amount of damage during the German blitzes. After the war, the city was a major site for the automobile industry.
The British motor industry has long had a presence in Coventry. It is home to Rover and Jaguar, though the manufacturing plant for Jaguar moved out of the city in 2004. In the 1950s and 1960s, the area experienced a golden age of automobile manufacturing, as disposable income increased and more people were able to afford vehicles.
Simon Close, Coventry restaurateur, has been involved in food service since 1994. His earliest ventures into food service involved managing food wagons that attended festivals and markets. He eventually became the owner of the food wagons.
In 2000, Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, became the owner and director of Eden Restaurant and Bar. When Close gained control of the business, it was just a restaurant, not a bar. He applied for permission to change the use and layout of the building and was given permission. He served as project manager for the renovation and was responsible for employing all of the contractors.
During the renovation, the restaurant was moved upstairs. A large bar was installed downstairs. The bar opened out onto a courtyard. The renovation was completed on target and also with enough time and money to renovate the courtyard, which was not originally in the plan. Within the first year of Close's ownership of the restaurant, it began to earn a profit.
In the year after he took over the Eden Restaurant and Bar, it had a 350% increase in turnover. It also won numerous awards during Close's association with it. Eden Restaurant and Bar was listed in the Hardens Guide and in Good Food Guide UK. It also won four Warwickshire Godiva awards and was mentioned positively in a number of newspapers.
Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, moved on from Eden Restaurant and Bar in 2008. In 2006, he had begun working to negotiate the use of Coventry County Hall for the development of a bar, restaurant and offices. In 2008, permission was granted for the development of County Hall. It would become the location of Close's next restaurant, the Establishment Bar and Grill.
The Establishment Bar and Grill first opened in May 2012 in County Hall. County Hall has a long history in Coventry. It dates to 1783 and was the main courthouse location in the city until the mid-1980s. County Hall was also the site of the last public hanging in Warwickshire and Coventry. The last public hanging took place in 1849 and had an audience of around 20,000.
The County Hall has been transformed to make room for the restaurant, as well as for office space. Though the building has been redesigned, many of the original features still remain, keeping it in touch with its past while moving toward the future. The crown nest and judge's seat have been restored, for example. The former jail cells of the County Hall have been transformed into the dining area for the Establishment.
Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, has not only worked in the restaurant industry. He has worked on a number of business and entrepreneurial ventures over the course of his career. In the 1990s, he purchased Japanese cars from an Irish auction house and sold the cars in the UK. Eventually, he began purchasing the vehicles directly from Japan, streamlining his efforts and eliminating the middleman.
His success with Eden Restaurant and Bar led to a new business project in 2004. He had set up a program that sold loyalty cards to customers at Eden. The program was a massive success. This led to Close creating Core Marketing, a business that sold and promoted loyalty cards to other restaurants in the area.
In 2007, he set up a business called CKM Solutions. CKM provided mobile phone contracts to commercial and residential users. The company worked with independent mobile phone retailers and sales agents. Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, served as the agent to the distributors of the phones.
Simon Close, Coventry entrepreneur, sees a number of business opportunities in the years to come. He has been in the business of purchasing properties to rent out or to renovate to sell since 1997. He has a total of three properties in the UK that are let out and he is in the process of fully leasing County Hall. In addition to his current properties, Close is doing research and due diligence on several other properties.
Simon Close, Coventry businessman, has a number of other business projects that are just getting off the ground. Since 2010, he has been a partner, shareholder and director of Renewable Micro Solutions, Ltd. The company installs Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for Ener.g and EON. Work began in February 2011. The company projected to have over £1 million turnover its first year, plus a £6 million gross installation for Ener.g.
The future also looks bright for the Establishment Bar and Grill. Since the restaurant opened, it has earned praise from critics and diners. The restaurant reaches a variety of people and plans to continue to do so by offering a number of specials plus special events. In July, the Establishment will host an after-party for the Godiva Festival, which will feature Steve Craddock from the Paul Weller Band, as well as DJ sets until 3 a.m. The restaurant also offers special events such as comedy nights and DJ nights.
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