NEW HABITAT FOR THE WILDERNESS

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The restaurant - known for its eclectic fine dining menu and quirky interior - has taken a 25-year lease at 20 Bennetts Hill from Hortons’ Estate, at a rent of £75,000 per annum.

The 5,500 sq ft space, formerly home to the Nationwide Building Society, will include a 40-seater restaurant and kitchen in the basement, and a 70+ cover bar at ground level.

The Wilderness currently operates out of 1 Dudley Street, sharing the premises with the Birmingham Open Media (BOM) gallery.

The existing 24-seat restaurant offers a modern British menu focusing on native ingredients, some of which are foraged, others grown on the restaurant’s own allotment. Its interior, including walls clad in moss and a canopy of leaves covering the dining area, is part of its unusual dining experience.

The Dudley Street restaurant will close in December, allowing chef and owner Alex Claridge to focus on the new venue.

Faber has been appointed to design the interior, with the bar and restaurant opening in February 2018.

The letting is Horton’s second in recent weeks in the food and beverage sector: The Indian Streatery will be The Wilderness’ neighbour, having agreed a 15-year lease at 21a Bennetts Hill, formerly home to Michelin-starred Adam’s restaurant.

Steve Tommy, commercial surveyor at Hortons’, said: “As a property company we are very proud of our track record supporting independent operators and start-ups.

“Alex Claridge and his team have created something incredibly novel in a city that already boasts a fantastic fine dining scene. We are really excited by his plans for Bennetts Hill.”

Wright Silverwood advised Hortons’ on the deal.