First look at the food on offer as another new restaurant opens its doors in the city centre
Drapers Bar, formerly Browns, has been converted into a restaurant where young people can get training and experience.
Metropolis, a new restaurant in the city that will give vital training to young people, opened in June.
The restaurant, in the building formerly known as Drapers Bar on Earl Street, promises feel-good food and an exciting, inclusive dining experience while giving training and experience to youngsters.
PET-Xi Restaurants have taken over the venue, which also went by the name Browns, and given it a 1920s Art Deco makeover and will operate as a training ground for young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET).
Explaining the premise, Fleur Sexton, CEO of PET-Xi, said: “We work with young people are getting unemployed people into work.
“What we’re finding is that there’s a lot of vacancies in hospitality – a lot of people have left the industry during the pandemic.
“Part of that seems like issues for EU residents travelling and coming to work, obviously Brexit is going to have an impact too, so it’s really important that we train up the next generation of young people into hospitality.
“Get young people involved in the community so actually training people in a real life setting is really really important, actually doing it in a real live restaurant with a really experienced team is just the best.
“But it’s also important to get hospitality going for City of Culture 2021 – the Draper’s space was like a big empty space so we thought we could take that space and bring it alive again, making it into something really special that people would want to come to.”
Talking of those who will get training, Fleur added: “Those we train will have that real sense of pride in what they’re doing while they are being trained up, and we’ve got the links with Warwickshire College to make sure that they’ve got the opportunities.
“There’s a real skills escalator going on – they come in as trainees, they do work experience for a couple of weeks, and then they get onto a paid opportunity. Some of them will go on to the Kickstart programme, others will go on to apprenticeships.
“Some of them might just decide that they don’t want to do formal qualifications, but the main thing is we get them involved in their city, get them involved in paid employment, and really just change what’s been happening .
“Because of the pandemic they’ve been stuck inside – it’s really slowed down a lot of people’s career operations because they’ve not been able to take up places in college or they’re not been able to get jobs.
“So it’s just about turning things around and making it all positive you know it’s got to be a positive message for 2021.”
For many Coventrians, the building being taken over holds memories of being slightly unwelcoming, particularly when it was under the name Browns.
Practically everyone who’s ever been out for a drink in the city has a story about being inexplicably refused entry on a night out due to a seemingly arbitrary door policy.
But Fleur is eager to point out Metropolis will be an inclusive environment, one that is open and inviting to all.
“For us it’s all about inclusion and equality. The menu reflects that. The vision and the ethos the staff is all about inclusion and about making sure that everybody feels welcome – even down to things like gender neutral colours in the loos.
“Every single thing has been thought of, we’re an LGBT+ safe space and it is all about equality, because that’s what the city is about – making sure everybody’s welcome
“So it couldn’t be more different in terms of door policy people aren’t going to find they have issues in that way.”
The menus, which you can see more of here, will cater for all, with separate menus for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters. However, with corresponding items on each menu you can order the same meal regardless of your preference.
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The original version of this article was first published in Coventry Live