Noted restaurant owners expand into renovated city landmark.
Two brothers with a forty-year history of hospitality in Birmingham are opening their latest venture in a historic, newly renovated canalside building which has lain empty for many years.
Paul and John Havelin – currently owners of the popular and successful Jonathan’s in the Park eatery, which is based in the 18th century grade II listed Lightwoods House in Bearwood – will bring their signature style to a new restaurant in the city’s iconic Roundhouse.
Jonathans in the Roundhouse will be the sole food and beverage outlet in the city centre heritage enterprise situated alongside the Birmingham canal.
Set to open its doors next month, the new restaurant and tearoom will offer Jonathans in the Park’s popular menu of traditional British food, drink and afternoon teas, made using fresh local ingredients – including a selection of its tearoom favourites and its much-loved Victorian seasoned chips.
Paul Havelin, joint owner of Jonathans in the Park said: “Me and my brother have lived and worked in Birmingham all of our lives so having the opportunity to build two businesses in two beautiful locations in the city is an absolute honour for us.
“We have built our original restaurant ‘In The Park’ over the last five years and through the very difficult lockdown period, to be a hub for the local community to enjoy. Providing delicious food, good company, a warm welcome and friendly atmosphere, is our passion so having an opportunity to do that again in another beautifully restored historic venue is incredibly exciting.”
Paul began his hospitality career in the renowned Jonathans restaurant in Oldbury forty years ago, under the guidance of owners Jonathan Baker and Jonathan Bedford who trained him from being a schoolboy washer up to head chef by the age of seventeen.
The original and famous Jonathans restaurant was established in 1977 and went on to attract a loyal following of discerning diners and celebrity guests.
When Paul and his brother John, who is the business’s front of house host, decided to open their own venue Jonathans in the Park, in 2017, they graciously received permission to prefix the name from original owner Jonathan Baker, with the aim of continuing the special tradition of the restaurant to deliver unique and masterfully created great British dishes.
Paul said: “As two local lads who were born and raised in this area, we remember playing in Lightwoods Park as children – I would never have believed that I’d be continuing the original Jonathan’s legacy in not one but two historical buildings in the city.
“It’s a huge achievement for us to be launching our second venture just five years later. I owe it all to my mentors, who took me under their wing and taught me everything there is to learn about the hospitality industry.
“To also be embarking on this incredible journey with my brother to keep Jonathans alive in Lightwoods Park and now at our new city centre location is a privilege, and we’re so proud to be involved in the revitalisation of the Roundhouse to cement this as a leading Birmingham leisure destination.”
Roundhouse Birmingham, a heritage enterprise and independent charity, has been created through a landmark partnership between the Canal & River Trust and National Trust to find a new purpose for the historic building.
Jonathans in the Roundhouse will provide visitors to the city and nearby residents a stylish meeting place for a bite to eat or somewhere they can grab a cup of coffee to takeaway, and visitors participating in Roundhouse Birmingham’s visitor programme – which includes canal-based kayaking, city walking tours and boat trips to explore Birmingham’s brilliant stories and places – will be able to enjoy refreshments to round off their experience.
The charity offers visitors the chance to see the city differently through a range of volunteer-powered guided city and canal tours, while securing a sustainable future for the iconic site through a range of lettable spaces.
Chris Maher, creative producer at Roundhouse Birmingham, added: “The full-scale renovation of the Roundhouse began in 2019 and the project has given the building a brand-new purpose in the area.
“Jonathans in the Roundhouse is one of the final pieces of the puzzle to help bring this incredible site back to life and it feels fitting to be working with such a well-loved local business that has also played an instrumental part in the city’s history.”
Following a large-scale renovation project, the Roundhouse opened in July 2021 as a lively new hub. As well as Jonathans in the Roundhouse, the space includes a visitor centre, display space, creative office space and a programme of tours and events.
For further information about Jonathans in the Roundhouse, visit: jonathansintheroundhouse.com