History Repeating Simon Rimmer

History Repeating

“I’m a Wallasey boy, my mum and dad still live here, so it’s a lovely feeling being on old turf again.” It’s Liverpool has donned a hard hat, and is getting a guided tour of Simon Rimmer’s latest culinary campaign into strange and faraway shores. West Kirby, ready yourself – the Viking is coming. But this time without all that pesky plundering and pillaging.

He’s sort of come home already. Rimmer’s Elephant Pub & Bakehouse shook sedate Woolton to its foundations when it opened a couple of years ago. But this time it’s personal. The Wirral boy’s headed over the water for a raid on home ground.

“I’m not an attached name, I’m a huge part of the business…”

“It’s not just a name,” Rimmer says, “We’re definitely aiming to have a nod to the area’s Nordic heritage. Herrings, salmon, open sandwiches, even the occasional cloud berry and smorgasbord will make an appearance.”

As will the man himself. Rimmer promises this will be no cynical ‘celeb’s name over the door – never in the kitchen’ project. But the reins? They’ll be controlled by ex Living Ventures General Manager, Sam Beech.

“I’m not an attached name, I’m a huge part of the business,” Rimmer says. “From recruitment to recipe development and training, I’ll be on site so often people will be sick of the sight of me. I spend every day in my restaurants and pubs – I’m passionate about every little detail. The crockery, cutlery, napkins…”

It's Liverpool magazine Summer 2016 - Coming soon.
For more from the Summer 2016 edition of the It’s Liverpool magazine click here. 

It’s a level of attention that began when Rimmer – a self-confessed carnivore – single-handedly reinvented the bloodless world of the vegetarian restaurant. His ‘Greens’ joint in Didsbury remains the most convincing argument yet for saying no to the sirloin.

Not content to roll out a one-sized fits all chain, Rimmer prefers to rip up the rule book and start again with each new venue. Talk about making life difficult. “But I love what I do,” he says, surrounded in scaffolding and the ripped insides of a venue that’s costing a cool £1million to refit. “I like the chaos my workload creates. I thrive on it. The North West is the greatest region in UK. We have more diverse agriculture than anywhere.

I love being an ambassador – shouting out loud how bloody brilliant we are…” And that brilliance is alive and well, and living on the Wirral – with its Michelin Star (Fraiche in Oxton) and its roll call of farmto-table wonder, from Claremont Farm to Burnt Truffle

“Yeah, I’m hearing about it,” Rimmer says. “Gary at Sticky Walnut and Burnt Truffle is a good friend and top bloke, and there’s a good few other new names worth checking out on the Wirral. Hopefully I qualify as someone adding to the mix.”

We’re certainly not betting against it. The Viking, Black Horse Hill, West Kirby thevikingpub.co.uk

For more from the It’s Liverpool Summer 2016 magazine click here. 


Published: 21/06/2016