An Ilkeston based business is moving on to bigger and better things after high demand and a better venue means that they can now offer more services to the town.

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Ilkeston’s former chapel and nightclub venue has now become a Bistro

Patti House, which opened on Bath Street in 2014, moved into the former Hop nightclub venue in November 2015, and have since realised that they can now offer more than they did before.

Now, the business is changing both its name and services. Under its new title, The Chapel Bistro will now offer venue hire, an extended menu which will include vegetarian options and regular specials, and cocktails and afternoon tea packages.

Owner of the business, Zee Sheldon, said: “As much as I love the name Patti House, it will always be a part of me and my history, but the name didn’t suit the new venue. People in the town call it the Chapel already, as we have got the original windows and staircases that have lots of history that really add to its character. It’s a landmark, one of the oldest buildings in town.”

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The Chapel Bistro (then Patti House) moved into the new venue in November 2015

With 15 years’ experience of working in hospitality, the 36-year-old mum-of-two decided to start up her own business out of her love for food and the customer experience.

Since Patti House opened, more than three gourmet burger companies have moved to the surrounding area, including Annie’s Burger Shack, Five Guys, and Reds BBQ in Nottingham alone.

Zee, who has lived in Ilkeston her whole life, added: “I know Ilkeston didn’t have anything like that and I saw the burger trend coming. My plan originally was to get the lunch time trade, so I didn’t need a lot of seats. The feedback I kept getting was that people loved the ethos, they loved the food, but they wanted to stay for longer, which was something they couldn’t do. They wanted to come for family occasions, and I kept hearing this again and again, so I went away and had a re-think about what I wanted.”

Patti House was able to move to its new venue after an investor gave half of the asking price towards the cost of the building.

90 per cent of the Bistro’s menu caters for people with food intolerances, including gluten free, dairy free, nut allergies, vegan and vegetarian. Zee also prides herself on using local produce as much as she can.

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The Bistro now boasts more seating than in their former venue

She added: “One of the big problems we are faced with is that people still think we are a nightclub, or they think ‘oh it’s just that burger place.’ So at the start of January, I went away and it gave me some space to think about what to do to move the business on further. The conclusion I came to was that the building and the menu didn’t gel, so I found I could either go down the route of American diner and turn it into that, but then I thought I never actually wanted to open a burger company. I’m proud of my product, I love my brand and its really well received, but when I strip that back it was a stepping stone to my own venue.”

The grade two listed building was then done up with the help of 50 volunteers and the three other members of staff, which Zee looks back on fondly.

She said: “Everywhere I look I see people. I know who painted which piece of wall and who hung what up on each wall. That is really special to me.”

Maintaining the chapel’s history and combining it with the businesses ethos and friendly atmosphere, Zee is looking forward to offering more to Ilkeston residents.

Since the Bistro announced its revamp, they have already had two parties booked and around five enquiries for room hire.

Zee added: “With the extended menu, it means we are no longer ‘just that burger place.’ I’m so excited to try new things and to see how many stunning parties and weddings we will attract to the gorgeous venue. It’s super important to me that the ethos will stay the same.”