“It’s a way for us to rebrand the restaurant and make it more of our own”

The Staff Canteen

263 Preston is to rebrand to Aven from 27 September with the restaurant’s current team remaining in place.

Chef Directors Oli Martin and Alex Blamire will continue to manage the restaurant with Sean Wrest to continue with the running of the kitchen, and Sam Haigh running Aven’s front of house.

Speaking to The Staff Canteen, 263 Preston’s Head Chef Sean Wrest said: “Ollie and Alex are essentially taking on the business and I will be running the kitchen, with Sam running the front of house. It’s going to be in the same building and it will just be more of a rebrand in the same location.”

Sean added: “The team that’s in place [at 263 Preston] their jobs are secured and they’re still part of the team. It’s a way for us to rebrand the restaurant, make it more of our own, and just keep pushing it forward as much as we can.”

Aven will continue as an intimate 32-cover contemporary fine dining restaurant in Preston City Centre.

With a strong focus on seasonality, Aven will continue to celebrate Lancashire’s outstanding produce and suppliers, with the restaurant’s chefs keen to continue to utilise a range of herbs, fruits and roots throughout its menu.

Sean said: “It’s the same sort of style, it’s still going to be tasting menus, same type of food and the same people in the kitchen. It’s the same food, same team, and same Northern hospitality.”

Sean joined 263 Preston after previously working at The Horns Inn at Goosnargh where he worked as chef patron, after opening the venue in February 2022.

Sean has a strong background in fine dining and previously worked as head chef at Tommy Banks' Michelin-starred Roots restaurant in York.

In 2020, Sean was announced the ‘One to Watch’ Winner of the TSC Awards 2020.

Commenting on his time at 263 Preston, Sean said: “Myself and Sam joined because of Ollie and Alex, and they’re the main reason for the new venture and the way they want to turn the restaurant, and we were more than happy to work with them on that project.”

He added: “We have a lot of time for Alex and Ollie and we just want to help them with the new venture and just continue with what he have been doing.”

It is understood that 263 Preston will relocate to a new location following Aven’s opening on Wednesday 27 September 2023.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th September 2023

“It’s a way for us to rebrand the restaurant and make it more of our own”