29 Jul 2021
Porta

Porta Chester takes over

A pretty big announcement from Ben & Joe:

Building on the ongoing popularity of our little tapas bar, Porta, we are making the leap to convert our entire Chester operation - Porta & Joseph Benjamin - in to one single larger Porta Tapas Bar.

The new expanded restaurant will completely embrace the informal, buzzing atmosphere and top-quality tapas for which Porta is well known and we’re also incorporating the sensational paella that has become the backbone of the post-lockdown Joseph Benjamin menu. Our paella have gained a huge following and it’s fantastic seeing how much you all love them - as I’ve said elsewhere, those pans of tasty rice totally sum up what we’ve always loved about good food and restaurants; proper ingredients, skilled cheffing, good value, flavour-packed and low on faff!

Head Chef Jose Garzon will head up the whole shebang and continue evangelising on the subject of rice. Combining our kitchens in to one means we’ll have the absolute best team of chefs working together.

It’s a nice feeling knowing that almost exactly 15 years after we opened, we can draw a line under Joseph Benjamin while it’s a busy, popular restaurant. To be honest we’ve been a little anxious about this announcement - there’s some sentimentality, of course - but we’re super-proud of everything JB’s has achieved over the years from tiny humble deli to 10 years of Michelin Bib Gourmand (by the way, we’ll aim to keep that, Michelin if you’re listening!). With the current iteration of the JB menu majoring on small plates and paella, you actually may not find this latest development all that surprising!

Aligning our Chester operation more closely to our Altrincham and Salford sites (both of which are Porta) makes so much sense and is very much about ‘doing one thing well’. The complications of Covid and Brexit have brought things in to sharp focus and we’re determined to come out of this challenging (obstinate, lingering) period as a stronger, fitter, better business.

To enable this change, we’ll close for a week in September to refurbish the restaurant and kitchen. Last table bookings for Joseph Benjamin will be Saturday 4th September. Please do join us for some fun there over the next few weeks!

Across our three sites we have a really, really strong group of people striving to make Porta the best it can be. It’s so satisfying to see. We’re really happy to be making positive, proactive changes for the future. We love Porta and everything it stands for.

Thanks to all our colleagues and thanks to all our customers old and new. We hope you’ll join us on the next leg of our journey.

¡Hasta luego!

Ben & Joe