New steakhouse shakes off the macho image

A new high-end steakhouse specifically aimed at women is launching in Warrington this autumn, as a challenge to the genre’s traditional red-blooded macho image.

Pendergast’s, in the Cheshire town’s cultural quarter, will serve plant-based dishes including celeriac ‘steaks’ and chalk-stream trout alongside a selection of prime cuts of beef, in a chic environment with no butcher’s blocks, untreated wood or industrial concrete to be seen.

There will also be an on-site deli so guests can take home artisan products and cheeses they have enjoyed, in order to support local producers.

The concept has been put together by Cheshire entrepreneur Steve Pendergast, of the Bluestones Group recruitment operation, and hospitality consultant Laura Anne Harvey, who believe they have identified a gap in the market. If their hunch is right, more branches will follow across the northwest.

Explaining the concept, Laura Anne said: “We want to create more than just a restaurant. We aim to offer a stylish and versatile hub that’s ideal for business and pleasure. During the day people can dine at leisure with a glass of wine or take advantage of a relaxed yet refined place to do business. At the weekends, we’ll have live music and entertainment too, so there will be something for everyone. 

This project has been a number of years in the making. We want to bring a fresh perspective to the high-end steakhouse concept. One that is attractive to affluent adults who enjoy outstanding food and wines in beautiful surroundings. 

We’ve spent a lot of time considering the décor to achieve a stylish, welcoming space. We wanted a different proposition from other well-known steakhouse brands, one that feels very exclusive, which ties in with the lighter menu alternatives and small plates for those who don’t want a huge meal. 

“We believe we’ve achieved this while still retaining all the quality and education around different cuts of meat. Essentially, good food is at the heart of our brand, the onsite deli offers an added dimension, if guests enjoy a particular cheese, wine or ingredient then there is the option for them to buy some and take it home with them.”

Head chef Craig Kirk, an industry veteran who has worked in high-profile Manchester roles at Simon Rimmer’s Greens and Living Ventures, said: “We’ve put together a tantalising menu that we’re really proud of, one that we think offers something extra to a usual steakhouse menu, giving options for those with lighter appetites and non-meat eaters.

The focus is on relaxed, social dining and our aim for the food, on both the menu and the deli counter, is to showcase the amazing produce that the northwest has to offer. We’ll be supporting local, independent and artisan producers that make everything from coffee to cheese, letting the ingredients speak for themselves.” 

Free tickets to two tasting events to celebrate the opening are available on a first come, first served basis to anybody who signs up on the restaurant’s website at

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