Michael O’Hare opens the curtain for new surf-shack theme

Radical chef Michael O’Hare is to re-brand his theatrical Leeds restaurant The Man Behind The Curtain, relaunching it next year under a new guise as the surf shack-themed Psycho Sandbar.

He opened The Man Behind The Curtain in 2014, winning huge acclaim (and Leeds’s only star from the tyre folk) and a name for himself as a celeb chef with food described in the current Harden’s guide as “pushing the limits of taste like at the Far Duck”.

Announcing the news in a video on social media, Michael made clear that rising costs are behind the new move. He said: “Things need to change because the world has changed and I have changed…my team have changed.

“Our ability hasn’t, our vision hasn’t, but the world has. As an industry we’ve been hit by three major, major waves – Brexit was the first, we had the pandemic and then we had the cost of living crisis. That’s three huge things that impact the sector in such an enormous way.

“The new restaurant is going to be called Psycho Sandbar based on those three waves – a fish heavy, surf-shacky kind-of-feel restaurant that is brutalist in design, where you can eat beautifully-grilled fish, you can have pitta bread with plankton, you can have champagne, cocktails – you can do whatever you want.

“You could do six plates or you can have a whole roast duck if you want. We just want to categorise things in a way that’s like – this is the product, that’s what we’re going to do to it and that’s how much it costs if you want it. And you do, you really do.”

The restaurant is taking bookings in its current guise until December 31, and will be closed for a short time in January for the Psycho Sandbar re-fit.

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