To say a ‘home from home’ – is to be comfortable in a place as much as you would be in your own home. To be surrounded by memorabilia and decor you are familiar with and can relate to, helps to create that relaxing ambience you desire whilst enjoying an evening out, or lunch with friends.
In Piccadilly, Hanley, the Quarter has this to offer. As you walk into the cafe bar – whether that be day or evening – you are able to step away from the woes of work and life, and simply sit back, Eat, Drink and Listen.
Josef and Annmarie Bailey opened the doors to their ‘home from home’ in December 2016 and since then they have seen their vision turn into a delightful hub, and one which is also very much now a family business.
The initial idea Josef, who had worked in commercial marketing, had was to open a small coffee shop, but after coming across the empty building near to The Regent Theatre, ideas spiralled and The Quarter was born to serve delicious dishes, desserts, coffees, wines, cocktails and so much more.
“When we talked about what we were going to do it was very much looking at a small tea or coffee shop, we were never going to have a bar,” said Annmarie.
“It was very much tea and cake. When we knew we were going to have this building in the cultural quarter that’s where the name came from. We thought, the Quarter could be anything, a tea room, a venue, we let it evolve to what it is today.”
After just a few months the Quarter was rapidly becoming a popular spot and Annmarie had stepped away from her role as a primary school teacher to help at the cafe bar and soon after, the theatre school, which the couple also owned, was sold seeing all hands on deck.
“We had no idea if people were going to walk through the doors when we opened, but thankfully they did and people saw we were trying to bring something different to Hanley,” said Annmarie.
“We had been trading four months and although it was a risk to take, we made a massive decision to sell the theatre school. We were very grateful people came through the door and thank the people who take the time to tell us how much they enjoy coming here.”
Annmarie adds: “We’re trying our very best and if there’s something people do not like we are here to listen, we would bend over backwards to make it right. We are very much a family business now and Josef’s mum and dad also work here helping out with various things.”
Josef is very much hands on in the kitchen with head chef Stefan, while Annmarie takes care of the main business administration and during busy times will also help out front of house.
A relaxed atmosphere is present throughout and instantly noticeable as you enter the Quarter while a varied menu, which caters for everyone including Gluten Free, Vegan and Vegetarian options, is a gem in itself.
Whether it’s Tapas, platters, sandwiches, a selection from the Quarter deli, or specials board, the options are aplenty with tasty desserts and cakes also on offer, whilst upstairs in the garden room afternoon tea is served.
During the evening live music can be enjoyed and on the final Sunday of the month a Gospel Brunch is on offer where a Gospel Duo perform various uplifting and soulful songs.
If you look closely inside you will notice the walls are adorned with the couples travel memorabilia, various seating has also featured in local theatre productions, and in the main window you may just spot an all-important gift which was given to the owners, and now which is shared with customers to sit comfortably on.
Josef and Ann Marie had a vision, a vision which was to provide a little bit of something else and allow their customers to – Eat, Drink and Listen in a ‘home from home’ – the Quarter offers just that.
For more information find the Quarter on Facebook @thequarterhanley
Also see Baba’s Directory here.