Sarah Dougherty, who has worked in a number of Chester’s best known hotels and venues, took up her new post as manager of the landmark city venue on May 1.
Oddfellows is undergoing an ambitious redevelopment which will see 14 extra bedrooms available from July.
Its popular garden has already been transformed and a new restaurant concept introduced as part of the refurbishment of the Georgian Grade II listed building.
When Oddfellows reopened in early May one of the main changes in the new Oddfellows was the launch of its Mediterranean-inspired restaurant ‘The Garden by Simon Radley’.
Food is now served all day and into the evening with a la carte, sharing plate and ‘munch’ menus to choose from including dishes such as broad bean and mint houmous, gazpacho and salt cod fritters with anchovy and lime.
Oddfellows’ ever-popular outdoor space has been expanded and upgraded and now features open air and covered seating areas, comfy sofas and freestanding open fire places with 360-degree seating around them.
Mum-of-two Sarah, who spent 10 years working at The Chester Grosvenor before joining the 1539 restaurant at Chester racecourse, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Oddfellows at such an exciting time when it’s expanding and developing.
“Having enjoyed visiting Oddfellows as a diner or to enjoy a glass of wine in the garden it’s great to be able to go behind the scenes and shape what happens next in its evolution.
“Having sampled some of the new menus I know that diners will be surprised and delighted with what’s on offer. The garden, which as a city oasis has always been one of the main attractions for Oddfellows, is better than ever.
“I’m looking forward to showing off the new Oddfellows to the guests and diners who already know and love us and introducing it to those who’ve never visited before.”
As part of a 10-year management agreement a team from The Chester Grosvenor have been working with the Oddfellows’ owners to transform the boutique hotel.
A spokesman for Oddfellows said: “Sarah is precisely the right person to guide Oddfellows through this renaissance. Her CV is impressive, she knows Chester extremely well and she has the drive, experience and pedigree that a project like this needs.”
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