Tapas y Stray’s, Newark’s authentic Spanish tapas restaurant and regular jazz venue, is celebrating its first birthday over the weekend of July 21st -23rd with three nights of live jazz.
It is the prelude to an exciting few months as Stray’s Coffee, Books, Tapas and Jazz prepares to expand again into adjoining premises to create an even more relaxing environment.
The birthday celebrations kick-off when guitarist Matt Chandler returns for an exclusive ticketed gig on Thursday July 21st, precisely one year after his trio entertained diners at Tapas y Stray’s opening night.
In the past year, Matt’s group - augmented by Neil Hunter on keys and the outstanding Nottingham-born saxophonist and 2008 BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year, Tony Kofi – has recorded a new album, ‘It Goes Like This’ which includes a track called ‘Stray’s Inexplicably’: “We love the buzz at Stray’s,” said drummer Ian Beestin, “and that tune was written during a sound check here! We’ll be playing some new tunes, familiar standards and a few unexpected gems. We’ll be happy to sign copies of our new CD which will be available to buy on the evening!”
With places limited, tickets are selling quickly at £25 a head. The price includes a set menu reflecting customers’ favourite tapas dishes, like chorizo sausage in red wine with white beans, a cheese platter with award-winning Spanish cheeses, patatas bravas and a mouthwatering charcuteriá selection.
The usual menu and format return as the trio of exceptional jazz nights unfolds with a solo performance on Friday July 22nd by mesmerising guitarist Neil C. Young, a stand-out favourite at Tapas y Stray’s since he first appeared during Newark Jazz Festival. Saturday night sees the popular return of Organik Trio who played at the restaurant’s media launch to great acclaim, Wendy Kirkland’s lush, swirling Hammond Organ underpinning husband Pat Sprake’s cool guitar sound. Listen out for the odd Bond theme!
Stray’s tapas menu continues to develop under the stewardship of experienced chefs Warren Jones and Tom Robertson. Warren is full of admiration for the way the menu has been planned and delivered: “The ingredients sourced from top local and specialist Spanish suppliers are as good as any I’ve worked with at several exclusive restaurants,” he said, “And achieving a Five Star Hygiene rating is quite a testament to the restaurant’s team.”
It is not just the food that is making its mark. An authentic crisp Spanish cider, El Gaitero, and new Estrella Damm Catalan Pilsner beer has just been added to the selection of Spanish bottled beers, wines and Cavas, all hand-picked to compliment the rich tapas flavours.
“It’s been a great first year for Tapas y Stray’s,” said the restaurant’s Manager Mat Short. “The feedback and reviews we’ve had from customers - including a nice recommendation in the Guardian as Newark’s best place to eat - have been wonderful. We’re also excited about the improvements planned for the autumn which will make listening to the jazz even better for Tapas customers and offer more comfortable space and serving areas for our day-time coffee customers as well. Watch this space!”
Tapas y Stray’s, 18-20 Middlegate, Newark. For first birthday tickets, to book a table or for more information, visit www.straystapas.co.uk and send an email or call 01636 700597.