Nico Simeone goes back to his roots with launch of ‘elevated chippie’ Sole Club in Finnieston
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Now, with his wildly popular restaurant group operating 17 venues in ten cities across the UK including Edinburgh, Manchester, and London, as well as a first overseas restaurant in Dublin, the renowned chef is all set for a new challenge – and it will take him back to his roots.
On February 28, the Finnieston venue that was home to the first Six by Nico will reopen as Sole Club, Simeone’s new elevated chippie and restaurant, following significant investment and a major refurbishment. On the face of it is a traditional takeaway chippie, but behind a seemingly innocuous fridge door is another example of Simeone’s signature innovation and originality – an intimate, exclusive 20-seat speakeasy-style fish restaurant.
Nico said: “Finnieston is special to us, it’s where it all began for Six by Nico. When we decided to move to a bigger venue in the Merchant City, it was never a question of giving up the venue; it’s too big a part of our story. But for me, it’s always about ‘what’s next’? How can we take the ethos, thought process, and creativity behind Six by Nico and channel it into a completely new and original concept?
“With everything we do, the first goal is how do we get the product and the experience to where we want to be. And then after that it’s how we grow it so more people across the country can experience it. I believe in the Sole Club concept and think it can go on to follow in Six by Nico’s footsteps – but first it’s about making Finnieston a success.” When thinking ‘what’s next’, Simeone’s mind repeatedly returned to how it all began – chip shops. The entire Simeone family – the chef's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents – all owned chippies. His brother Vito runs Gianni’s in Auchinairn, East Dunbartonshire, the chippie where Simeone first cut his teeth working after school under his mum and dad in the early 2000s.
“At communions and family parties, I just listened to my uncles and dad talking about running chippies and business. I was like a sponge,” the former Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year continued.
“The inherent DNA of classic fish and chips won't change, but we also want to elevate certain parts to offer something to people who want to experience something more experiential, more experimental.
“We’ll provide more creative options elevated by some of the cheffing techniques we use at Six, and the menu in the restaurant side of the fridge will change on a daily basis depending on what’s caught that day.”
Some of the dishes expected to prove popular with punters include monkfish Kiev, the “ultimate” fish finger butty with fennel slaw and tartare sauce, and a lobster roll with saffron and orange emulsion and shellfish butter, as well as, of course, traditional fish and chips.”
The restaurant will serve under 400 people per week – what most Six by Nico venues can accommodate in a single day. There will be no walk-ins for sit-in, and bookings for the venue will be released on a month-by-month basis. You can register to receive alerts here, with the first tables available to book from this Friday provided you have first access.