Created 21st April 2016

Fat Hippo founder Michael Phillips and Bradley Hall operations director Peter Bartley

A popular, expanding North East restaurant group is opening a new watering hole in Durham city centre.

The new outlet, based in a 17th century building on the historic Saddler Street in the city centre, is opening following the rising popularity of the gourmet burger business, which already has two successful ventures in Newcastle. Fat Hippo, a local cult burger empire, is opening its new restaurant in Saddler Street, Durham with the help of chartered surveyors Bradley Hall, creating 40 jobs.

The Grade II listed building underwent major renovation ahead of its opening this Friday ( April 22) , including exposing the original brickwork of the building.

Its third restaurant will hold up to 85 diners in the redeveloped former site of Sadler’s Café.

Fat Hippo owner and managing director, Michael Phillips, said: “We decided that this was the perfect site to lease as there is a great buzz and atmosphere in the city and the surrounding architecture is stunning. The area is also an ideal tourism destination and its high student and family population are two main demographics for us.

“Bradley Hall played a big part in the move, ensuring that everything ran smoothly and that we could get the ball rolling to open our new venture as soon as possible.”

Peter Bartley, operations director at Bradley Hall said: “The North East is going through a very exciting time in terms of development. Durham is one of the key areas, and there couldn’t be a better time to launch a business with the city centre set to undergoing a range of regeneration projects, from cinemas to housing and hotels.Fat Hippo opened its first branch in Jesmond, Newcastle, in 2011. Due to popular demand, it opened a second restaurant in 2013, Fat Hippo Underground, in Shakespeare Street in Newcastle city centre.

“The location of the new Fat Hippo restaurant is fantastic. Saddler Street benefits from a range of businesses and passing trade from tourists visiting the neighbouring river, castle and cathedral.”

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