Moroccan-themed Bar Marrakech opens in Derby following closure of La Tasca
A NEW Moroccan-themed bar has opened in the city following the closure of Spanish restaurant La Tasca.
Bar Marrakech in Friar Gate is planning to extend its operations to serving African and Mediterranean cuisine once kitchen alterations are completed.
Co-owner Steve Rouse, who is also owner of Bar 5, said the place had a very relaxed atmosphere.
Mr Rouse said: "We're currently altering the kitchens to accommodate our new menu, which will take another few weeks.
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"But the Moroccan-themed bar is now open and we have live music on Friday and Saturday nights from around 7.30, including piano and saxophone jazz. So far, people have been very positive about the bar.
"If you like the sound of it then pop in and see. We're really looking forward to the restaurant side of things opening up."
Bar Marrakech offers an extensive range of cocktails and Mr Rouse said he hoped the bar reflected the contemporary nature of the North African city.
Bar manager Jessica Hassall said the bar was the perfect place to come and relax and had both traditional Moroccan decor and modern features.
She said: "The interior looks really lovely. They've done it up amazingly well, it's a great place to come and relax and enjoy a drink."
And she claimed no other venue in Derby offered such a wide range of cocktails.
She said: "We offer about 50 cocktails, lots of different sorts of mojitos, daiquiris and champagne cocktails."
A spokesperson for La Tasca, which had occupied the building until September, said the branch had closed because the new owners had not found the franchise economically viable.
There are 42 branches of La Tasca in the UK, the nearest one now being in Nottingham.
The first opened its doors in 1993 in Manchester city centre.
Andy Darlington, a judge at the Derby Food and Drink Awards, said La Tasca had some lovely dishes on offer.
"But I really look forward to trying what Bar Marrakech has to offer when its kitchen is ready," he added.
"I'm a huge fan of Moroccan food and I'm sure the rest of Derby will embrace this new restaurant."