andy junctionA former chef turned successful builder has gone back to his roots by redeveloping a Northumberland restaurant into a top class eatery serving food from local farms and suppliers.

Andy King, who runs Ashington-based construction firm A King & Company, has taken over The Junction Restaurant and Sidings Bar in Widdrington Station, and has major ambitions to build it into south east Northumberland’s must-visit venue.

Andy trained with top London chefs Ian Curran and Peter Wilson when he studied catering after leaving school. He worked as a chef at Wansbeck General Hospital before moving into property management and has run his own construction, property development and maintenance business for the last 10 years.

He said: “I live in Widdrington and when The Junction came on the market, it was the ideal opportunity to combine my twin passions for great food and great buildings.

“We’re already building up a reputation for good food, thanks to our policy of using only the best local ingredients and the new twists we’ve put on some classic UK and US dishes.”

The Siding’s specialises in pulled pork and has extended its Northumberland-meets-US flavour with chicken gyros, American-style burgers made with 100 per cent Northumbrian beef and an amazing chilli cheese Coney hotdog that’s a foot long. The Junction caters for lovers of top class steaks, which like all the meat and fish served at the restaurant, are sourced in Northumberland.

In addition, at the weekend, The Siding’s serves from breakfast time through to evening and is aiming to provide something special for people locally and beyond.

Andy said: “We’re doing something different that you just can’t get around here. Our meals are a cut above what you’d find in a normal restaurant & bar and we’re aiming to put south east Northumberland on the foodie map with what we’re doing.”

Andy has also been using his new enterprise to raise cash for causes he believes in during special fund raising nights. He’s asking visitors to the restaurant and bar to dig deep to

support ex-servicemen and women. Around £2000 will be split between the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes charity and True Heroes Riding, a charity for former services personnel riding British superbikes.

Andy said: “A number of members of my family and friends have been affected by the conflict in Afghanistan, so this is something close to my heart.

In addition to opening a new business, Andy has marked the 10th anniversary of his construction company with an expansion. During 2014, A King & Company moved into new offices in the Arch Centre in the middle of Ashington and created four jobs and an apprenticeship role.

The business has built itself a strong a reputation for top quality work across the North East, from design and planning to property restoration and maintenance.