The refurbishment of the Briar Dene may have been on and off the back burner for a number of years but thanks to CNG’s staying power the project has now come to a stunning completion.


Estate owner Sir John Fitzgerald is so pleased with the result that it has adopted the CNG equipment and design specification as the new standard across its portfolio.


The brief for The Briar Dene, on the beach front at Whitley Bay, was to replace the kitchen facilities to accommodate a menu that would be primarily seafood, including fish and chips, both eat in and takeaway. Offering a selection of meat dishes and Sunday lunch for several hundred customers was also essential. CNG’s design therefore needed to provide stores, preparation, cooking and wash up, as well as a fish and chip takeaway section.


Keeping the takeaway self-sufficient, CNG created a design that placed it adjacent to the restaurant kitchen to give the chef control of both areas during service and to ensure it was easy for the two sections to support each other during peak periods. Having the kitchen on view to the takeaway would also encourage takeaway customers to visit the restaurant.


CNG designed a central island cook suite using Capic heavy duty modular equipment connected to a service spine, with Rational ovens at either side. Supporting the suite, a selection of Precision refrigerated counters and fabrication provides storage for mis-en-place, while allowing staff to easily wash or rinse items during service.


Adjacent to the island there is a basic prep section as well as a pastry section. A Frima 211+, an item that hadn’t even been invented during the initial talks, is now in constant use producing soups, stocks, Bouillabaisse, and a wide variety of other dishes.


       CNG had initially specified the prime cooking equipment as all electric, however, the M&E consultants advised that there wasn’t sufficient electrical capacity on site so it was agreed that a number of items would need to be gas. The client was delighted with CNG’s recommendation of Capic gas ranges which incorporate the company’s Eco Flame system that switches the main flame off whenever a pan is lifted from it, and indeed this feature has already helped to reduce the gas consumption.


Other concerns for CNG included remote refrigeration due to the proximity of the sea and the salt air. The solution was a system to coat the refrigeration plant, removing the risk.


Liaising with other contractors to overcome issues with ventilation and service runs, CNG was keen to maintain the clean lines and integrity of its design, a design that had been tweaked and updated several times since its inception some eight years prior to the project completion date.


Despite several changes of client contact over the years, the Briar Dene project has been hailed a huge success all round and CNG has already worked on several other assignments with Sir John Fitzgerald, continuing a business relationship that has lasted for more than 20 years.


All of CNG’s work with Fitzgerald has given the client the optimum in design and specification, which has paid dividends. Wherever the power supply permits, Fitzgerald’s is now firmly convinced that better quality, mainly electric, equipment is the way forward. For some of its busier sites, the company is looking to upgrade even further with Athanor bespoke cooking suites, having recognised the benefits of their durability and reliability.


CNG has given the group kitchens that will last, kitchens that are easy to operate, clean and maintain, as well as being energy efficient, and in a challenging labour market, places where chefs will want to work, and stay.





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