Former La Barbe site set for quick changeover

The premises of La Barbe in Reigate’s Bell Street should have a new occupant before the spring – Cullenders Parkside.

La Barbe closed in December after owner Serge Tassi decided to retire, having run the highly-regarded French restaurant for nearly forty years.

Cullenders Parkside will lease the ground floor, with co-owners Marc and Joelle Cullender hoping to open “by late February”.

Until the end of April last year Marc and Joelle ran Cullenders at 13 Bell Street, as a delicatessen and cafe.  A rent rise, and a decision that they had taken their plans as far they could at that location, led them to sell the business to a new owner who had approached them.  However, the couple kept the rights to the Cullenders name.

This week Joelle said of their plans for Cullenders Parkside: “We’re moving away from a deli/cafe and onto a restaurant offering.

“It will be an extended version of what we previously did but open seven days a week with evenings coming once we’ve got ourselves established.

“We’re really excited to be returning to Reigate and are looking forward to moving back to Bell Street and working alongside our neighbours Hopstop and Chalk Hills.”

The new premises will be around three times the size of Cullenders’ previous address.

Marc and Joelle set up Cullenders in 2008, operating initially at two take-away sites in Reigate and Redhill.

Marc, originally an accountant, had been a contestant on TV’s MasterChef, which helped give him the final nudge to make the career change.

Cullenders’ arrival at La Barbe means the site, at 71 Bell Street, won’t have been vacant for very long at all, with the French restaurant closing its doors as recently as Christmas Day.

La Barbe’s owner Serge Tassi had announced his retirement earlier that month in a Facebook post, and also spoke about his decision and the history of La Barbe in a Get Surrey article.

La Barbe’s December 2019 announcement

Cullenders’ April 2019 announcement