06 21/06/2011

June's Pavilion is birthday treat

THE history OF Chester Zoo was on the menu as the daughter of the zoo’s founder unveiled a new restaurant in her honour.

 June Williams, from Upton, was joined by husband Fred as she marked her 85th birthday by opening June’s Pavilion.

June and Fred are credited with the development of the zoo and have a long and rich history which saw the pair build many new developments over time, including the existing aquarium and original cafeterias. It was June’s father George Mottershead who originally founded the zoo, which marks its 80th anniversary this year.

June’s Pavilion has taken the place of the Ark Restaurant and has been redesigned and the menu refreshed to bring the restaurant into a new era. The zoo’s rich history is reflected in the restaurant which features prints from over the years taken from June’s own collection of photographs.

A delighted June, who was joined by her family and close friends to mark the occasion, said: “The zoo has had a number of milk bars and cafeterias over the years. I am thrilled that the zoo has celebrated its history in this way and this is a real honour for me.”

The zoo joined forces with Heathcotes Outside, which was set up in 1997 by Michelin-starred chef Paul Heathcote MBE and Managing Director Gary Bates, on the June’s Pavilion project. The existing Café Tsavo is also going through a transformation and will be renamed Café Bembe, Swahili for feast.

Barbara Smith, the zoo’s Managing Director, said “The zoo is very proud of its heritage. We know that we need to continue to move with the times and that our visitors are looking for great, nutritious food. June’s Pavilion blends the best of these worlds together. With an outstanding new menu and décor that reflects our long and proud history, June’s is proving to be a big hit.”

Paul Heathcote said Chester Zoo was going through exciting times.  

He added: “There has been much work done already on the food concepts and restaurants and much more to be progressed. The Zoo’s ambition is to be amongst the best in the world and we intend to help guide the food offering on the same track.”


Ends                                                                                               21 June 2011