A top restaurant in Chichester re-opens its doors

An iconic name in Chichester for fun nights out and excellent food is marking its half century this year with special offers and discounts this June.

Woodies in Chichester is marking its 50th anniversary this year
Woodies in Chichester is marking its 50th anniversary this year

There are not many restaurants that can celebrate a 50th anniversary, especially in these tough times, but Woodies in Chichester is marking the milestone this year.

They’ve got exciting plans in place to mark, with discounts for diners and specials to celebrate their own anniversary and the Queen’s jubilee weekend.

Step back in time

In 2019 a new owner restored the Woodies name and gave the building a complete facelift

But first let’s rewind the clock to 1972, Suzanne and Richard opened the doors of Woodies Wine Bar for the very first time. Situated in St Pancras and built in the 18th Century or even earlier, the building offered a quaint, welcoming space to socialise.

A delightful tapas style menu offered seventies classics such as a prawn cocktail for just 65p, or Fondue Bourguigonne at £3 for two people. Diners could finish off with cheese and biscuits for 20p, washed down with a bottle of full bodied Chateau La Borie for £1 or 17p for a glass.

More decadent customers could enjoy a bottle of Taittinger La Francaise at the bargain price of just £3.20. Woodies Wine Bar soon became the place to be seen and since then Woodies has been a memorable and integral part of Chichester’s history, passed on through generations.

Ever changing

Throughout the following decades the restaurant changed hands several times with the new owners always maintaining the Woodies name. In the early nineties number 13 St Pancras was purchased enabling an extension of the bar. DJs played would play at weekends and Woodies became the place to eat, drink and dance the night away.

The restaurant continued successfully offering a contemporary menu. The venue was also very popular with pre-theatre diners. Following a fire in the kitchen the venue closed temporarily and eventually was sold. In 2017 new owners took over and the restaurant became Flames, a grill restaurant. Sadly the business was unsuccessful and closed shortly after opening.

New owner and major investment

In 2019 a new owner restored the Woodies name, gave the building a complete facelift, breathing life back in the building and the restaurant became Woodies Brasserie & Bar. Following a very successful first year, along came Covid-19. Woodies doors closed and didn’t reopen for 15 months. Business was tough following the pandemic, covid restrictions were hard to work with. On top of this, recruiting the right chefs was tricky, causing a temporary closure of the restaurant side.

Restaurant reopening

It has taken some time to find the right chef and now fresh talent from Edinburgh has taken the position of head chef.

Much thought has been given to the reopening of the restaurant.

The name has been changed to Woodies Tapas & Cocktails. It has been decided to almost revive the original 1972 Tapas style of menu. Diners can now enjoy a totally different style of dining at Woodies with a vibrant, fresh, mouth-watering and affordable tapas menu, consisting of sharers and small plates, nibbles, all the favourite meat and seafood tapas dishes, veggie plates and tacos.

Prices range from £6 to £10 per dish. With new wines, the addition of an exciting new tequila menu and a creatively revamped cocktail menu, Woodies is looking forward to welcoming you all back when it reopens its doors on Wednesday, June 1.

Don’t miss the happy hour from 6 to 7pm, on selected collected wines and spirits, bottled beers.

Special offer

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary and the Queen’s Jubilee, Woodies is offering you the chance to dine in the restaurant and receive 20% off, food only, throughout June 2022. Quote Woodies50 online or on the phone at the time of booking.

Opening hours

Thursday 5.30pm to 9.30pm, Bar 5pm to 11.45pm

Friday 5.30pm to 9.30pm, Bar 5pm to 12.45am

Saturday 11am to 4pm (Bottomless Brunch) and 6 to 10pm, Bar 5pm to 12.45am

Bookings can be made online at www.woodieschichester.co.uk or by phone: 01243 956155.