Popular Exeter restaurant Eat The Bird plans big move

-Credit: (Image: Mary Stenson/DevonLive)
-Credit: (Image: Mary Stenson/DevonLive)

An Exeter restaurant is planning a big move to a prominent location in the city centre. The site has been standing empty for more than a year after the previous occupiers closed due to skyrocketing bills.

Eat the Bird is preparing to say farewell to their restaurant on Sidwell Street after five years as they plan to move to the Princesshay Shopping Centre. They have applied for a new premises licence for the restaurant unit on Bedford Street which was formerly occupied by Margoux and confirmed their moving plans to DevonLive on Monday (July 8).

The unit has stood empty for the last year after Margoux closed their doors for good. The restaurant was previously located on Mary Arches Street, first opening in January 2020, before relocating to Bedford Street in March 2022. But in June 2023, owners Benjamin Doyle and Vince Aggett announced the restaurant would be closing as rising costs meant they weren't able to run it to their "desired standard".

Last month, Eat the Bird said in a Facebook post that the lease had expired on their Sidwell Street restaurant but had been granted an extension while they finished working on their new premises. They said that their landlord said they would only be able to use their outside tables or do takeaways.

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They said: "5 years ago, we got the keys to our 2nd fried chicken palace on Sidwell Street. Fast forward to today and we've built up a tribe of fried chicken addicted fans like yourself and created something unique and seemingly well loved in the city. We couldn’t be more thankful for letting us serve you over and over and over again.

"And soon, we'll have finished building a brand new, even bigger, even better fried chicken palace in the centre of the city that we can’t bleddy wait to open.

"Our lease expires today, but we’ve been granted an extension to stay a little longer on Sidwell Street to make sure you can all still get a fix whilst we sort out the new site.

Eat the Bird's Dirty Ronald burger is up for the award
Eat the Bird's Dirty Ronald burger is up for the award -Credit:Eat the Bird

"Service will be slightly different though. We’ve been told by our landlords, and for reasons out of our control, that we can only serve our outside tables or do takeaway. (DM us if you want to know why but it’s not that interesting.)

"So we're going al fresco. Lucky it’s the summer, right? If you like the indoors and want to chow down on an eat the bird, you can still find us in Turks Head serving our menu 7 days a week from their kitchen and we'd be extremely happy to see you.

"If continental dining is your bag and you want to bask in the final load of etb vibes on Sidwell, then come and join us for the last hurrah. It’ll be a summer long celebration of all the memories that we’ve created and a send off before we venture more central.

"Thanks for an epic 5 years, here’s to the next chapter. See you soon."

Eat the Bird first opened their Exeter restaurant in July 2019, which was their second branch after opening in Taunton. The venture had first started out as a food trailer by friends Dan and Chris in 2017. It has since expanded to three restaurants in Taunton, Exeter and Cardiff, as well as a residencies in the kitchen at the Turks Head pub on Exeter High Street and King Street Brew House in Bristol.

The restaurant specialises in chicken and is best known for its fried chicken burgers. They also serve tenders, wings and fries, as well as vegan and gluten free options.