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A number of celebrities from Mark Knopfler to Iain Duncan Smith have dined at Metro Bar and Grill down the years but Bill Clinton found himself firmly out of favour.
Cornwall Street diner Metro Bar and Grill is celebrating its 15th anniversary with proposals for a new continental restaurant in Harborne.
"If you had said to me 15 years ago that you would still be here in 15 years' time and you have signed a new 15 year lease, I would have been very happy.
Founder Chris Kelly said: "Around two or three weeks before they were all due here, my manager took a very strange phone call. He said 'I have had the American Embassy on the phone and there are a couple of chaps coming to see us about hiring the restaurant.'
"The city needed a little bit of London glitz, but not at stupid prices. The formula worked from day one. We had well known business figures in here, the likes of Digby Jones, John James, James Retallack, the late Dick Knowles from the city council, plus Bottega Veneta Veneta Small Messenger Bag
The American President wanted to book the Birmingham restaurant for a private dinner with French counterpart Jacques Chirac during the G8 summit in the city in 1998, but the Metro was fully booked.
"I am told that Metro was the place where many of the area's property deals were signed."
Mr Kelly and business partner Alastair Tyson, who joined from the Hotel du Vin in 2004, say Metropolitan Drinking and Dining would also consider another Birmingham city centre venue.
Looking back 15 years, Mr Kelly said he founded the Metro concept after spotting a niche in the city.
and a man said to me that Metro was 'like an old shoe very comfortable, known it for years, kept very well polished. and it has a good soul.' I thought that was a good tribute."
"The city was poorly served there was a huge difference compared to today. Straightaway it went mad, beyond our wildest dreams. There was a hunger, and we were in the right place at the right time.
"We are spending half a million pounds and creating 25 new jobs. The Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch Bag
The original Metro Bar and Grill is also set for another 15 years at Cornwall Street after signing a new long term lease. Parent group Metropolitan Drinking and Dining also runs a Metro restaurant in Solihull.
"But we Guess Kamryn Tote were very busy at the time and were fully booked on that day. They said 'The CIA are involved, there will be people with guns, we will offer you 10,000'
"I was at a function recently Guess Iphone 6 Case Red
Mr Kelly, who launched Metro on November 14, 1997, after selling two pizza franchises, said: "We had been looking to expand when the right site came up. We have looked at Coventry, Sutton Coldfield and Warwick but Harborne is a superb site and we are looking to open next summer.
Metro Bar to offer new place to do business
He added: "I had some money in the bank from the sales and this place, which used to be a little Spanish restaurant called Lopez, came onto the market.
Harborne restaurant will be a slightly different slant, more of a tapas style operation."
The bar that turned down a presidential booking
"I said we could have done the Monday, not the Friday I had my regular customers to think about.".
Founder Chris Kelly has unveiled plans for a Metro Continental in Harborne High Street as he seeks to capitalise on the popularity of the original restaurant.
"We will continue to expand, gently and quietly," Mr Kelly said. "We would look at another site in the city centre if it was good enough.
"Everybody saw it as a risk but I saw at the time there was not very much competition around Birmingham. There was La Galleria, Lorenzos in Digbeth, the Grand Hotel and the Midland but there was no real dining culture in Birmingham.
"They came along and it was just like the film Men In Black, with suits and ties. They were looking to hire the restaurant for the Friday afternoon for Bill Clinton and Chirac to hold a private dinner.
One of the favoured restaurants of the Birmingham business community has revealed plans for a second venue in the city.
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