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WHY I DITCHED THE HIGH LIFE FOR A WEST KIRBY INDEPENDENT

Updated: Aug 12, 2022


Ever since opening in November 2021, The Good Hood has fast become one of the coolest joints in Wirral. West Kirby’s New York style hang out has been a big hit with locals due to its mouth watering comfort food, creative cocktails and relaxed vibes but the story behind it is even more endearing.

The Good Hood is the brainchild of Richard Fergie, who moved to West Kirby from Stirling in Scotland after ditching his role as Director of a large restaurant chain. Richard was flying high at Monteray Jack’s — a multi award winning restaurant chain with 12 sites and over 150 staff — but decided to ditch it all and set up an independent in West Kirby after meeting the love of his life.

Richard had helped build up Monteray Jack’s from the ground, eventually becoming one of the best loved brands in Scotland — winning Best Burger in Scotland, Best Business in Scotland and many other accolades. He spearheaded many charity initiatives and on the outside it appeared he was living the high life, when the reality was very different.

Richard explained: “To everyone looking in, life was great for me and I was smashing it as Director of a big well known hospitality brand but what they didn’t see was the stress that brings. Monteray Jack’s exploded as a business and with that quickly came dealing with thousands of customers every week, over 150 staff, financial pressures and even a fire at one of the sites.”

He continued: “It was a very fast paced life and as we opened more restaurants I ate and slept less. The thing that really hit home for me was when I was in Spain on a much needed holiday. I remember being at the beach on my own watching the sunset and thinking how nice it would be to share that with someone. I had been far too busy for love but suddenly realised I was really lacking something in my life.”

Richard joined a dating site and in December 2020 he met a woman who was to change his life forever. Richard met Ellie from the Wirral and the couple hit it off immediately — talking every day until he came down to visit, falling in love with the area at the same time. Of course, long distance relationships aren’t easy, so it was only a matter of time before he moved here permanently.

Richard said: “I didn’t think love was possible working in my fast paced Director’s role but meeting Ellie has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. The difference from life back then and my life now is pure joy — the slower pace of life makes me appreciate things more, the little things, and West Kirby it utterly charming. The people here are so friendly and accepting of an outsider who’s new to the area.”

Richard opened The Good Hood in West Kirby November 2021 — offering fun, messy and juicy food such as top quality craft burgers and gourmet pizzas and colourful, creative cocktails. He has brought his knowledge from creating a multi award winning brand to open a cracking seaside town independent that’s already being praised by many for having the best burger in Wirral.

Richard said: “The Good Hood is about creating somewhere you can kick back, relax and hang out, with a simple, raw and urban style and top quality, fun American food. The feedback has been amazing and people love the fact we have one of the only sun traps in West Kirby at the back. It feels so much better running a small independent.”

He summarized: “We’ve created an amazing team here who all share the same passion as me and I’m really enjoying it as I can get stuck in every day and really connect with the staff on a personal level. Of course, we’re ambitious and would like to grow as a business but I’d never grow a brand as rapidly as we did with Monteray Jack’s and lose myself the way I did. I’m so much happier now.”

To add to the fairytale story, Richard and Ellie have just had their first child, Effy — a gorgeous little bundle of love who has had many locals coming in to meet her. A far cry from the fast paced lifestyle as Director of a corporate chain, Richard has found his home and his new family in the seaside town of West Kirby.

The Good Hood is located on Banks Road, West Kirby, just over the road from The Crescent and is open 7 days a week. It offers high end American food from craft burgers to wings and pizzas, creative and colourful cocktails and live music at weekends. It has a terrace to the rear and an urban style with graffiti artwork on the walls.

The Good Hood / 22 Banks Road, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 0RD / 0151 245 4132


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