Come dine with us: The restaurant with lots of bars (and plenty of prisoners too)

100-seater The Clink promises 'unforgettable experience' at Brixton jail

A three-storey restaurant staffed by convicts is to open in one of the country's most inaccessible historic buildings.

Diners at the new restaurant opening at Brixton Prison will have to book in advance and be subjected to rigorous searches but are assured they will have "an unforgettable experience".

The 100-seat restaurant, called The Clink, will be housed in the old governor's house, the Regency Roundhouse which opened in 1819 and is rarely seen by outsiders.

It is part of a scheme by the Clink Charity which wants to open at least seven restaurants behind prison walls. Two have already opened, the first in Cardiff and the second at High Down in Surrey. Brixton's The Clink is to open in the New Year.

By giving jobs to prisoners in the restaurant the charity hopes to provide them with the skills that will enable them to get work when released.

The prison already has experience in private sector catering. Last year Gordon Ramsay, in Channel 4's Gordon Behind Bars, helped it set up the Bad Boys Bakery which makes cakes and desserts across London.

Five years ago a prisons inspector report highlighted the "old, cramped and vermin-infested buildings" at Brixton, with cockroaches and mice spotted, but the restaurant will have to adhere to strict hygene regulations.

HMP Brixton's governor, Edmond Tullett, said: "The restaurant will provide an unforgettable experience for customers and an unrivalled opportunity for prisoners to acquire marketable skills that will lead to local jobs and provide a pathway to a better life."

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