A FORMER Hartlepool United footballing star is settling into his new future in the restaurant trade.
Callum Hassan, 21, has opened the Afro Caribbean style restaurant Kilimandjaro which caters for 56 seats and has a staff of eight people.
He spent four years with Pools and first opted for a restaurant when he “decided to get a back-up plan.”
His new venture is at Hartlepool Marina and marks a change of direction for Callum who said: “A lot of youngsters think they will make it and they will become the next David Beckham, but I looked at the bigger picture and decided to get a back-up plan.”
He said Kilimandjaro already had a presence in Middlesbrough and Stockton and said he “bought into an existing business” when he decided to become the owner of the Hartlepool outlet and a director of the company.
Even though his restaurant has already been open a short while, it has already built up an impressive following on Facebook and Callum added: “It has already made a good impression.
“As a new business, you expect teething problems but we have not had any.”
He said he had considered other lines of career but he got talking to someone who knew the Kilimandjaro owner.
Callum explained why Hartlepool Marina was the perfect choice for his restaurant.
He said a lot of people like to dine out there and added: “It’s not known as an area for trouble. It is known as an area where people like to come and spend cash, and I thought it would be ideal.”
Callum is hoping the business will do so well that he can eventually expand into another outlet.
In the meantime, he has already provided employment to local people in positions which include head chef, two other chefs, front manager and three other staff.