Published 16 April 2021
With the first week of reopening drawing to an end, we ask six industry figures to reflect on the ups and downs along the way.
The past few days have been like pushing a pram down a hill with a broken leg. Attempting to get back to normal after five months was always going to be challenging, but each day is getting easier. Our guests have been very understanding and it’s been great to see so many industry friends out on the terrace. It will take a while to get back into the swing of things, but we are very nearly there!
Richard Corrigan, chef patron
What a wonder to be finally open and able to welcome customers. We were due to open on May 20, so it has almost been a year of delays. I had a lot of anxiety in the build up, but it has been so nice to be cooking with a team again. The first night was manic but great and we look forward to welcoming many more guests!
Jonathan Collins, executive chef
The past few days have felt like we never left, the past four months melted from our minds and we sunk straight back into the flow. Everyone who drops by seems so happy to be out again, and we’re stoked to have them. We’re back with a strong team, a strong menu, and ready to serve – the only thing is that I can’t wait to have people back inside too!
Jason Brettschneider, shop manager
We opened the restaurant for breakfast and lunch on Monday with four small tables outside the shop. It’s been really busy on Redchurch Street and wonderful to be able to serve our loyal customers again. We’ve seen lots of our regulars popping in for quick coffee, or some fresh pasta for lunch. They’ve been hugely supportive through the lockdowns. I think the good weather this week has certainly helped, and will hopefully continue into the summer. We’ve introduced an aperitivo hour at the end of the day, serving Negronis to the tables outside, which has been fun and very much part of the hospitality at Burro e Salvia. I think we will continue with the outside dining tables even when we can open the restaurant inside next month, weather permitting of course!
Gaia Enria, founder
The most important thing for me was to focus on the welcome of guests, service, staff and quality of product. It’s all we are thinking about at the moment! It is great to see everyone back – all the guests have been super warm and enjoyed being back. Dinner is easier to manage as there are less people walking in and people don’t want to take risks. Reminder for everyone to wrap up, as not all the tables have heaters!
Gus Haughton, operational partner
Our neighbours Beer Rebellion opened their outdoor area on Monday. We had a cheeky half-pint at 12.01 where we bumped into two lots of regulars who were keen to get the low down on our opening timeline and excited to pop in and be able to buy wine in person this weekend!
We’re pretty exposed here on the ‘Peckham Riviera’ as we like to refer to it, with our big Crittle glass windows, so people have been popping their heads in to find out what our plans are. We’ve had lots of requests for collection orders for the weekend for people to pick up wine to drink with their pals in the park if the weather (fingers crossed) holds!
Helen Hall, co-founder