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How Bristol food & drink businesses are coping with coronavirus

By martin booth, Tuesday Mar 17, 2020

Cafes have switched to takeaway only, some smaller restaurants have already made the difficult decision to close and pubs remain open as usual.

The day after prime minister Boris Johnson urged everyone to stay away from pubs and restaurants, these businesses have still not been told by the government to close.


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Instead, many hospitality businesses across Bristol are being forced to pivot their offers. These include:

  • The Cauldron in St Werburgh’s will have precooked, reheatable and healthy ready meals, as well as freshly baked bread, and loo rolls, pasta, rice, wine beer, charcoal and barbecue packs for sale.
  • Convoy Espresso in the Paintworks is still open, encouraging takeaways and hoping to remain open for nearby residents working from home.
  • Eatchu in St Nick’s Market will be takeaway only as of Tuesday and is looking at starting online delivery options from their prep kitchen in St Phillip’s, as well as a delivery service for frozen gyoza and more.
  • Espensen Spirit is offering free delivery of their bottled cocktails (including negroni) within a mile radius of Bristol Spirit in Redfield, or customers can pick up their booze from the bar which is otherwise closed.

Espensen Spirit will be bottling pre-mixed negroni in bottles for delivery around the Redfield and St George area

  • Flip on North Street has closed as an eat-in offer and all of their events are cancelled, but they are creating a delivery offer using Good 60 and Just Eat.
  • That some markets are charging 50 per cent for forced cancellations “is salt in the wound” say street food traders For Mice & Men. They are considering a delivery system in BS3 where their home kitchen is based as the 35 per cent fees of food delivery apps “would be prohibitive for our scale”.
  • Grow Bristol are currently still growing their nutrient-dense living greens for chefs and shops, but if they close then they are thinking of pivoting their offer towards home delivery.
  • Kate’s Kitchen are now delivering meals to those self-isolating, working from home or just fancy some delicious meals being delivered to their door.

Grow Bristol grow high quality and ultra-local produce in their indoor farm all-year-round – photo: Grow Bristol

  • Little Hollows Pasta has put together a list of our products for customers to cook at home. Hoping to deliver straight to the door, having taken payment already, although logistically it could be challenging. This is a real test of how adaptable we all are, both businesses and consumers.
  • Off Centre Cafe on Baldwin Street is open as usual, and now offering free gloves, sanitisers and free delivery.
  • Sister restaurants Root and Yurt Lush could both start doing home deliveries.
  • Sandwi are continuing to deliver sandwiches and lunch across Bristol.
  • Source in St Nick’s is still open and has food. The shop will be starting home deliveries very soon which will include ready meals and cakes.
  • From Friday, Tapestry in St Phillip’s is offering a home delivery service both themselves (within a 1.5m radius of their brewery) and via Deliveroo. This will contain fresh beer in a two-pint biodegradable carton and wood-fired sourdough pizzas.
  • Tsukemono remain open and are offering takeaway at their pop-up at the Robin Hood pub on St Michael’s Hill, and are looking into delivery options.
  • The Vegetable Diva, who closed their cafe on the Harbour Inlet earlier this year, is offering bulk home delivery for all those self isolating.
  • Wiper & True brewery in St Werburgh’s may have closed their tap room but they opened a takeaway-only can kiosk to continue selling their beer.

Main photo of Convoy Espresso by Martin Booth

Read more: Coronavirus live updates as businesses make cost-cutting measures to survive

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