We're in the middle of Lockdown3.0, and it's been a funny sort of year here at Ric's Kitchen.
We opened the doors last July, after the first Covid19 Lockdown. We knew there were to be challenges ahead, and we were fully prepared to tackle whatever was needed to help rid the country of this virus.... its been a rollercoaster year hasn't it?
We had a very successful opening few months, with August, September and October getting busier and busier as the weeks flowed on.
Then the November Lockdown landed. Stay at Home 2.0 was in effect, but we decided, instead of closing completely, to offer a takeaway service. Our offerings went down a storm, but over the weeks, we did not see it as a viable way to continue, so again, the doors shut.
December came, and our doors could open again for diners! But on government conditions. You had to dine out with people of the same household. You were not allowed to meet friends indoors. With this, December was a quiet month, and saw us only opening sporadically, and for bookings. There were three bright lights in December for me. One was our Boxing day Breakfast. Fully booked, socially distanced and well received by all who came along. It was a treat for me to see everyone with a post Christmas glow, smiles all round and full stomachs by the time they left. The second, opening on Christmas Eve. We thought we'd try out opening an evening... our first evening (not our last, I promise). We had a local called Nick come play the piano for us (I would have played, but I was busy cooking and serving), with mince pies, warming soups and coffees, creating a warm inviting atmosphere. The third was, because we closed a lot of the time, I got to spend even more time with my family. My 2 young boys and my wife and I enjoyed an extended Christmas which we never usually have the luxury of getting. I know, I know, I spent most of the year with them too, but the holiday season with children makes it all the more special.
January, Lockdown 3.0. We all knew it was coming, but with the vaccines rolling out, we could see a light at the end of the tunnel. January saw us producing cook-a-long videos for you to cook some of our staples and new ideas at home. These can all be found on our Facebook page. During this time, we had applied for a Premises License to serve alcohol along side our food offerings.
In the venues history, either as Gilly's, or Hoopers Cafe, a license to sell alcohol was never sought. When we took the place over last year as Ric's Kitchen, this was one of our main plans, to change things up a bit and develop our own style of bistro.
We initially expected our license to be approved on the 28th of Jan, but due to a representation made by someone locally opposing some of our licensable plans, the decision was pushed into late Feb. The focus on this and getting it right stopped the continuation of our cook-a-long videos. We waited anxiously for Decision Day, Feb 24th.
So, in-front of East Devon District Council and the interested party, we made our cases. After a long wait of nearly an hour for the council to deliberate, the decision was cast in our favour. (with a couple of caveats, but I wont bore you with them). Hurrah. We can now legally serve alcohol at Ric's Kitchen.
The weeks following saw us re-vamp our website, albeit not finished, but the information there/here will be updated as and when we have finalised menus and event dates. We have had a great following and buzz on social media, with new menu ideas and drinks pairings going up too.
Fast forward to today, March 8th. My eldest son is back at school! No longer am i the some school Dad trying to teach him the best way i can while the constant distraction of Minecraft is in my 6 year olds head.
Today, I went in and worked. Not to open to customers, but to move furniture around, make the place look like how i want it when we can open again. It made me all the more excited to open the doors again and greet you wonderful people. Over the next 2 months, we will be hard at work behind the scenes so that when we can have you grace our doorstep again, we can give you the full Ric's Kitchen experience, the way we wanted to do it without Covid in the way.
We have a-lot of exciting announcements to make over the coming months, but we will only do so when the government confirms dates of opening. They can still change (we hope not). But in the meantime, stay safe, take care and we look forward to seeing you on the other side. Thank you for your continued support.