In its infancy, tapas restaurant Bar Pintxos opened its doors last September serving up authentic Spanish food to Prestonians and visitors to the city.
Owner of the Market Street restaurant Anthony Smith said although, at times it has been a struggle, there is nowhere else he would have set up shop.
“I think the industry has had its issues over the last 12 months, with ourselves being no exception. Everyone is in the same boat accentuated by Covid, inflation and potential recession.
“Setting up and running a business isn’t for everyone. You have to have blind belief and passion for your vision because if you didn’t, any rational human being would have quit a long time ago.
“I am lucky to have such amazing people around me and some outstanding customers who push me onwards regardless.”
He added: “Bar Pintxos has become a sort of community hub for Spanish and Latinos in Lancashire, I am very proud of that. Makes it all the more worthwhile.
“While we are happy with the progress we are making we still have a long way to go, I would say it will take another two years for us to be happy with what we are doing.
“I have a massive amount of love for Preston and firmly believe that the future of Preston is bright. There’s only one Preston and only one Bar Pintxos.”
One of the longest established restaurants with over 40 years’ in Preston, Italian eatery chain Angelos which opened in 1976 has cemented itself as a family friend to residents.
In that time it has withstood many challenges including Covid, inflation costs, the changing face of Preston and what the customer wants.
Owner Carlo Bragagnini who runs the popular restaurant believes the recipe for longevity success is consistency.
“My dad Ivan Bragagnini started the business when he moved here from Italy in the 1970’s.
“Consistency is key, it’s an old saying that you’re only as good as your last meal but you really are. Very few people will give you a second chance, there’s a lot of competition out there.
“Covid was a real test as we reopened, the eat out to help out scheme was launched and business was booming, we were then forced to close again with no real idea of when we’d be reopening.
Chorley woman quits job and uses life savings to open ‘Chic’ shop
Fortunately the support we had from the government was great with various grants and the furlough scheme enabling us to continue to pay our staff. Thankfully once restrictions were finally lifted we bounced back pretty quickly, customers were literally chomping at the bit to eat out in restaurants again. “
He added that the family-run business has just launched a wine shop that will also be going online in the near future and a boutique hotel.
“I would like to thank all our lovely customers for their continued support over the years, without them, none of this would be possible.”
As well as Angelo’s there is The Italian Orchard, San Marco, Pinocchio’s and Stratos and we have just opened a wine shop within the grounds of The Italian Orchard.
Mark Whittle, Preston’s BID’s manager and Director of Membership believes the change in the Preston retail landscape over the past two years is down to change and demand from modern day customers.
He said: “The way that people use a city center is very different now than it was a decade or so ago, which has meant that the businesses that you’ll find there differ too.
“Of course, we still have those big brands that people have relationships with, but Preston is also a hotbed for brilliant independent businesses.
“Footfall, on average, is ahead of the region’s performance on a weekly basis, despite several thousand city center workers still working from home, or working a reduced week from their premises. Everyone involved with the city center is keen to see this momentum continue , and improve. “
He added: “Preston is a great place to do business. It has a fiercely loyal population who are passionate about supporting and promoting local businesses.”
Bob & Berts and Salidishy are also new neighbors to Preston’s High Street, with more restaurants earmarked for opening soon including well-renowned Indian chain Mowgli.
Taking to their Instagram account, Mowgli has set their launch date for next month (Monday, July 11), and added that booking lines will be this month. The branch will be located in the former French Connection unit of Preston’s Miller Arcade in the city center, on the corner of Church Street and Birley Street.
Popular vodka bar chain and restaurant Revolution is moving into the vacant Fishers bar site on Fishergate after transforming the four-storey building with a £ 1.5m makeover.
The doors will be officially open on Wednesday, June 29, with an official launch party to follow on Friday, July 8.
It marks the return of Revolution to Preston eight years after it closed its previous venue in Main Sprit Weind, off Church Street, in 2014.
Mark O’Rourke, who owns restaurants in Preston including Fino Tapas will be opening Bath House Bistro – a British brasserie in Preston’s historic Miller Arcade which should be opening by the end of this month.
Luke Unsworth from Fulwood chose the name after his suggestion was drawn out of a hat.
He explained his choice of name by saying “A bath house is a place to take care of the body and soul while meeting old and new friends.”
What’s on the impending menu for Preston? A lot!