Amigos Restaurant and Roof Terrace, Old Town, Benidorm - Roof Terrace
Our third season in the new premises is about to begin and I have to say things have honestly exceeded any expectations we had when handing over the 500 euro deposit to the owner for us to take down the "for rent" sign.
In season one - which began when we opened on Christmas Day 2014 - we had decorated, built a couple of new walls, a "client side" bar on the first floor and cleared the roof terrace - which was basically a store room without a roof - and transformed what had become a typical tapas bar into a restaurant.
In the off season 2015/2016 we made a few aesthetic changes to the toilets and ground floor area in addition to replacing the tables, chairs and lighting on the roof terrace and it seems to have worked.
In season one we were serving between 20 and 40 guests 6 nights a week and in season two we doubled that number to 40 - 60 guests every night 7 nights a week because we added a third chef.
For our third season - during January - we are planning to reform and modernise the kitchen so that we can handle maybe 60 - 80 guests per night during the busy months of 2017.
One day/night in July 2016 we actually served 101 people from the a la carte menu - it would be nice but I wouldn't expect to do that every day.
With a strong and versatile young head chef who has been with us 3 years, a very hard working sous chef and a new chef joining the team in February we will have the confidence and capacity to add new dishes and weekly specials to the menu. Hopefully we'll be open 7 nights a week again from May 2017.
We are even considering opening in the daytime during the winter months of 2018 but that's to be confirmed at a later date. Watch this space.
I am writing this on December 28th 2016 after serving two full sittings for Christmas Dinner and I have to say, it was the best food we have ever put on the table so, a new benchmark has been reached which we need to carry through 2017.
What a journey the past 6 years has been. Just 3 years ago in January 2014 our UK business was failing badly and I was sitting in the bank asking how long they would give us before starting repossession proceedings on our house if I didn't pay the mortgage. In the same week Linda was crying as I asked the VAT inspector in the UK to give me an extra month to pay a VAT bill with money we had never even received from customers from our UK enterprise.
It's not easy to lose a business which has been your baby for about 14 years which is what happened to our UK business.
Since then we have worked tirelessly to get back on track and reform this old classic 3 storey house, pizzeria/tapas bar into a chic and modern restaurant and, it's not finished yet. In January 2017 we plan to repaint all 3 floors, completely reform the kitchen so it "flows" better and we even managed to pay a little extra off our mortgage so hopefully I won't have to retire at 106 years old :).
We still want to have live music but I'm not sure how realistic that is going to be but we have purchased a new POS system to increase efficiency.
We have also been close to signing deals on two new premises but both times we got cold feet and decided to wait until we knew for sure it was the right thing to do, however, we are still looking for our second restaurant - we'll see what Brexit brings :).
Although we only officially open in the evenings, we will always open in the day for private parties, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations for 10* or more people. Call 07951 776 435.
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