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Mexican bar launches food menu to stay afloat with social distancing

PUBLISHED: 17:04 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:27 01 October 2020

Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar in Prince of Wales Road in Norwich is now offering food as owner Andrew Skalli adapts due to lockdown restrictions. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar in Prince of Wales Road in Norwich is now offering food as owner Andrew Skalli adapts due to lockdown restrictions. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

(C) Archant 2020

From ‘Afternoon Tequila’ to Mexican tapas, the owner of a Norwich bar has launched a food menu so the venue can survive while social distancing and the 10pm curfew are in place.

Inside Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar which now offers food. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANInside Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar which now offers food. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar opened in Prince of Wales Road in June 2014 and until this year offered just drinks and held live music events.

But when owner Andrew Skalli, 36, from Norwich, was forced to temporarily close the venue due to lockdown he had to completely rethink his business.

Thankfully in 2015 he had launched the Gringos Nacho Factory mobile catering van, inside a converted horse box, which served Mexican food at events during the summer.

This side venture became his main focus during lockdown as Mr Skalli took the van to different villages in Norfolk doing pop-up takeaways.

The Bottomless After Brunch at Gringos Mexican Tequila bar with churros and chocolate sauce and bottomless tequila sunrises for an hour. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe Bottomless After Brunch at Gringos Mexican Tequila bar with churros and chocolate sauce and bottomless tequila sunrises for an hour. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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When he finally reopened the bar at the start of September, he decided to launch a food menu there too - also knowing that as a small venue he would need to focus on table service.

There are three separate food packages available to book, which are an Afternoon Tequila, a twist on a traditional afternoon tea, Mexican tapas, with options such as nachos, chilli and rice and tacos, and Bottomless After Brunch, with churros and chocolate sauce and bottomless tequila sunrise cocktails.

Mr Skalli said: “We have had to adapt and during lockdown we focused on the catering side rather than the bar and events with the Gringos Nacho Factory and saw there was a good demand for our product.

Owner Andrew Skalli outside Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar which offers eat-in and takeaways on Fridays and Saturdays. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANOwner Andrew Skalli outside Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar which offers eat-in and takeaways on Fridays and Saturdays. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

“When we reopened in September we decided to bring that concept into the bar.

“It is challenging to operate a bar with all the restrictions and social distancing, whereas if we’re offering food and drink it is a more relaxed environment.”

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They are also running a collection takeaway service, which can be ordered by phone or on social media, and are launching home deliveries with Just Eat soon.

Afternoon Tequila at Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar Picture: Andrew SkalliAfternoon Tequila at Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar Picture: Andrew Skalli

The Gringos Nacho Factory has upcoming pop-ups in Drayton, Rackheath, Wymondham and North Walsham.

The bar is open for eat-in and takeaways 5pm to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays.

There are a range of Mexican tapas dishes available Picture: Andrew SkalliThere are a range of Mexican tapas dishes available Picture: Andrew Skalli


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