Anthony Demetre on re-opening and a possible return for Arbutus

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Anthony Demetre, Chef, Casual dining, Fine dining, Coronavirus, Arbutus, Wild Honey, Vermuteria, Vermouth

Anthony Demetre has re-opened his King's Cross restaurant Vermuteria offering an abridged takeaway menu alongside coffee and vermouth-based drinks.

Demetre says he wanted to start offering takeaway at Vermuteria some time ago but was not permitted to do so by the landlord.

"It's fundamentally a retail area so it's taken a while to get the green light," he says on BigHospitality's United We Stand podcast.

"We opened on Tuesday. The hardest thing with these takeaway initiatives is making sure that you break even. Forget about actually making money."

Only three members of staff have been taken off furlough to run the small unit, which is located in the recently launched Coal Drops Yard development to the north of King's Cross Station.

"It's simple, comforting home cooking making good use of the Big Green Egg and the barbecue. It's good to see people out and about, we've just got to start moving," says Demetre, who also highlighted the lack of clarity from Government on whether customers are allowed to make use of seating within or near hospitality businesses.

"We have 100 seats outside. Currently people re sitting down to wait but not to eat. But I've been riding around London on my bike and I see people sitting on terraces drinking beer out of plastic. It's a really grey area."

Demetre also hinted at a possible return for his seminal restaurant arbutus. Prior to the pandemic, the chef had been looking for a site in which to relaunch the influential, stripped back modern bistro with which he made his name.

#UnitedWeStand​ has been created by William Reed hospitality titles BigHospitality, Restaurant magazine and Morning Advertiser and is supported by Britvic, CocaCola European Partners and Unilever Food Solutions.

To download this podcast via iTunes, click here.

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