Inflation squeezes Els Amics’ maestro out of the city

2008-08-20 00:00

AFTER 31 years in the city, Els Amics restaurant owner and chef Roy Tabernor says it is time to relocate from the restaurant’s 380 Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street premises to a more suitable location.

“I’m afraid economics have caught up with us,” said Tabernor, “and with inflation going the way it is, everybody has started tightening up. We have to do 40 meals a day to break even. The main reasons we are calling it a day here at the end of September are the location and the financial requirements.”

The restaurant will be moving to Fort Nottingham, where Tabernor says the overhead expenses will be lower than his current set-up. Both he and restaurant manager Val Ashworth will run the business there.

“I think we’ll get quite a bit of weekend trade,” said Tabernor.

“Coming from Andorra, where the name Els Amics means ‘the friends’, I had great ideas for Spanish cuisine,” said Tabernor. “However, I soon realised that I had to cater to the South African taste, which somewhat dampened my creative spirit. I like to think that my success has been due to personal attention, consistent quality of ingredients and generous helpings.”

Tabernor says the restaurant has been inundated with phone calls from many “loyal friends and customers” after the news of the move broke.

“I’m very sad to be in the position we are in, but with inflation going the way it is going, people are tightening up on spending.”

Can customers expect to see that familiar storytelling hat at the new premises? “Good question,” says Tabernor. “Probably will.”

Els Amics will remain open until the end of September.

Related Video

‘He’s a happy ghost.'

Ryan Calder coaxes a few stories out of Els Amics owner Roy Tabernor.

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