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Big Changes At Per Tutti Café Bar and Grill

We speak to the new owner Chris Buckley about a restaurant reinvented

Published on August 22nd 2013.

Big Changes At Per Tutti Café Bar and Grill

PER Tutti on Liverpool Road will re-launch in August with new owners, a new menu and a new prosecco bar.

I'm an independent and I just want to offer an honest service to the people around us.

Formerly an Italian restaurant, the new Per Tutti Café Bar and Grill will offer modern European food, and a more informal, simplified menu of small plates and large plates. Fresh fish, salads, char-grilled dishes, pastas and stone-baked pizzas will feature.

In the day time it will have a café-bar atmosphere, serving coffee, cakes and snacks, and lunches to eat-in or takeaway. The prosecco bar will include Gentile on draught (a first for the city) and six varieties of prosecco and spumante by the bottle.

The change of focus is the work of pragmatic new owner Chris Buckley and his partner, Rebekah O’Connell.

Per Tutti 3Chris worked in restaurant management at Heathcote's for nine years before taking on a role at The Swan in Tarporley. He moved to Per Tutti as a consultant last year. When the opportunity came to take on the business, he took it.

Says Chris, “The old Per Tutti was busy, to be fair. But the menu had about 48 pizzas, 59 bowls of pasta and one salad – and you can only get six pizzas in the oven at once so the service was terrible.”

The faster service will go down well. But the change to European food could raise a few eyebrows amongst those who judge a restaurant on its fidelity to a particular cuisine.

Chris explains his decision to relax the boundaries. “It was Italian but I'm not Italian so what's the point in me having an Italian restaurant? If you go to The Ivy or Quaglino's in London, it's Scottish salmon, curry , Shepherd’s pie  then Italian as well, and nobody says a thing. In fact you could argue that the variety is part of their sucess

“Per Tutti is now a café, bar and grill and it's European. We've kept the name because it means 'for all' and that's what we're offering –  something for all.”

Per Tutti 1

Hence the decision to offer the whole menu for  takeaway all day, everyday with delivery offered through the City waiters website.

This is Chris's first and only business and he's full of ideas on how to make it work. But refreshingly he doesn't have plans to start the next chain, saying, “I want one restaurant that's going to give me a living. I don't want an empire. I'm an independent and I just want to offer an honest service to the people around us.“

Like any new restaurant owner, he is very aware of the risks of launching a new venture that doesn't slot into an established formula. But he is hoping that the quality will shine through.

Chris says, “The lads here have worked with me for ten years. They can cook. It's all fresh, it's not arriving in the back of a van. But we're not one particular type of cuisine and whether that's right or wrong...we'll find out, won't we?

“I don't want to try and set any new trends. I've seen an opportunity and thought I'll try and make it work, I'll risk everything. And if it doesn't happen, so what, I'll go and work for Byron.”

See Per Tutti's new menus

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