This Summer has been a labour of love for Chef Ron Faulkner at his eponymous restaurant in sleepy Thornbury just outside Bristol. A fresh new approach to his business began in earnest in the Spring with a series of customer surveys, and research into what his existing customers were seeking from Ronnies, and what they would like to see in Thornbury, they spoke and he listened.
“We discovered that our customers wanted a more relaxed, accessible and bar feel to Ronnies” comments the affable Ron “historically we have focused on more of the fine dining element of the restaurant, ever since we won the Good Food Guide Best Restaurant in the Uk, and our 2 AA Rosettes, but since then food styles and eating out habits have evolved, and so we have taken the lead and re-invented the Ronnies experience for the existing and we are finding a new younger crowd into a more accessible, sociable, sharing and relaxing vibe”.
Gone are the formal tables downstairs and all have been replaced with an eclectic mix of relaxed sofas, Chesterfields, occasional chairs and tables of different heights – and you can even eat off a packing crate or two “Food should be fun” continues Ron “Life is stressful enough without the feeling you have to behave when you go out to relax, but we are finding now that customers who can now just pop in for a drink in our bar, or enjoy our new ‘Bar Plates’ which are a variation on our previous offering, still focusing on my passions as a Chef of local meats, fresh fish and the best of the seasons produce but are now available in bite sized dishes sharing platters all from just £4 each – They have been incredibly popular – we even include dishes like our home-made scotch eggs with local pork and free range runny eggs – or our popular ‘Sliders’ of premium steak burgers in a brioche bap – great with a pint of real ale, or a glass of my recommended wines – Its all about the perfect serve and when we re-launch on Friday we will be offering a range of selected wines beers, and now locally sourced Chase Spirits, as well as our morning coffees, all served perfectly with or without food.” Chef Ron will eb sampling his dishes at a mini-pop up this Wednesday in the Thornbury Square with his butcher Gale Farm meats
Bar with no name – Chef Ron explained that what was an experiment has now turned into a renaming exercise as he has created a bar concept alongside his more traditional dining restaurant, but without a name “We have now found that people are calling to book the bar, but we dont have is a name, so we have been running a competition amongst our regulars and the local press, and have had over 200 responses, which has been overwhelming, some have been amusing, innovative and some downright worrying, but we have a short list and will reveal the preferred choice at our ‘re-birth’ of Ronnies and our new bar at a special invite only event on Halloween night, as festival of new life – I wont say what the name is, but it has an historic slant and celebrates a success in Thornbury, one which we hope to emulate with our new bar. We would love to see some new faces after our launch and of course some old ones returning so they can let us know what they think and hopefully enjoy a relaxing experience with us leading up to Christmas”
More here www.ronnies-restaurant.co.uk