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Digbeth's vegetarian Warehouse Cafe back in business

Birmingham's original vegetarian hotspot The Warehouse Cafe, in Digbeth, returns this weekend.

Restaurant manager Anthony Scaroni, Mohini Howard and chef Robert Grzeski.
Restaurant manager Anthony Scaroni, Mohini Howard and chef Robert Grzeski.

Birmingham's original vegetarian hotspot is hoping to be ‘twice as spice’ when it returns this weekend.

Tucked away in Allison Street, Digbeth, The Warehouse Cafe was a popular haunt for 30 years but closed down suddenly four months ago.

Boss Alex Claridge said he had decided to quit “while they were on top”.

But on Saturday, a new team will reopen the cafe with a new menu and a new look.

It will be run as a not-for-profit CIC ‘community interest company’ backed by a Friends Of The Earth safety net.

The cafe’s former chef, Robert Grzeski, will return alongside new manager Anthony Scaroni and catering newcomer Mohini Howard.

To keep costs down, a bicycle courier based in the same Friends Of The Earth building will collect food from the wholesale markets on two wheels. Other local suppliers will be used where possible and food will even be sourced from city allotments.

City restaurant stalwart Anthony is the son of the late owner of the eponymous Valentino’s cafe in Harborne.

“We’re all taking substantial pay cuts to run this cafe on a not-for-profit basis,” he said.

“But it’s what we really want to do.

"The interest we’ve had from people who want to come back to The Warehouse Cafe is phenomenal and we’ll be about a lot more than mung beans and flapjacks.”

Mother-of-two Mohini said: “The fact that The Warehouse Cafe had closed was a great opportunity for us to refresh and rejuvenate it."

The Cafe will not open with a drinks licence but customers can bring their own alcohol.

* More information is available at  www.thewarehousecafe.com  or www.facebook.com/thewarehousecafe

 
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