• The Villages Mag

Katy meets... Don Alberto

Last year was a challenging time for many businesses, restaurants were one such business sector that had to make many changes and adapt to the new normal. Many did, and now they can look back on 2020 with a new sense of purpose and achievement in the face of adversity. The Villages Mag met up with one such business, Don Alberto and their owners Claire, Alberto and Salvatori to share their story.

Wow what a year 2020 was! Just a few months before Covid 19 hit our shores, we had fulfilled a long awaited dream and opened our second Italian restaurant, Il Padrino in Middlewich. Our aim was to replicate the success of Don Alberto in Holmes Chapel, delivering the same quality of Italian dining while also expanding into a larger venue which would allow us to broaden our entertainment offering. The plan required hard work but was something we were confident we could easily deliver having run Don Alberto successfully for over 5 years.

No one could have predicted the horrendous year of trading that we were about to face at both restaurants and yet we have no regrets over opening Il Padrino. Our beautiful new restaurant stands proudly in the historic Alhambra building on Wheelock Street and, whilst it and Don Alberto are currently closed for dining, both continue to offer weekend takeaways. Yes, we would much rather be able to greet you with our familiar faces and welcome you to dine in our Italian ambience, but if this year has taught us anything, it’s to enjoy what we can, while we can!

The past year has shaken our business to the core, but Don Alberto and Il Padrino are here to stay. I’m proud of how far we have come and how in the most uncertain of times we have still been able to help others. Throughout last summer we delivered free food to NHS staff for 15 weeks at huge cost to the business but it was something we felt we had to do. That’s what we are about, my husband Alberto always puts others first and finds a positive solution.

2020 was without doubt a rollercoaster of a year so we were thrilled when Don Alberto won The Go Local, Keep Local Restaurant of The Year award from Cheshire Life. That has given us a huge boost to move forward into this year with a positive outlook.

January’s swift lockdown hasn’t quite given us the start we expected but this will not stop us. It will not deflate our minds and we will push forward. Lockdown has provided us with plenty of time for planning. We have lots of exciting ideas up our sleeves and just hope we can get cracking in the not so near future. First on the list will be a celebratory evening when the restaurants can reopen for dining. This will entail live music, a delicious set menu and people being able to book seats and dance the night away.

Lastly, our wonderful staff deserve recognition for working under such challenging times. They have all been so supportive and positive throughout, it’s incredible. To our customers we thank you immensely for your continued support and community spirit. We are looking forward to welcoming you back in much brighter times.

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