‘The energy we get from our Surbiton customers is insane’ – Hideaway offering free meal to frontline staff

A Surbiton husband and wife partnership with several south west London restaurants to their name are offering coffee and sandwiches to frontline heroes at their latest venture.

Alex and Sam Berry’s latest venue, Hideaway, has a riverfront location and is giving away coffee and a bacon sandwich to emergency services workers and ‘anyone who thinks they deserve one’.

They have set up a drive-thru and are determined to make the most of the third lockdown.

Owner Sam said: “There are a lot of people worse off than us so we thought ‘let’s do it’. It’s all in the spirit of giving.”

They opened the Thames Ditton Marina restaurant in August. Sam said: “We have always loved the location, it’s right on the river.

“It’s always had potential but never lived up to it. We opened at the beginning of August and had an awesome couple of months.

“But it’s a bit in the middle of nowhere. Why would you go there in the middle of winter? So we came up with the drive-thru concept.”

The couple, both 31, opened No 97 on Surbiton’s Maple Road four years ago, and have followed it with One One Four in Teddington and Cento Uno, also in Surbiton.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Sam (right) and Alex have opened several restaurants in south west London, including No 97 in Surbiton

Sam says the spirit of community in Surbiton especially has been a huge help through an uncertain time for the hospitality sector.

“In Surbiton the energy that we get from our customers is insane. If we were anywhere else it might be different but it’s a community that will support us,” he said.

“Every time we go into another lockdown they are ready and waiting to help us out.”

The restaurants have had to continue to adapt to changing guidance. Sam said: “The first lockdown was exciting because it was unknown. I would never have said I’d be doing fine dining takeaway meals from No 97!

“Now in lockdown three it’s kind of business as usual. I would love to serve a normal customer in a restaurant. We miss that!”

On the first day of the new offer at Hideaway, they gave away 53 bacon sandwiches. Sam said: “It’s a good thing but it was like ‘we are going to need to seriously get on it with making bacon sarnies!’

“We’ll hopefully keep doing it as long as possible.”

Hideaway is open for drive-through from Thursday to Sunday, 9am-3pm.

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