Work recommences on second phase of restaurant expansion

The Delifonseca team

Renowned Liverpool restaurant, Delifonseca, is set to create a ‘bigger and better’ space for its customers to enjoy post-lockdown as it re-starts work to complete its significant extension.

Ten years since it first opened its doors, the venue is working towards a May reopening with a new footprint that will offer extra dining capacity for twice as many customers.

This will mark the final stage of a six-figure sum project, which originally began before COVID-19 in 2018, and in the short term will enable the restaurant to increase its seating capacity back to pre-pandemic levels with the added space allowing for private events such as weddings or business dinners later in the year.

Proprietor, Candice Fonseca, said: “The extension of our dockside venue is a plan that’s been in the pipeline for us for many years.

“We began the works in 2018 and completed phase one in autumn 2019, when we opened our 100-seater capacity space that more than doubled the covers of our restaurant space at the time.

“In addition, we added a bar and al fresco dining area which were a huge hit with our customers.

“Unfortunately, just as we were getting into our stride with the work, the pandemic hit and the new dining room had to close and has remained so for much of the last 12 months.

“Together with the almost complete evaporation of our outside catering business and the revenue that brought in, the future looked bleak. However, there was hope – the food hall pivoted to providing online grocery provisions and local delivery whilst our lovely customers continued to support us.

“Crucially, we were able to access a wide range of financial support from loans to rent holidays and financial help from local and national government which has allowed us to stay afloat through the last year and has given us a strong hope for the future.”

Delifonseca is set to reveal its new dining space to customers on May 17, in line with the Government’s roadmap plans to reintroduce indoor dining for groups of six or less.

Candice added: “We spent time analysing the impact of social distancing in the restaurant, taking into account customer covers, spend and our income through the months we could trade and the findings were depressing.

“We concluded that we simply had to finish the extension project so that we could achieve the necessary numbers of customers and have accessed the Government-backed lending to complete the project in time for late spring.

“With structural work and preparation for the next stage already completed as part of phase one, we’re now looking at finalising the additional space which will make our restaurant flexible, adaptable and future proof.”

Initially operating with social distancing in place, Candice hopes that after June 21, the space will become a popular choice for larger gatherings thanks to its booth seating, ideal for parties, alongside its ideal location close to the city centre, with parking available on site.

She added: “If there’s one thing the last year has taught us, it’s that adaptability is key and we’re really proud of the new concept we’ve created, which means we’ll be able to come out of a tough time bigger, better and stronger than before.

“This is a new chapter for Delifonseca and as part of that we wanted a multi-functional space that allows us to host occasions, create private dining events and welcome more guests on site than ever before.

“Our dockside venue is the hub and the heart of our business, and from now on we can undertake all elements under one roof – from our food hall and deli to our restaurant, bar and now even events space alongside capacity to manage our outside catering arm.”