Despite massive local support, The Jericho Cafe nearly didn’t survive the pandemic and at one point thought it would have to close its doors for ever.
“It was really touch and go,” owners Ruth and Johan Dorso explain. “A couple of months ago we thought our adventure was over and we were almost in despair.
“Our family’s entire livelihood depends on the success of our business and Johan and I are not at the age where we can start something new or easily find work elsewhere,” Ruth adds.
“But we have been massively supported by our wonderful customers, friends, suppliers, and by the city council which has worked hard to help us survive.
Jericho’s beloved cafe, with its wonderful community based feel, is now back on its feet, and as it’s not using its lovely premises in the evenings, is letting local street traders, furloughed chefs and catering companies use it as a pop-up venue for supper clubs or fine dining dinner parties.
“We had to reduce our staffing levels, opening hours and indefinitely postpone our Saturday night Jericho Comedy nights,” Ruth explains.
“So we wanted to offer our venue to traders in the hospitality business who, like us, saw their livelihoods threatened overnight and their bookings, festivals, weddings and gigs cancelled for the whole of 2020.”
“We know first hand how incredibly stressful and worrying this time has been and we want to give any help and support that we can to struggling indies as we know how important it is to feel that support and hope that they can keep going.
“We want to help some of these awesome foodie businesses to get back on their feet and showcase their superb talents in a restaurant setting.
Talented Oxford caterers Gravy & Custard will be hosting the first supper party at the café on Saturday August 29 with a Spanish influenced three course meal.
Other traders hosting future supper clubs include Nood and Vstackburger. Vstack are looking to host on the last Saturday of every month and Gravy & Custard will do a fortnightly slot to start with. Nood is likely to do fortnightly Friday slots.
Sam Rainbird and Dan Allen from Gravy & Custard Catering said: “The cafe is a beautiful spot and we are so excited to be serving our food there. After the last few stressful months this is a fantastic opportunity for our business.”
Ruth is very excited about the ensuing autumn supper clubs and adds: “We have been incredibly well supported by our fantastic Jericho community and our many friends and regulars we have had the good fortune to serve over the last 19 years.”
Dates so far:
- 29th August Spanish tapas night with Gravy & Custard
- 30th August vegan burgers from Vstack
- 11th September fine dining from Nood
- 12th September Gravy & custard,
- 26th September Gravy & Custard or Vstack
- 31st October Vstack
- 28th November Vstack
There is still room for other foodie businesses who’d like to take a slot.
For info and to book go to: http://www.thejerichocafe.co.uk