Find out how The Strawberry Thief, an award-winning independent beer bar in Bristol's old city has re-opened for business with experience and safety front and centre this #FoodFriday. Over to Mike Harris to give us the lowdown...

The Strawberry Thief

It was with huge excitement and a smidgen of anxiety when we flung open the doors at The Strawberry Thief when we reopened on 31st July. The enquiries had been flooding in but we’d decided to take our time ensuring we got everything right. Thankfully from all indicators to date that appears to have been a decision vindicated as reviews and direct feedback unanimously highlight our safety measures alongside our special thief experience. 

We’ve always reviewed and refined our customer experience journey, something that is core to our offering as we have always been a table service bar loved for the personable, passionate and friendly team. So we spent countless hours building our plans, testing and refining them in order to ensure customers, staff and suppliers are safe, and actively work to stop the spread. 

Measures we put in place began with our new layout, taking our 70 indoor seats down to 26, all with adequate spacing and procedures to ensure contact with others is minimal with no dwelling areas. We also managed to secure outdoor seating, especially Thursday to Sunday (Sunday opening coming soon!) when the street is closed to traffic and it comes alive with that continental vibe. Next came our booking process to encourage customers to reserve their table so they can enjoy the build up, and we can plan for their visit in the knowledge we have all their details for track and trace also. We do still have tables for those passing, and our outdoor space is non-bookable, so we do what we can to accommodate, albeit within our new capacity limits. 

The Strawberry Thief

On arrival all customers are temperature checked, something we also do with our team and deliveries, politely refusing entry if anyone presents with a raised temperate (something we haven’t had to do yet despite thousands of checks thankfully!). We then show customers to tables with sanitisation points on entry, and all tables being fully sanitised between uses with delivery stools on the end of each table for drop off and pick up of empties to minimise contact. All of our staff also wear face masks when inside and we have a meticulous cleaning schedule. 

As well as ensuring we were safe we were highly focussed on ensuring the experience felt fun, quirky, and a bit of an escape from the realities of the world we find ourselves in. So we started by redesigning our food menu, honing in on fabulous beer food, so as well as our all new customisable burger (beef, vegan and gluten-free available) and sides offering we have tempting teasers such as tempura radishes with whipped cods roe, truffled skin-on fries with Cornish gouda fondue, and aubergine fritters with tahini and lemon. We also added a dedicated shellfish offering, focussing on fresh native oysters from Porthilly in Cornwall, which have been devoured in their masses with various accompaniments. 

The Strawberry Thief

We are growing our beer menu back up towards the 70 mark, predominantly featuring the best of Belgian, but with many local and international craft offerings alongside our diverse premium spirits, wines and ciders. 

During lock down we focussed on our ‘why?’, and what we strive for as a business to ensure we are inclusive and progressive, more of which you can read here. This has made it all the more rewarding and humbling when both returning and new customers have shown their support, and left us glowing with pride over our new thief. We hope to welcome you soon! 
 

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The Strawberry Thief
Bar
The Strawberry Thief

Elegant and inclusive continental style bar in the creative heart of Bristol. Proudly independent, specialising in Belgian & local beers.