Popular Shoreham café reopens after an upgrade – with a new name and delicious-sounding menu

A café popular with Shoreham locals has reopened after a makeover.

River Café & Bistro has a fresh and modern look after a month-long renovation. And as the new name suggests, with its spot right along the river and with bifold doors across the front of the eatery, the outside is well and truly brought inside.

Previously known as Tomfoolery, the business was bought by managing director Darren Gearing when former owners Bob and Vanessa decided to move on. It closed in its former guise on March 31 and reopened as River Café & Bistro on May 8.

Darren said: “It’s been overwhelming. It’s going really well. Weekends are especially busy, but we’re already ahead of our forecast for numbers so we’re really happy.

“We’ve upgraded the café and made it more contemporary and a bit brighter, but we haven’t changed the offering 1000 per cent. What we’ve done is put in a deli counter and offer lots of paninis, quiches, bagels, sausage rolls, etc and we have have upped the selection of pastries. And then there’s the full menu from the kitchen.”

The café has started selling a wider range of alcohol, and in the future plans to offer bistro dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.

It also has a large vegan offering and tries to source local Sussex suppliers as much as it can. In the future, there are plans to host private events with buffet food and children’s birthday party packages.

Sian Mills, the venue’s manager, has worked for Darren’s group of local hospitality venues for nine years and has worked her way up the ranks to take on her new role, as well as becoming a director of the business. She previously worked at The Beach House in Worthing.

Lining the walls is artwork from Shoreham Art Gallery. The collaboration will see the work of each artist affiliated with the gallery rotated onto the café’s walls.

Customers will find the café only serves loose leaf tea from Bird and Blend, which has its headquarters in Goring. It also has a fully accessible toilet.

Darren added: “Everywhere we open, we tend to be part of the community. We promote an independent vibe and we try to be welcoming to everyone.”

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