Flavours from around the world along with art exhibitions and music nights are set to be served up at Lynn’s latest town centre restaurant due to open next month.
Soul Cafe and Restaurant is a family-run business which has at last come to fruition for chef Olivier Vati and his partner Helen Payne, from Boughton, and her sister, Tamsin Payne, of Lynn, who will be front-of-house.
Last year they were hoping to open the Norfolk-Carribean style restaurant in the town’s High Street, but had to shelve these plans as the premises were no longer available.
However they are delighted to have now acquired a property which better suits their purposes at 15-19 Tower Street, formerly occupied by The Willow Tree and only this week collected the keys . Renovation is already under way and their dreams a step closer to becoming reality.
Olivier is originally from Guadeloupe, a French Caribbean island and has worked in the catering industry for more than 20 years in London, across Europe, the Caribbean and South Africa.
Said Helen, who is general manager: “Olivier’s kitchen will be an open area so that customers can see him working and interact with him while he is cooking. He has a massive passion for his food. We will be serving European and traditional breakfasts, daily specials and choices of light and healthy lunches, vegan and vegetarian options, a tapas and sharing platter menu and an innovative British fusion evening meal menu.”
Fresh Norfolk produce will feature as much as possible on the menu which will change seasonally, although there will be daily specials.
There will also be pastries, cakes, desserts and freshly prepared cocktails, which will be made in front of the customer, and a new five-metre long bar is being installed, offering draught beers, a special gin menu and fresh coffee along with other drinks.
Said Helen: “On the first Wednesday of every month we will be holding a launch night for an exhibition of works by a local artist and on the third Wednesday of the month, we shall have a Spanish-themed evening featuring live music and my mother, Teresa Payne, who is flamenco dancer, will be performing. We’ll serve Spanish food, such as tapas and paella.”
Upstairs the space will be turned into a funtion room, for all kinds of events such as parties and corporate gatherings.
The business has led to the creation new jobs, with four waiters, one bar tender and one chef de partie being recruited. In addition they will be taking on two college apprentices as commis chefs for training.
“We are also hoping, in collaboration with the college, to create murals on two large garden walls in the garden at the rear in the future.”
The Soul Cafe and Restaurant is due to be open by mid July.