Two friends who opened a brunch restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic say their business has gone from strength to strength thanks to their creative team of staff and the support of their local community.

Mark Friend and Ollie Birchall, both 28, opened Deux Amis in Whalley in November, just days after the second national lockdown was announced.

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And the owners of the eatery, which was initially forced to offer a takeaway service but now serves brunch by day, and wine, cheese, charcuterie and nibbles by night, say their ability to adapt helped them attract a loyal clientele.

Their decision to open during a global pandemic was not one they took lightly, but the business partners said they didn't really have a choice as they had already hired staff and were not entitled to the government's furlough scheme.

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Mr Friend said: "It wasn’t as we had planned obviously but we had no option but to open as we had hired staff and didn’t have the benefits of the furlough scheme or claiming any business support grants.

"But we have a creative team at Deux Amis and we still wanted to showcase our talents and products in the best way we could.

"So we quickly put together a takeaway menu together and opened as planned."

Mr Friend said the people of Whalley were extremely welcoming given the difficult circumstances, and when allowed out and about for a walk during lockdown (weather permitting), their business was always thriving.

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He added: "Sometimes if the weather was on our side we would have a queue down to the end of the street.

"Our temporary takeaway menu became more permanent over the next seven months and the team has continued being creative with ideas and different food options to continue to showcase what we could do.

"And that was always the plan, to be different. To offer quality food and drink in a comfortable environment."

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When May 17 came around, the boys were finally able to open for the first time and welcome diners into their George Street venue.

Aiming to source their products as locally as possible, the Deux Amis brunch menu, which is available all week until 4pm, serves up everything from Croque Monsieur to Smashed Avocado.

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And since opening their doors to eat-in guests, Mr Friend and Mr Birchall have been welcoming customers for late-night dining on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, serving fine wines, cocktails, artisan cheeses and fine cured meats.

Mr Friend continued: "It's the perfect place to relax, and unwind with friends and family over a bottle of wine, or two.

"We are looking forward to our first real Christmas this year too, and we'll be including all of the festive classics - mulled wine, pigs in blankets and we have some live music planned as well."

To keep up to date with Deux Amis' latest offers, or for more information about opening times and menus, head to their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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