The owner of a bistro was delighted to have been nominated for an England Business Award after facing two years of struggles during the pandemic.

Tom’s Table, off Lowergate in Clitheroe, has been nominated by the public for ‘Best Restaurant in Lancashire’.

Owner, Tom Drinkall, said he was “taken aback” when the team received the nomination, especially after the troubles they faced in the pandemic.

Lancashire Telegraph: Tom DrinkallTom Drinkall

Tom, of Clitheroe, got the keys for the business in January 2020 with plans to open at Easter, unaware that the country would plunge into lockdown just two months later.

Tom said he was “utterly dismayed” when lockdown was announced and left wondering if his business would fail before it had even opened. Due to unfortunate timing, the business wasn’t even eligible to apply for government grants or furlough.

Lancashire Telegraph: Tom’s Table, off Lowergate in Clitheroe,Tom’s Table, off Lowergate in Clitheroe,

Tom said: “The last two years have been stressful and an emotional rollercoaster.

“During the first lockdown, I would sit in a smashed up building, emotions in bits, and wondered if we were actually going to survive this.

“I questioned if we were ruined before we even began.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Tom's Table was just a "smashed up building" at the start of lockdownTom's Table was just a "smashed up building" at the start of lockdown

However, Tom said determination pulled the team through the hard times.

Tom said: “My partner and the kids have given me the emotional support and encouragement needed to pull through.

“We took on as much work as possible and tried to cut down costs wherever we could.

"My partner and I were in the building every day, scrubbing the floors, painting the walls, installing the kitchen and bar.

“Once we opened and saw everything we achieved and actually had staff working in the building, it made it all worthwhile.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Staff at Tom’s Table, off Lowergate in ClitheroeStaff at Tom’s Table, off Lowergate in Clitheroe

Now, Tom’s Table is a flourishing business. Tom said: “We are a small family business and managed to survive a pandemic.

“In the last seven months I believe we have created something really special in Clitheroe and our reputation just keeps growing and growing.”

After spending eight years working in France, Tom wanted to recreate a similar business to the modern bistros he loved spending time in over there.

He said: “We are a modern French bistro in essence. Our cuisine has a nod to France but isn’t a wholly French menu - so there is something for everyone.”

To vote for Tom’s Table or any other local businesses make sure to do so on the England Business Awards website.


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