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One year since Preston’s Bar Pintxos reopened under new owners

Posted on - 29th April, 2024 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Flag Market, Food & Drink, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Restaurants in Preston, What's On in Preston
Bar Pintxos exterior
Bar Pintxos faces on to the Flag Market

Today marks one year since Bar Pintxos in Preston City Centre reopened under new owners.

Jim Swan and Cat Finn took over the Spanish restaurant with a plan to revive the eatery and add some extra touches.

Since then they have developed the menu, created an interesting events calendar, and fostered a growing sense of community around the Market Place venue.

As of today (Monday 29 April), another development goes live with the launch of a new lunchtime takeaway menu, which is available to order on Just Eat, Uber Eats and directly online.

Pintxos sandwich
The new lunchtime takeaway menu features some Pintxos classics reimagined and a few new special items

We chatted to Jim to find out how the first year has gone, and what is planned for the future.

How would you describe the first year of running Pintxos?

I can’t believe the first year is over, it has been a busy whirlwind.

Making the decision to take on a hospitality business in what is widely known as the worst time to have a restaurant or bar and still be open is a testament to how much the people of Preston and surrounding areas love what we do and want to see us continue to do it.

Jim and Cat from Bar Pintxos
Jim and Cat have had a busy whirlwind of a year

What have been your highlights?

Our events! They showcase something different that we do aside from our pintxos and tapa.

Our seafood festival over August bank holiday was a belter, where we scoured the land – or sea! – looking for the best seafood, sourcing 16oz prawns, LouĂ«t-Feisser oysters and Galician clams.

The ‘Trip to Spain’ five-course tasting menus with wine parings that we dedicate to a region or city in Spain are another highlight. They take so much time and energy to plan and definitely keep Cat on her toes as head chef.

It’s not all food though; we host a Spanish conversation afternoon on the last Sunday of every month with a great turnout. It’s totally free and it just adds to the sense of community that surrounds us here at Bar Pintxos.

What have been the biggest challenges?

Inconsistency. We would love to be open all day every day, but not knowing if you are going to do 10 or 210 people means you can’t always prepare for it. As a business owner you can’t plan for that, and the food waste that it incurs is heartbreaking.

It’s hard work putting yourself up against big chains that people gravitate to – big marketing budgets and big staff bills just aren’t affordable to small Indies. This is why we have had to create our own little niche.

It may not always be perfect, but we are lucky enough to have some amazing staff and we are still very busy at weekends. It’s enough to keep us going until some of the council’s projects finish, like the Harris and Animate.

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What do you think about Preston’s food and drink offering in general?

We have some amazing little independents in Preston like NIKO and Winedown for wine, Plug and Taps and Chain House for beer, KimJi, Meiz and Rise for food.

Holy Grounds is my guilty pleasure – I get a Preston Fog tea and a doughnut and go for a little jaunt around Avenham with my dogs. It’s great to have these guys on our doorstep.

The diversity of food in Preston is up there with much bigger cities. No matter what you fancy there is always someone close by doing it.

Bar Pintxos interior
A busy Bar Pintxos

What are your hopes for the future?

Right now we can’t wait to starting feeding the people of Preston at lunchtime. The new takeaway menu features some Pintxos classics reimagined and a few new special lunch items. People in and around Preston have been asking for us to do something like this for quite some time, and we are proud of the menu we have developed.

More generally, in the current economic climate, being able to carry on what we do is paramount. I think with the astronomic number of closures within our industry over the last two years alone, just being open and being able to give people somewhere to go and have fun is essential.

Taste Test: The award-winning Preston restaurant creating Aven-turous combinations from local produce

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This story was made possible by support from you, our readers, and a host of organisations in the city, through our Crowdfund Lancashire appeal, which unlocked support from the Lancashire Culture and Sport Fund provided by Lancashire County Council. You can see all our coverage and, if you know of an event or arts project in the city we should be covering, send details to contactus@blogpreston.co.uk.

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