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Cafe manager Steve Angell (left) with Dr Dr Geoffrey Guy, the cafe’s landlord, at the re-opening celebration

 

The popular Cafe Corsa in the Wyke area of Gillingham has been rebranded as The Old Brewery Cafe and Kitchen and now has ambitious plans for the future.

The cafe, housed in what was once Matthews & Co brewery, closed briefly in August when Moto Corsa, the motorbike company that owned the cafe, went into liquidation. However, the site’s landlord, Dr Geoffrey Guy, founder of The Chedington Court Estate, took over the site, and re-opened the cafe under its new name.

In early November, the Old Brewery Cafe and Kitchen cafe held an event for 200 or so local residents and businesses to celebrate its new beginning. ‘We’re bigger and better than before,’ says Steve Angell, who has been cafe manager since 2017 and will run The Old Brewery Cafe and Kitchen with his original team. ‘And we have lots of exciting plans.’

While the building will continue to house motorbikes, part of Dr Guy’s private collection, the cafe has expanded into what was the showroom, adding another 60 covers. In summer, with the outdoor space, the cafe can now comfortably seat over 140 people. It can also offer facilities for private dining and conferences.

The cafe has a distinctive look and feel. ‘We wanted a quirky, rather than regimented look to the cafe – the tables are a mix of oak and pine tables and second-hand chairs that I found in antique shops,’ says Steve.

Many of the dishes on the menu are now home-made, and the cafe’s new bar serves high quality Yapp wines and bottled beers from Guy Ritchie’s brewery. ‘We use a lot of local products,’ says Steve.

The next step is opening as a restaurant in the evening, with a different a la carte menu. ‘We are constantly inundated with people asking when we plan to open in the evenings so it’s a natural next step,’ says Steve. ‘It’s such a lovely building, it’s the perfect venue. We have put in for planning permission and hope to be open at around Easter 2023.’

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