Covid-friendly dining and ‘best ribs in town’ on offer as American restaurant opens after lockdown takeaway success
- Credit: Archant
An American restaurant that prides itself on offering “the best ribs in town” has opened in Ely after proving popular as a takeaway service throughout lockdown.
Ely Inferno BBQ, which has a team of 13 local members of staff, was started after two friends saw a need for restaurant-quality food as a delivery service. But, after creating a huge social media following (3,000 Facebook likes in just 12 weeks) and a busy takeaway, Steve Shipp and Zach Ware decided to open their own restaurant.
Located in Broad Street, just outside of the city centre and handily close to a free car park, Ely Inferno BBQ was previously Basmati Indian Restaurant.
The team have really transformed the building’s interior while bringing some American flavour to the food menu.
As well as Texan ranch-style photos covering the main walls and background music like Bryan Adam’s ‘Summer of 69’, all of the staff members (who wear full PPE face visors) sport US neckerchiefs, helping to transport guests.
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The flame-grilled food itself - which is all freshly cooked; the ribs are dry rubbed using their own homemade sauces - is both delicious and extremely good value for money when taking into account portion sizes.
With a capacity for 46 to 54 people to dine, it’s impressive to hear that they were fully booked for their first weekend.
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And, when we attended, the restaurant was busy but not too packed, with diners who had pre-booked flowing through the restaurant’s doors. The front-of-house staff members were extremely attentive and no request was too small. They were quick to clean the tables and chairs as soon as they become empty.
Social distancing is also taken seriously, with plastic screens fitted in between booths to ensure space between different groups, while a hand sanitiser machine is fixed to the wall close to the entrance.
Inferno are also running several Man vs Food style challenges; one being ‘if you can eat a £50 50oz steak, chips and onion rings within an hour you get your money back’.
In fact, on the night of our visit, a man completed the burger challenge - in which they ate eight quarter pounders in eight minutes.
While Steve and the team paused the takeaway service to ensure the opening weekend went smoothly, they plan to resume deliveries soon.
As well as running Inferno, Steve owns The Printing Barn in Pymoor and previously owned American grill The Travellers Rest at Chittering while Zach owns FMCG Logistics in Haddenham.
With their new restaurant, the pair aim to offer “excellent quality food that’s full of flavour paired with excellent customer service”.
To keep up to date with Inferno’s progress visit their Facebook page.