GREAT quality food, fantastic customer service and a stylish, welcoming environment – that’s the recipe for success according to Vintage Ambiance in Diggle.
The new tearoom, bar and kitchen opens its doors on the first weekend of October and after an extensive refurbishment is unrecognisable from its previous life as Wooly Knit Café.
Dan Borza, the mastermind behind the venture, gave the Independent a sneak peak inside and explained his aspirations behind the move.
“I already run Vintage Ambiance in Monton which has been open for three-and-a-half years now,” he said.
“We let it grow organically and we were getting so busy we were having to turn people away. We even took the dining room table from our own house to cater for the demand!
“At the end of 2016, we closed for two months for a full refurbishment and upgraded everything and we’re now open seven days a week from breakfast through to after-dinner drinks.
“We had been looking for a second site for about six months but nothing felt right.
“I had stopped looking, and then this came about during a chat with my barber at Stephen Caine.
“We were talking about Vintage Ambiance Monton and the conversation got picked up by the gentleman who was in the chair next.
“It turns out he was looking to sell his cafe, Wooly Knit. He made contact and from the first visit it just felt right!”
To create Dan’s vision, the building has been completely refitted with electrics, a new kitchen and toilet facilities, including disabled and baby changing facilities.
Helped by his wife Lauren, they have worked with the industrial feel of the former mill, using tin tiles, pipes and copper décor along with classic blue colours and plants, to create a stylish and unique interior.
The two roaring fireplaces remain, along with an updated snug area which is dog friendly, and an outside terrace area.
A local head chef will lead the new kitchen team, while around a dozen staff will be happy to serve customers seven days a week from 9am-5pm.
Vintage Ambiance will also host evening events, such as gin tasting, and is available for hire for private events, from birthday parties to baby showers.
The mouth-watering menu serves up modern British food for breakfast and brunch, along with afternoon tea, chef’s specials, and a Sunday roast menu, with gluten free and vegan options. They are also fully alcohol licensed.
“We are not trying to reinvent the wheel,” said Dan. “We might do what other people do but we want to do it better and offer great quality food and fantastic customer service in a really nice environment.”
Dan brings 20 years’ experience in the industry from starting out as a chef in Miami before moving to Manchester after he met his wife.
He was part of the opening team at the Hilton on Deansgate before leading some great city-centre restaurants such as Grill on the Alley. He then worked training local talents throughout the north west.
In 2012, he was picked to cook for major sponsors and VIP guests at the Olympic Games in London alongisde michelin star chef Angela Hartnett.
Dan went on to create menus for a group of 36 restaurants and hotels, before deciding to use his skills in business for himself, and taking over and transforming the deli in Monton.
Dan added: “It’s so important to us to work with local businesses and the community.
“We hire a lot of local people and in Monton some of the staff started with us when we opened and are still there today almost four years on.
“In Diggle, we contacted everyone who worked here and offered them a job back and we will be working with many local suppliers.
You can pay a visit to Vintage Ambiance Saddleworth at Unit 5 Warth Mill, Diggle, Saddleworth, OL3 5PJ. There is ample car parking at the rear, and disabled access at the front.
To find out more call 01457 878660 or visit their website:
www.vintageambiance.co.uk or find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Wooly Knit shop at the front of the café has also been closed for a refurbishment and aims to open soon – check their Facebook page for updates.