Woohoo..!

I never knew there were so many fish and chip eaters in the area!  Word is obviously out!  Sorry to those who had a bit of a wait – I hope it was worth it.

We will be expanding our menu to include the traditional battered sausage etc – but we just want to get the fish, chips and mushy peas right to start with.  I have made double (again!) the peas for tonight and Jo is getting on with the spuds and fish even as I type.

Too tired to blog last night!

THANK YOU!

Thank you to tonight’s team, thank you to our tradesmen and craftsmen (thank you Sandy Carr for sorting our hot water today) who have kept us on the straight and narrow, thank you to all of you who came and had fish, chips, mushy peas and even onion rings with us!  We are open to all feedback and suggestions – we’re not quite up to speed with every thing yet – bags too small, till not doing what I think ot should… but most people seemed to think the food was top quality – thank you for coming back to tell us!

We’ll be open Wednesday and Thursday 4.30 pm – 8 pm and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all being well we will open at lunchtime too.

Today in pictures… I’m too tired for words!

Mandy, more last minute cleaning!

Mandy, more last minute cleaning!

Jo, preparing the fish

Jo, preparing the fish

Gwynn, a member of the Frying Squad

Gwynn, a member of the Frying Squad

Jo and Mandy, spudding

Jo and Mandy, spudding

Proud of the menu!

Proud of the menu!

 

We know what we're doing!

We know what we’re doing!

 

Our first customers - the Joneses!

Our first customers – the Joneses!

 

Our first restaurant customers

Our first restaurant customers

 

Top team - or crazy gang!

Top team – or crazy gang!

 

We did it!

We did it!

 

 

 

Chance political visitors on this Big Week

Well firstly I need to confirm that YES, we will open this week.

Not sure when, or for how long!  We will start with limited hours and a limited menu to make sure we can get it right, checking our systems, equipment and staff – please bear with us! By the weekend (or sooner) we will be up and running to be open at lunchtime and in the evening on Saturday and Sunday.

A political visit

A political visit

You may have spotted some local politicians in the village today ahead of next week’s local elections, well they popped in to say hallo and seized a photo opportunity.  Unfortunately I was in scruff order ahead of some heavy duty cleaning – but at the time I was being shown the fine art of the modern EPOS (electronic point of sale – or cash register, as we like to call it) by Craig from Harmony Business Technology.

The last time I was this close to Rory Stewart on a blog we were talking puddings.

Three exciting events today: 1. The windows have been cleaned (and the newspaper taken down) 2. Our “uniforms” have arrived (see the hats in the window) 3. We (mainly Mandy) have finished cleaning the fish fridge!

Exciting times…

 

Fish and Chips here we come!

A week of meeting staff, cleaning, frying, touching up, washing down, panicking and cheering is coming to an end… We have also done some really rather good frying!

This fish and chips industry still feels like a good one.  Folk are so helpful – from other friers, food and equipment suppliers and retired friers.  All have some wisdom they are happy – delighted! – to share.

As well as learning from Dan and Dean at the Angel Lane Chippie we have had the benefit of working a couple of shifts at the Townhead Chippy under the tutelage of Huw and Julie Gryffydd – thank you! This week we have had lessons at our own premises from Jeff who has owned a number of fish and chips shops over the years and now specilaises in the filters – vital to keep the oil in perfect condition.

Yesterday we worked with Nigel Hodgson from yet another award-winning chip shop – Hodgsons, in Lancaster.  We are working so hard to get good fish and chips in Shap!

 

Simon Bentley, Electrician

Simon Bentley, Electrician

Alex, our neighbour!

Alex, our neighbour!

Steve Benson, camera shy electrician

Steve Benson, camera shy electrician

Dave Law, Joiner

Dave Law, Joiner

Perfect chips

Perfect chips

Guided by Nigel

Guided by Nigel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BT Bloody Terrible, Shap Chips? Super Chips!

BT threatened me with financial penalties if no-one was on site from 1 pm – 6 pm yesterday – but they didn’t bother to show and they’re sorry, how would Thursday do?  I look forward to chatting with them about compensation.  Local workers and companies have been spot on – national companies have generally been shocking –  BT, British Gas, B & Q (though not the local branches.)

Anyway today we have had got the scaffolding down, WE HAVE FRIED FISH, CHIPS AND ONIONS RINGS (lovely!) for the roofers and decorators and I have sat on the loo lid to work out where the loo roll dispenser should go.  Lots of other stuff, obviously – but that covers the highlights!

Pictures to follow, but the computer has no power left, and, frankly, nor have I.

 

Nearly there!

You will have seen a lot of activity over the last two days… Simon Bentley & Steve Benson are putting the finishing touches to the electrics having been project managing and sourcing friends and family and other tradesmen to help out… Sandy Carr has been in charge of gas and plumbing – helped as soon as he can everytime, likewise Dave Law the joiner.  Kevin and his son Kim have been doing all the internal and external decorating and Marke Tooke and his team have been replacing the wreck of a roof.  Capsticks have been great with the flooring – as flexible as any roll of lino.  Thanks to you all… we’re in the home straight now.

But back to the intense activity… the range is now in, and as I write this it is heating up for the first time.  Just with water to start with to make sure it is leakproof, clean and working properly.

It looks a lot like the Starship Enterprise….  within a couple of weeks (after a LOT of cleaning) we will have take-off!

Chip shop in a van!

Chip shop in a van!

Is this where it goes then?

Is this where it goes then?

Frying in the street?

Frying in the street?

Getting there

Getting there

Testing the strength

Testing the strength

Capsticks taking a break

Capsticks taking a break

Oooo!!

Oooo!!

 

 

Approaching F day…

Later this week we will take delivery of our Frying range.  Once installed we will get the chance to fry a few things to make sure it all works and the thermostat is spot on… but there is still more work to do before our prep areas are up to scratch and the dining area is ready.

We are cheered by the encouragement we get – thank you Shirley for sticking your head round the door – it was good to get out of our spray-painty environment!

Thank you too to Maureen for your comment on my last post – we absolutely agree with you, looks are not everything but we hope it will look good once it is finished.  Much more important is the quality of the food and we are dealing with potential suppliers now and continuing to learn all about the art of fish and chips.  For those who don’t know we have been working in the world of food for twelve or thirteen years, so although frying fish and chips is all new to us, creating top quality food is not.

Our prep area full of paint etc

Hard to imagine we will be preparing food in here in just a couple of weeks!

Newspaper, hallo, oh no and thank you

 

White tile and blue grout

A bit of tiling

A bit of blue flooring

A bit of flooring

The newspaper on thewindows is to a)hide the mess and b) keep the slightly new look a secret – so NO, Ian, we will not cut a small hole so you can look through and see what is going on!But here’s a sneaky preview…

 

 

 

Hallo to the lady who introduced herself in the Post Office last week and of course to all the other people who stop us in Shap on a regular basis demanding to know when they can expect fish and chips – it’s great to hear the enthusiasm – we’re doing our best!

Lousy roof, rotten timber

Lousy roof, rotten timber

Damp, trying to dry in wintry weather

Damp, trying to dry in wintry weather

However… here’s the sort of thing we’re up against… a corner of the roof where the tiles are gone and the timber is rotten – and the bottom right, solid gunk, is supposed to be the drainpipe… and then there’s the inside, that just isn’t getting dry enough to treat and decorate.  But we’re are making progress – honest!

 

Gas and snow

I can only assume the snow is our fault.  When I was about 7 years old  my parents converted the attic to bedrooms for me and my sister.  It was April, and the day the builders went through the roof it snowed.

So the chip shop has no roof – though it is well covered with polythene – and we have blizzards.  Marvellous.

The gas man thought he was on the far west coast!  He was from the north east, but even so…

 

Delays and acceleration…

Just taken a call from our rangeman (not Rangeman, as in Stephanie Plum novels, for those that understand) and our frying range will be coming a week earlier than thought!  Gives us a little more time to get other things sorted… roof is off as I write, gas connection is ready for the range but no actual gas until tomorrow.  I was beginning to think that would never happen.  Our neighbour Kevin Bush will be in their decorating from tomorrow, next week the floor goes down…

Meanwhile, courtesy of my friend Mad Marion, a very bad joke:

A man visits the same fish and chip shop every Friday night and always places the same order.  He becomes very well known to the owners, Archie and Tina, who get into the habit of cooking his haddock and chips just before he arrives at the shop so that he doesn’t have to queue when he gets there.  However, one Thursday, the man is delayed on a business trip and realises that he will have to stay an extra day and won’t make it back in time for his Friday haddock and chips.  Knowing that they will be expecting him, he thinks it best to warn the chip shop owners.  So he rings them up and sings:
“Don’t fry for me Arch and Tina…”
Sorry.