Brighton café owner ‘excited’ to reopen ahead of first weekend for indoor dining

A Brighton café owner is preparing to welcome back customers today for the first time since January.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 10:06 am
Owner Natalie Demetriou. Photo: David Parry/PA Wire

Natalie Demetriou, owner of café Lost In The Lanes in Nile Street, Brighton, said: “We’re really excited for Friday, it can’t come soon enough really. It’s been a long wait.”

Since Monday, venues in the city have been allowed to open up inside for indoor drinking and eating – see our photo gallery here.

Lost In The Lane – a specialist brunch place with ‘an intimate feel’ – has taken ‘quite a lot’ of bookings already and will also be open for walk-ins.

While some people will be ‘cautious, tentatively taking their first steps outside’, she said: “I’m expecting it to be fairly busy.”

Despite her excitement at reopening, Natalie said she also felt a sense of trepidation.

“We’re excited but also pragmatic in feeling we still need to be following safe covid practices and be aware that possibly things could take a step back,” she said.

“We’re ready if we do need to close again, but we really hope this will be the final time...

“We are on that precipice of hoping things are going to return to normal.”

Lost In The Lanes is one of the small local businesses involved in American Express’ Shop Small Offer, which gives Cardmembers £5 back when they spend £15 in participating businesses from 5 - 25 June.

Natalie said she was a big fan of campaign, which does more than offer a good incentive for customers.

“For us it means even more than that,” she said.

“It’s the beginning of a dialogue and a conversation about how the high street needs to evolve and move forward.

“It is changing, and it feels really lovely from our position to have a big business like Amex create a campaign like this, to put their arms around us and say, we’re supporting you, we recognise that you are part of the community.”

She added: “In Brighton people take pride in supporting small businesses. It’s a wonderful feeling to be here.”