Ordoo’s journey began in many ways in Bristol. Launching there last year, we encountered a real warmth and an openness to new technology that would help the indie Bristol restaurant and cafe scene continue to push back against High St uniformity. We have now rolled out across the rest of the UK, but here are five reasons we’ll continue to have a special love for the Bristol indie restaurant scene.
Bristol is unique
We mentioned in our post last week [http://ordoo.co.uk/blog/technology-high-st/] that, according to the LDC, the number of coffee shops had increased 31% around the country in the last five years. The same research showed a 46% increase in juice bars and almost 40% increase in speciality restaurants.
But none of this will be news to Bristol natives who have fiercely guarded the uniqueness, diversity and integrity of their local area and whose local cafes and businesses have led the charge for a more vibrant high street.
Diversity of tastes
When we hosted our first Ordoo ‘Independents’ Day’ picnic last year we were taken aback by the warmth of the response and the engagement from some of Bristol’s most iconic indie venues. Participants included well-known local venues like Ironworks, Blu-Fire Smoke ‘n’ Grill, Tuk Tuck, Ickle, Playground, Off Centre Cafe, Barista Coffee Collective, Blue Pig, Beatroot Cafe to name just a few.
But what struck us was the diversity of sights, sounds, smells, and most importantly tastes to be found clustered in the centre of Bristol, whether that be the smoky-sweet sensation of Caribbean-American cuisine, the succulence of rosemary salt beef, or dirty fusion kimchi fries.
Anyone who has ever lived in Bristol will know that it has an unrivalled sense of community and togetherness. The city has a multitude of modes, from the cloistered cosiness of Christmas Steps to the fun and bustle of the cities innumerable pubs, clubs and bars.
But what sets it apart is the way the people who live there pull together for the causes, communities, businesses venues and music they care about.
Ultimately, the secret at the heart of great cuisine and great coffee is that people love stories. We all love to know the story behind the provenance of our coffee beans or the methods used to produce exceptional meat. It’s about the stories and individuality responsible for those tastes. It’s about the stories you tell about the great food you had at that amazing new pop-up restaurant.
We’re willing to wager that no city in the UK packs a bigger punch than Bristol.
We trialled in Bristol for two reasons. Firstly the incredible range and diversity of venues we could work with, and secondly the openness and innovation of Bristol folk. A university town, Bristol is home to a great many innovators.
In fact, Bristol and Bath were ranked By Tech City UK last year as the UK’s most productive technology cluster.
This unique combination of openness to new things and an intuitive understanding that technology can be a vital ally in the fight against High Street homogeneity will ensure that Bristol remains a pioneer of speciality restaurants, cafes and bars into the future.