Sam's Riverside a Modern Classic

OPENING A RESTAURANT  is not for the faint of heart. So, opening a restaurant on the doorstep of probably the most famous restaurant along the River Thames takes some balls. But then again, if you have the experience done your homework and have a good track record in the industry, then why not.

Because that is precisely what Sam Harrison did when he opened Sam's Riverside Café within a 7-minute walk from 'The Riverside Café'. A venue that I first dined at over thirty years ago.

I often walked along the River Thames and witnessed the builders working on Sam's fit-out. So it went without question that I wanted to be one of their first diners when they opened in 2019. Although when I did go, it was because I couldn't get a table at 'The Riverside Café'.

Now fast forward a couple of years, and I have become a regular diner and so have a lot of people.

Restaurants have a high failure rate, and statistics show that over 60% of new eateries fail in the first year. And as many as 80% of them close within five years. Sam's Riverside has a way to go before reaching the five-year mark. But what 'Sam's Riverside' has achieved is quite miraculous because they opened shortly before the Covid 19 shut businesses and survived and have thrived since reopening.

Staff retention has never been more critical, and these days, it is all about keeping the ones you already have, especially in the restaurant industry. Sam's have managed that quite well, albeit there are always new faces when I visit. Nevertheless, the newbies soon slip into the mould of their expectations.

The 70-cover brasserie sits on the north bank of the Thames, overlooking the Hammersmith bridge (great views). The daily menus (lunch and supper) feature a tasty mix of British and Mediterranean staples, including some delicious raw shellfish.

It's the perfect spot for a quick meal or drink before enjoying a movie or a play at the Riverside Studios. Or equally as your local if you're lucky enough to live in the apartments overlooking the Thames. It's ideal for romantic dinners as well as family gatherings, and There is a fun bar area as well as a perfect function room. And, of course, markedly cheaper than The River Café.

Copyright © Wayne Lèal
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