‘Our restau­rant’s part of the Royal Arse­nal scene’

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Home & Property | New Homes -

RIGELS TUFA and his part­ner Do­minique Walker opened a restau­rant last year at Berkeley Homes’ Royal Arse­nal River­side de­vel­op­ment in Wool­wich, where they’ve also lived since 2015.

It’s a prime ex­am­ple of a ma­jor de­vel­oper work­ing with a fresh, young com­pany to cre­ate a bet­ter place for the peo­ple who both live and work on the scheme, and for those who choose to visit or are just pass­ing through.

The cou­ple’s new restau­rant launched off the back of the suc­cess of Rigels’s lux­ury cater­ing com­pany Con Gusto which was es­tab­lished in 2014 and op­er­ates across Lon­don.

Serv­ing Ital­ian cui­sine as well as the oc­ca­sional sushi night, Con Gusto Restau­rant is lo­cated on the banks of the river in one of the site’s two his­toric “pep­per pot” build­ings, orig­i­nally river­side guard houses dat­ing from 1815, when the Royal Arse­nal was a fa­cil­ity for ar­ma­ment de­sign and man­u­fac­ture.

Do­minique says: “We were rec­om­mended Royal Arse­nal River­side by a friend who was al­ready liv­ing here.

“What re­ally per­suaded us to move here was the vil­lage feel — it’s rare to find a wel­com­ing com­mu­nity like this in Lon­don and it has made a huge dif­fer­ence to our lives and our busi­ness. We’re so ex­cited to fi­nally show the whole com­mu­nity here what we can do.

“We’re al­ways on the look­out for some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent and this is the per­fect home for our restau­rant.

“The com­mu­nity here re­ally ap­pre­ci­ates in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses and they’re so en­gaged.

“Berkeley Homes has been one hun­dred per cent sup­port­ive of our plans. When we moved here we hadn’t re­ally even con­sid­ered a restau­rant but they showed us the pep­per pot as a po­ten­tial space and it was a great fit.

“We loved bring­ing the build­ing back to life. It has a con­tem­po­rary, nat­u­ral feel to it with a soft in­dus­trial din­ing area and rus­tic ex­posed brick­work, com­bined with an open kitchen, so that cus­tomers can watch the chefs while they work their magic.”

Eat in a pep­per pot: Rigels Tufa’s restau­rant is in an old Royal Arse­nal guard house

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