Clackers Cafe has had a long and largely happy history in our village, and there are few, if any, that don’t have a story from their lives that feature this honest little eatery somewhere. Indeed, there are folk who recall first dates at Clackers, even after 45 years of marriage! I doubt that there are many kids that haven’t been told to wait in Clackers until their mums could pick them up.
Ellis has run the show for 45 years, along with her long time staff Shirley Tingle and Brenda Abse, and not forgetting the late Brian Bentinck, whose legendary breakfasts live on in the commemorative plaque above the serving hatch.
But times change and it is no secret that the cafe has been looking its age of late. With this in mind, Ellis has decided to make a proper change and tap into the ever growing speciality restaurant business. She has enlisted Cambridge-based restauranteur Miguel Sanchez Da Sousa of the award winning ‘Desde el Corazón’ to help her relaunch as a ‘proper’ restaurant.
I asked Ellis about the decision to make this drastic change:
“The daytime business has dried up. People don’t want a full english breakfast or a bacon bap like they used to. Honestly, some days it’s not been worth firing up the grill. I dont know whether its because of the trend towards a more healthy diet or just that peoples tastes have changed. We’re old fashioned and we need to appeal to a new customer base. Todays diners know quality and value the whole eating experience.”
I also asked her about her collaboration with Miguel Sanchez Da Sousa:
“Miguel clearly knows his stuff. We met a couple of years ago in Cambridge after I had dined at the ‘Corazón’ and insisted on meeting the chef. He was very gracious and e some time talking about food, ingredients, restaurants etc. I instantly thought of Miguel and was so pleased when he agreed to help me establish a new restaurant in Soddenham.”
Ellis would not divulge any details about the new restaurant but confided that plans were well under way and that we would be the first to know! Clackers will officially close on Saturday 19th September and there will be free drinks and snacks for anyone who wants to pass by for old times sake!