New Italian eatery Gustum opened on the Northgate walls last week, in the space formerly occupied by a bookshop. An extensive renovation has seen the unit transformed into a welcoming continental style cafe/takeway. The menu offers Italian delicacies such as parma ham, mozzarella and gorgonzola, with veg and other products sourced locally.
Owner Marco Di Pasquale chatted to us about his new venture and his love for the city.”Gustum is Italian speciality. Gustum is Latin for breakfast/brunch, a midday snack. I decided to open a little cafe/takeaway on the city wall, the menu recalls a little bit of the Roman Empire.
“I am a young entrepreneur ! I used to work in different venues across Chester, I have been living here for 20 years. Originally I’m from Sicily down south! I hold an Italian passport so consider myself to be very much a Sicilian.
“I came here on holiday and I loved it, I decided to stay a little longer. It was love at first sight . ” Of the UK weather, he says, “its a great argument starter! I am open minded, no one forced me to come to the UK, so I take the good and the bad!
“After working in restaurants for many years he chose his family over the catering industry and took a job as an IT broker. After selling this business a year and a half ago he decided to return to his first love; ” “I’m a people person, I like to talk and to chat. ”
Gustum overlooks Rufus Court with its new mix of independents, from the dependable Triactive to newcomers Matthew O Brien fashion and the popular Covino “I love the city walls and I love Rufus Court. I used to come here 20 years ago. ”
The Northgate walls have been a thorn in the side of Chester for many years with the walls being propped up and scaffolded since 2011. Archaeological discoveries last year mean the walls will sadly not reopen before spring 2018. However Marco is philosophical:
“I trust the council in trying to do a good job. 20 years ago it was left in an abandoned state and not much was being done. They are doing a lot now, so lets not shoot them now! Unfortunately business wise, we would all like to have the walls open… but they discover something very historical and are doing a good job of it. With the theatre and Frodsham street, I am very happy with the work the council is doing right now. ..
” We are normally open from 1030 onwards, every day, as late as possible into the evenings. We are looking forward to welcoming Cestrians, tourists and all the local businesses. There are a lot of independents here, its good to see a small group of entrepreneurs who believe in Chester!”