Southport is home to some fantastic restaurants, showcasing the best ingredients and demonstrating a real passion for warm hospitality and excellent cuisine.

This week we’re chatting with Onofrio who, along with his family, runs both Volare Italian Restaurant and Deli Volare on beautiful Lord Street.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Sicily many years ago and have been involved in the hospitality trade since 1974. Starting with bar jobs and gradually working my way up I gained lots of experience and qualifications. Having that knowledge and expertise is so important in such a competitive industry.

I came to UK in 1989 and spent almost 20 years working for different employers. My last job before opening my own business was with the San Carlo group, where I worked as Executive Chef. When I started the job in 1996 there was only one restaurant, but this had grown to six by the time I left in 2007.

Both my partner and my son are in the hospitality trade and we started talking about the option of having our own business. In October 2007 this became a dream come true when we opened Volare Italian Restaurant on Lord Street. In 2016 we opened Deli Volare which saw us fulfil a long-held ambition to make quality Italian food and wines more accessible on the high street.

a wooden table with checked cloth, vine tomatoes, basil and wooden spoon

What do you love most about what you do? 

I love the feedback of happy customers and always strive to exceed expectations. My driving motivation is customer satisfaction, and there’s no better illustration of that than when we welcome returning customers; having that repeat business means so much to us.

What was your average day like pre-COVID? 

A day in the restaurant trade is a long day, starting early morning with planning shopping trips like the fish market or cash and carry, organizing staff rotas, dealing with suppliers and then ultimately serving our customers. There isn’t a typical day as such, and this is part of the excitement of working in our trade: we open the door and don’t know what the day has in store for us!

What changes have you made to your business to be ready for reopening? 

The past year has been very challenging, and we had to reinvent ourselves as a takeaway restaurant. It hasn’t been easy to adjust all the logistics, and we’ve had to completely change the way we work – it’s a very different tempo to serving in a bustling restaurant, and the COVID pandemic brought with it a very different pressure. We had to retrain some staff as their roles completely changed and of course there are the health and safety measures that we’ve had to put in place, such as social distancing with our seating arrangements. We registered with Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ scheme to help reassure our guests that we’re doing everything we can to help keep them safe.

a ball of burrata cheese on a wooden board, with tomatoes and basil

What do you love most about Southport? 

It’s been a difficult year; however, Southport is due a rebirth after this dark period and will come out of the tunnel with flying colours. These aren’t easy times for anyone, but this town has all the attributes to succeed and to make sure that 2020 has been just a nightmare. The future is bright!

Do you have any speciality dishes guests can look forward to?

As soon as it’s safe to reopen we have so many exciting things to offer.

What sets our establishment apart from some of the others around are our fish dishes. We insist on fresh fish and many of our dishes are unpretentiously simple, based on the freshness of the product and allowing the main ingredient to shine. We are also well known for the huge fish we buy in and prepare ourselves at the restaurant - halibut, swordfish and tuna to name few. Most of our fish dishes are dressed with our own Sicilian dressing (olive oil, garlic, oregano and lemon juice). Throughout the year we’ll be inspired by the changing seasons to create other sauces from fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Volare Italian Restaurant, 613 Lord Street, Southport PR9 0AN

Deli Volare, 607 Lord Street, Southport PR9 0AN

01704 546 232 /  01704 333 358 / info@delivolare.co.uk 

Related

3 Comments

Comments

  1. Jacko
    A very interesting read. Ono, and his staff, are a caring and able team, this shines through from the words you have written. Volari is a fabulous place to eat or collect food from, I cannot wait to return to this great eatery.
  2. Trish
    The ABSOLUTELY best Restaurant and Deli in this town. The best way to describe a meal in Voltare is imagine being invited by an Italian family to dine with them, the welcome, attention to detail, the totally uniqueness add to that the most superb quality food and why would you not love it

    We CANNOT wait until they re-open. ONI, Cinzia, Jason and team have continued to work tirelessly setting up a takeaway business through the closures.

    A fantastic business long may it continue
  3. Susanne
    Dining at Volare is always a great experience. The welcome and level of service is second to none and, of course, the food is wonderful! We have had some excellent takeaway meals and are looking forward to being able to visit the restaurant again.

Leave a Reply