Exclusive: Two Bedford businesses collaborate and crowdfund for new restaurant

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An artist's impression of the takeaway area

Two popular Bedford businesses are inviting local residents to get behind their joint-venture as they launch a crowdfunder to open a new bar and restaurant in the heart of the town centre.

Foxy Wings, who have been running a takeaway from their Clapham home kitchen throughout lockdown, are partnering with specialist craft beers shop, Beerfly, to create a brand new bar, restaurant and takeaway in Riverside Bedford.

The venue will occupy the former MexiCo restaurant (between Zizzi and Wagamama), a prime site overlooking the River Great Ouse and St Mary’s Gardens.

The collaboration was announced live on Foxy Wings’ Instagram at 8pm this evening (Thursday), with the crowdfunding campaign going live later this month.

Matt and Gabs made the announcement live on Instagram tonight

Where it all began…

Set up in the second lockdown by husband and wife team, Matt and Gabs Pearson and Matt’s brother, Jamie, Foxy Wings has taken the Bedford food scene by storm.

They worked with local illustrator, Katie Allen to develop the branding and have built up a loyal following of over 2,000 Instagram devotees.

The team have been so encouraged by the response to their chicken and cauliflower wings takeaway that they are now ready to step up into a full-time commercial kitchen.

During tonight’s announcement, Gabs said: “Hands down, the most surprising thing since launching, was the incredible response online from our customers.

“We have had loads of chats with people who love our food and brand, and so much support from other local businesses.”

One such local who reached out was Tim Edwards from Beerfly, who recently scooped the Independent Retailer of the Year award at the Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards.

Gabs, Matt, Jamie and Tim

Tim and Beerfly have long been champions of independent businesses and have collaborated with other Bedford Indies around the town since opening in July 2018.

He said: “It was clear in my mind that the opportunity to pair the two brands could create an incredible all-day dine-in spot, a really inclusive and welcoming space for families in the day, and transition to a great bar for after-work dinner and with a full range of drinks option such as wines and cocktails.”

Crowdfunding

On 21 April, the crowdfunder will launch to give Foxy fans a chance to get involved in the new venture.

Reward packages include pre-buying meals in the restaurant with Foxy vouchers, tickets to the opening night, beer tasting experiences and brunch ecents.

“We have also collaborated with lots of great local creatives to make merch and rewards that we hope you will love,” said Jamie.

“When you support our crowdfunder you are supporting us and other local businesses too.

The former Mexico restaurant at Riverside Bedford has stood empty for months

“We are committed to providing a comfortable dining out experience where you can be confident we are prioritising local independent sourcing, supporting society, and reducing our environmental impact every way we can.”

Plans include opening a takeaway at the Riverside Bedford location in early summer followed by the launch of the bar and restaurant in early autumn 2021.

Matt said: “We’re so excited to join the Bedford food scene, and we want to be part of the business community that makes Bedford a great town to live in.

“We want to bring something different to Bedford’s growing foodie scene – and we know there is one because 2,000 of you follow us on Instagram, and hundreds of you, over the last six months have switched on reminders to get a Foxy slot at the weekend and get some wings.“

Full crowdfunding details will follow, but you can find out more by following @foxywingsuk and @beerflyshop on Instagram

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