Takeout restaurant Charcoal optimistic for the road ahead
Now that the island is beginning to open up again, veteran restaurateur Marino Bortoli has high hopes for his newest venture, Charcoal.
The Washington Lane, Hamilton takeout restaurant opened in November, and has twice endured the impact of spikes in Covid-19 cases, and the resulting lockdowns and increased government restrictions.
Now, though, Mr Bortoli is optimistic about the road ahead.
He said: “It is picking up now, and I hope it will improve still more.”
Charcoal serves a variety of meats cooked over coals – beef, chicken and lamb kebabs, and hamburgers – as well as beef brisket sandwiches, schwarmas, falafel, and a buffet that changes daily.
The outlet also prepares marinated kebabs, and hamburgers, for takeout and barbecuing at home, or on a boat.
The take-home package also includes hamburger buns, and can be customised to include cheese as well as condiments.
Mr Bortoli said: “The hamburgers are always seven ounces, and the quality is always great. We use fresh meat, and ground it ourselves.”
Feedback to date has been positive, he said.
“We have a lot of repeat customers, some who come two or three times a week, and some who come every day.
“The other positive thing is that a lot of people don’t know about us yet.
“By having positive vibes and media promotion, we will be able to get more customers to come and buy our food.”
Mr Bortoli, resident in Bermuda since 1972, is a former part-owner of the Monte Carlo and Tuscany restaurants as well as Europa Imports Ltd.
He also spent 19 years with the Little Venice Group, and was a sales representative with Bermuda Import and Export.
Mr Bortoli’s newest venture occupies the space on Washington Lane that formerly housed Casablanca – and, before it, Mannie’s.
He operates the restaurant with four staff, including chef Shymol D’Cruze.
Mr Bortoli said: “We are waiting for another chef to be approved so that we can expand our opening hours, add to the menu, and bring in new ideas.
“Right now, I am positive, especially if we start to get a few more tourists.
“That would be good for everybody.”
Charcoal is open Monday to Saturday from 11.30am. It takes last orders at 4.30pm.