Popular Peak District 'greasy spoon' cafe branches out from fry ups for first time in decades
A traditional cafe in the Peak District is branching out for the first time in half a century - adding curry, stews and real coffee to its menu in an attempt to appeal to more customers.
Grindleford Station Cafe in the Hope Valley has served hungry customers for decades, without much changing its traditional menu.
Walkers, cyclists and day-trippers have refuelled with English breakfasts, Yorkshire puddings and chip butties there for years, often before hopping on the train home to Sheffield, and often with a pint of tea.
But now the cafe’s manager thinks it is time to try something new as a fresh wave of people discover the Peak District.
Phillip Eastwood, aged 32, who has run the cafe since he was just 19, has decided to add curry to the menu for the first time to meet the demand of a growth of Asian customers.
Phillip told the Telegraph: “We are moving with the times. Expanding the menu will help keep it busy, we are catering for more people’s taste.
"There has been an increase in Asian customers after the pandemic.
"A lot more have been coming after going to Padley Gorge, and coming later on towards the end of the afternoon.
“We added curry because of the growth in Asian customers and because we think it will sell really well.
"We still have the traditional greasy spoon menu; full English breakfasts, chip butties, giant Yorkshire puddings, and a homemade stew which my girlfriend, Kirsty, made. Adding a curry was her idea too.”
The cafe is introducing one chicken curry to the menu in September, after the summer holidays, as well as jacket potatoes, stew, and real coffee.
Phillip added: “We were open as a takeout during the pandemic but we were probably operating at a loss.
"Since reopening it has been very busy. I have been cooking almost every day during the school holidays. I have two other chefs so I normally have more time do things behind the scenes.
"We have just had a coffee machine delivered so we are serving real coffee.
"People have said that the one thing that lets this cafe down is that we don’t have real coffee. Some people don’t come because they couldn’t get one.
"Over the next few months we are still going to be thinking about what we can add - but the stew, curry and coffee are the main additions.”
Phillip’s father, Phil senior, took over the former station building in 1973, and it has since become an iconic part of the Hope Valley.