Southsea Mexican bar Al Burrito reveals expansion plans
On first impressions, it's a quaint, trendy bar that's perfect for a pint and a Mexican dinner.
But Al Burrito, in Albert Road, Southsea, also has big dreams and plans to reach out to the community it serves and further afield.
The business has come a long way since best mates Matt Sinden and Jack New decided to set up two years ago.
They set up in the back of the then Bar 57 – selling tasty burritos and other Mexican treats for guests.
But things took off, and Al Burrito decided to swallow up the entire premises and bring on board the bar’s operators.
Now there’s a few exciting projects in the pipeline.
Al Burrito recently took on a double-decker bus with a kitchen on board which it takes on tour of music festivals and sells its produce.
And the hope is to take on two more giant buses next year – and even set up another bar or shop in a bid to expand the Al Burrito brand.
Reflecting on the business’ success so far, Matt said: ‘It’s absolutely amazing.
‘We had a dream, and it proves that every time you put one foot in front of the other, positive things will happen.
‘We have just come back from Boomtown, where we took our double-decker bus with a kitchen on board, so that was pretty massive.
‘It’s because we keep moving forward.
‘To enable to take the Al Burrito brand on the road is incredible.
‘We love it.’
But entrepreneur Matt hasn’t forgotten what’s made the bar a success – and believes Albert Road is on the up.
And he can’t wait for the latest instalment of Victorious Festival, and believes local businesses will benefit greatly from the throng of spectators in the area.
‘We really love Albert Road at the moment,’ Matt said.
‘The music scene down there is becoming massive.
‘There are little bars cropping up.
‘It’s all bringing a vibrant essence to Southsea.
‘People know they can go down there and enjoy local culture. People can see local stuff being made in the shops and we’re proud to be part of that community.
‘We’ve been here for two Victorious Festival’s now, and everyone in Albert Road benefits from it.’
Al Burrito has done its fair share for others in recent times – making the headlines after loading up vans with goods to send to migrant families in Calais.
The bar enjoys welcoming Portsmouth’s music scene, and has an upstairs stage with seats where visitors can come to enjoy live entertainment.