New Fareham restaurant McDambi's opens with charity event raising thousands for Changing Faces

A RESTAURANT in Fareham has opened its doors under new owners – and launched with a day of fundraising activities.

By Sophie Lewis
Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:26 am

McDambi’s of Fareham opened on Tuesday in the former Ask Italian unit in West Street.

The venue, which had been empty since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, has been transformed by entrepreneur Sara Pollard, 33, formerly of the Roebuck Inn in Wickham.

The original opening date was for the beginning of September but the team worked hard to get the place ready and they found themselves able to open a week sooner than expected.

Owner Sara Pollard-Dambach, fifth from left, and her staff at the opening of McDambi's restaurant in West St, Fareham Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 240821-21)

The opening was slightly different as Sara wanted to do a charity fundraiser for a charity close to her team at the restaurant: Changing Faces.

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The entire team took on different challenges, with Sara shaving half of her hair off, with other staff dying their hair different colours.

One team member ran 10k in 10 days and others had their legs waxed.

From left, Mayoress Cllr Louise Clubley, owner Sara Pollard-Dambach and Mayor of Fareham Cllr Pamela Bryant at the McDambi's opening Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 240821-25)

Lead waitress, Sophie Parker, was born with a birthmark on her face and is an ambassador for Changing Faces, a charity that represents people with visible differences.

Sara said: ‘When Sophie came to work for me a year ago she was, and is, such a beautiful and lovely girl and to watch her grow and her confidence shine over the last 12 months has been a privilege, so it was a no brainer that Changing Faces was the charity I chose.’

The team created a GoFundMe page dedicated to the charity and set a target of £2,000 but within days had exceeded the target and they are now hoping for more.

Owner Sara Pollard-Dambach. Opening of McDambi's restaurant in West St, Fareham Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 240821-20)

Sara, who is pregnant with her third child, is running a raffle for the opening and saw a huge response from the community and they received 27 donated prizes to put towards it.

Sara, from Swanmore, said: ‘It is so lovely to see the love and the support for us and what we are doing here at the McDambi’s.

‘It is so humbling to see so much kindness after the year that everybody has had with Covid. It is beautiful. It really is beautiful.’

The restaurant was officially opened by Mayor of Fareham Pamela Bryant who applauded the owner and congratulated the opening of the restaurant which is set to serve British, Italian and Swiss food.

McDambi's restaurant in West St, Fareham Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 240821-19)

The restaurant will now be open 11am to 11pm daily.