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Rivals dish up a pie and mash war
AN ESTABLISHED Southend restaurant has declared pie-and-mash war on a new rival.
The Clarence Restaurant, in Clarence Street, is serving up the popular East End dish in response to news the Robins Famous Pie & Mash chain, is opening a branch next door.
The Illford-based company is converting a former Christmas gift shop after getting planning permission from Southend Council last December.
At the time, neighbouring businesses strongly opposed the application.
Clarence restaurant owner Cassandra Corallini, 40, gathered a 150-name petition against the plans.
She said: “Since then, I have had to start doing traditional pie and mash, because I wouldn’t want people coming into my restaurant and then going next door because I don’t offer it.
“It’s a route I didn’t really want to go down, but we have to face up to the competition. It’s the way it is now.”
The Clarence, which specialises in traditional English food, including roast dinners, did already offer home-made steak and kidney pies, but has added the Cockney pie and mash as a warning shot to its new rival.
Mrs Corallini, who has run the Clarence for the past 15 years, added: “Everyone who signed the petition said it was stupid to allow it there because it was literally going to be next door.
“I obviously have my own regular customers and I hope they will be loyal to me, but we really don’t need the added competition. In this day and age, we are struggling for trade and need extra customers coming into town, not more businesses.
“A lot of other things have not helped, including the price of parking. It’s just easier now for people to go to places such as Basildon instead.
“I’m quite nervous about them opening. We’ve been here a long time.”
Robins Famous Pie & Mash already runs successful shops in Basildon, Bethnal Green, East Ham, Ilford, Romford and Wanstead, and also supplies traditional East End fare, in frozen form, to ex-pats in Spain.
The Echo approached Robins Famous Pie & Mash for a comment, but received no response.