Gino’s: a cafe for the community in Harrow Weald

Pete and Simón outside Gino’s in the new seating area.

By Ruth Williams

Harrow Weald has been the home of Gino’s cafe for 21 years. We talk to owner, Simón Corsini about the secret behind its longevity, and how the cafe hopes to weather the Covid-19 storm.

Although the cafe has been owned by Simón for two decades, the High Road cafe was previously owned by his father, Mario. Simón tells us: “Just six weeks into owning the cafe, the police knocked on our door and told us my father had been involved in a freak accident. As a result, my mother said we would have to sell the cafe but I refused and I have never looked back”.

Pete and Simón at Gino’s

When asked what it means to him to run a business that was once belonged to his father, Simón answers: “This place is personal to me. I am still serving customers that my father once served. To this day, whenever I need a good day to keep up with the financial challenges, my guardian angel always sends me one. This has been the most trying time for us, but I know that my father will always help me through it”.

Simón’s father, Mario

Despite most companies struggling from Covid closures and lockdowns, Simón tries to focus on the positives. He states: “We have had lots of new customers during the pandemic. I think this is because a lot of people are working from home and need a bit of normality or a change of scenery”.

When the Government implemented restaurant closures, Simón refused to see it as a wasted opportunity, he said: “During lockdown, we took advantage of the situation and painted the cafe, built screens, and created an outdoor seating area to adhere to Government guidelines”.

When asked why it is important for local residents to support independent shops, Simón responded: “We bring originality and character to the area and because our work is a reflection of ourselves, customers receive better care and quality”. He goes on to say: “Small businesses show the public that a real person and team are behind all the effort and hard work”.

The Gino’s kitchen

To support the team at Gino’s, make sure to head to 431 High Road when the Government restrictions are lifted.