A new diner is just the ticket for shoppers looking for gourmet fare in Peterborough.
The Gourmet Bus is serving brilliant burgers and magnificent milkshakes at Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, after it was officially opened this week, with Mayor of Peterborough Cllr John Fox, and members of the Peterborough United and Peterborough Phantoms squads attending.
The bus has been transformed into a fully functioning American style diner, with the kitchen on the lower deck and seating on the upper floor. The idea was the brainchild of friends Emma Griffiths and Rameez Mahmood, and it has taken more than a year to transform the bus into the eatery.
Development manager Emma said: “I worked with Rameez at Lloyds Bank, and we really wanted to do something with food - but we did not want to just do a normal restaurant. We wanted to do something for the first time in the city.
“We spent a long time trying different food, and visiting different places, when we came up with the idea of a bus.
“We wanted it to be gourmet food - and came up with the idea of an American diner.
“We started planning in June 2016, and bought the bus at the end of last year.”
Since buying the bus, the team have had a huge job to transform it ready for opening.
Emma said: “It was a very big project. Downstairs the floor was rotten, and had to be replaced.
“We have also had to change the seating upstairs, put modern lighting in, put a modern music system in.
“We have enough seating for 35 upstairs now.
“But there are still original features. We have kept the driver’s steering wheel in, for example.
“The bus can still be driven away - but we are being permanently based at Serpentine Green. We might move it for big events in the city - for example, there is a drive-in cinema that sometimes operates at the other side of the Serpentine Green car park - we are in talks with them for providing food there.
“We have already had a few bookings for Christmas parties, with companies looking for somewhere a bit different to go. We are also doing takeaways, and have a buzzer system, so people can order, and go and finish their shopping, and we can tell them when their order is ready.”
“The concept has gone really well so far. Everyone really likes the idea. We have even had a few celebrities, like (former Dragons Den star) James Caan tweeting about us.
“We have now bought two more vehicles - a bus and a coach - and are looking to expand in the new year.
“We are hoping to open one new branch in Birmingham and one in the south - hopefully in London.”
The Gourmet Bus is open from noon until 10pm.