Margate indie will open in stages

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Cliftonville in Margate has a new wine bar and shop.

Sète was opened in October by Natalia Ribbe and Jackson Berg. It’s just a few doors away from the site that was, until the summer of 2020, home to the popular wine shop Urchin. In fact Barletta, the pop-up restaurant run by Ribbe and Berg, was regularly hosted by Urchin before lockdown hit.

Now the couple will have a permanent restaurant when they add a kitchen and dining space to Sète later this year and the business will allow them to showcase their hospitality skills. Between them they have over 20 years’ experience in the trade, working in New York and London.

Ribbe says the focus for the wine is organic, low-intervention and biodynamic. “We try to work mainly with small producers, lots of female winemakers, and perhaps producers who have taken over their family vineyards and shifted the way they’re making the wine,” she adds. The wines are being sourced from suppliers including Jascots, Uncharted and Wines Under the Bonnet.

“I spent my high school years in Hungary and I lived in Vienna for a while,” she says. “I worked at a restaurant in New York, where we had quite an extensive Riesling and Grüner listing, so I think I’ve always had an affinity for wines from regions that maybe people aren’t used to seeing on the supermarket shelves. I’m on a mission to get people away from pale Provencal rosé and to help them see that not all dark rosés are sweet – and also to get people to stop hating Chardonnay.”

The premises on Northdown Road was previously a jewellery shop, so the refit to accommodate a kitchen and the extraction equipment will be extensive and the pair are looking at funding for that. “It was always going to be a three-phase opening,” says Ribbe, “starting with the wine bar at the front, and then sort of a little hallway that leads you to this big open space. Everything needs to be built from scratch, but we are aiming to open the restaurant and garden seating in the spring.”

Picture by Joe Lang

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