The owner of a new steakhouse and cocktail bar opening in a Buckinghamshire village next week said he is hoping it will liven up the area's nightlife.

Ali Tembel, 45, founded the independent Latin American restaurant Fernando's Grill in Worthing, Sussex, in the early 2000s as an offshoot of his father's butcher shop before extending the enterprise to Brighton and Hove, where he developed strong community links in the seaside town, even helping to feed local NHS workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the 45-year-old set his sites on Buckinghamshire for the location of a new Fernando's branch and spent three weeks scouting areas across the county before settling on Little Chalfont, a decision to which he credits the village's "nice, supportive people" and "chilled" atmosphere.

"Wherever I go, my focus is not just on making money - I always want to bring something to the community. When I saw the empty building in Little Chalfont (2 Nightingale Corner, formerly home to Nar Meze Grill), I thought it would be a good chance to employ some young local staff and create a new nightlife space in the area. 

"I've been doing this for my whole life - it's all I've ever done. My family have all been butchers, and now my son's a chef too. He wants to be just like me!"

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Fernando's steakhouse and cocktail bar, which will specialise in steaks, burgers and peri peri chicken, will open its doors in Little Chalfont on Monday, February 12.

Opening times will be from noon for lunch and from 5pm to 10pm for dinner, with the bar closing at around 11:30pm each night.

Ali said he is excited to bring his business to Buckinghamshire, and added: "I chose this area because I like the people here and I wanted to give them somewhere to meet up and go out on the weekends.

"I hope they realise that we're not a chain, we're a small and passionate business. All the love I have goes into my restaurants."