BRIGHTON and Hove is bursting with incredible independent food and drink businesses.

In normal times, walk down many city centre streets and you will be hit with scintillating smells pouring out of premises offering a huge range of cuisines.

But then, lockdown happened.

Venues were forced to shut as the government took drastic measures to try to contain the spread of coronavirus.

To say this was challenging for the city’s many cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants is an understatement.

The Argus:

But, innovative as ever, businesses across Brighton and Hove found ways to survive -– converting to takeaways, making delivery boxes and providing online shops so their loyal customers could continue to enjoy their products.

There was a brief respite between July and November when hospitality venues could reopen.

Though they were not at full capacity, diners were delighted to visit their favourite venues again and business boomed.

But, on Wednesday, businesses were forced to close their doors once again as the UK was plunged back into lockdown.

Despite setback after setback, Brighton businesses remain resilient, and have worked even harder to keep the city’s tastebuds alive.

The Argus:

Brighton-based Mexican street food specialists DeadGood Burrito and Burger is just one of the companies to find new ways to feed its fanbase during lockdown.

Classically operating as a food stall at festivals and events, the initial lockdown meant that owner Jamie Mitchell soon saw his busy summer schedule dry up.

He said: “Slowly but surely things were getting postponed or cancelled, and also the local street food markets that we trade at like the University of Sussex street diner, were also being postponed due to public safety – and rightly so.

“So, with the real realistic view of no work or income for at least the next few months we quickly moved to set up an online takeaway delivery service for DeadGood Burrito and Burger.

“We turned it all around in less that two weeks and hit our social media accounts hard to promote it.

“We opened for business with no real expectations and with the view that something would be better than nothing.”

The Argus:

But the company delivered far more than “something” and customers were quick to support its new venture.

Jamie said: “The response that we received on the first weekend of trading was truly amazing and very humbling. We had to think on our feet and learn this new side of the business quickly and without using any of the big players in the food delivery game too.

“It’s made us quickly realise that this could be a real, sustainable side of the business that could help ride out the storm.

“We couldn’t do this without all the extremely loyal repeat custom that we receive every week. We are so grateful that people love our food as much as we do.

“Eight months later and we are still going strong and are proud that we have managed to adapt and survive.”

The company is open between 5pm and 9.30pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and orders can be placed online at

And it is not just food companies who have taken an enterprising approach to this second national lockdown.

The Argus:

Brighton brewers Bison Beer are taking full advantage of the government’s U-turn on selling takeaway alcohol with several schemes.

These include a same-day delivery service, giving ale afficionados the closest thing possible to beer on tap over the next four weeks.

Bison previously owned a bottle shop in East Street, but has since closed the site as it expanded to own pubs and bars across Brighton and Hove in North Road, Church Road, Madeira Drive and East Street.

However, with these sites forced to shut due to the new government restrictions, the bottleshop has found a new home in Hove.

Owner Jack Cregan said: “We’re keeping it local for lockdown two with a fully loaded lock-in box featuring only Sussex breweries.

“The original counter from our East Street bottleshop has been brought out of retirement and goes into our (Church Road) Hove store, which serves as an off-licence only during these times. We’re also doing same-day local delivery via our online shop which was how we survived last time round.”

The Argus:

These are the other food and drink outlets in Brighton and Hove which have adapted their business models over lockdown to survive and thrive:

Bison Beer and DeadGood Burrito and Burger are not alone in their adaptive antics during this second national lockdown.

Businesses across Brighton and Hove have made changes at breakneck speed to be able to continue trading over the next four weeks.

We asked readers to tell us about some of your favourites and you did not disappoint.

Speciality coffee company Blend Coffee Co was the first to reply.

The cafe is now offering takeaway options from its base in Boundary Road, Portslade

Director Tom Jennion said: “(We are) adapting our business model once again to serve the Portslade community with speciality coffee, sweet treats, fresh pastries and more.”

Reader Cieran Parker told us The Windmill pub in Upper North Street, Brighton, would soon be offering items from its usual eat-in menu as takeaway options through Deliveroo.

The Argus:

Curry Leaf Cafe, which has several venues across Brighton and Hove, has also taken steps to ensure customers’ lives stay spicy over lockdown.

Its Upper St James’s Street site in Brighton has been transformed into the Kemp Town Kitchen Indian food store, bottleshop and takeaway, with delicious food, drink and ingredients available to buy.

This is open seven days-a-week between 1pm and 9pm.

Hot food is available to order through Deliveroo or click and collect on the Curry Leaf Cafe website, and chilled meals can also be ordered for delivery.

The Argus:

The company said that some staff would be furloughed over the four-week lockdown, and regular free meals would be dropped off at their home while they were not working.

Meanwhile, Mexican expert La Choza is keeping its Gloucester Road site open as a takeaway, with the kitchen also providing delicious dishes such as burritos and quesadillas which can be ordered on Deliveroo.