Exclusive interview: Papa Si returns to campus
Rumours of Si’s demise have circulated – here’s the full story
Last week the Tab Loughborough received rumours of Simon Enver, aka “Papa Si”, being forced to shut his flagship takeaway “Papa Simon’s”. The Tab reported on the story after talking to Simon and learning that the University had raised concerns regarding groups of students gathering outside his shop. However, we are now able to reveal that this is not the case and that Papa Si will remain in business.
Si told the Tab Loughborough that the University was unhappy with the large groups congregating outside the Purple Onion. The Uni warned Enver saying that if the crowds weren’t moved on he may have to close. Papa Si went on to say that he was to shut his doors, “until this virus is over”, which led to us reporting that the beloved shop could be shut for many months.
Today the Tab Loughborough has learned that Papa Si’s will remain open. Enver has spoken with the University and they are pleased with the extensive efforts that he has made to the make his shop Covid-secure. In an exclusive interview, Enver said: “The University has done alot to support students, and has been outstanding in its response to Covid, including in supporting him and his business.”
In response to a question regarding how he has fared during the pandemic, Simon said that: “I don’t know if I can survive to the end of it…but that I don’t want to make money at the moment, but just to survive”. He went on to say that he “is trying to give the best prices to students, and is having more specials than usual”.
One of the biggest problems that Enver raised was the lack of students walking back from the Union after FND or HeyEwe, stating: “People don’t want cheesy chips”. Enver also raised concerns about the current freshers not getting the normal first-year experience, with the loyalty to Papa Si’s that comes with it.
In response to a question about support from the government Enver said that his business had received “absolutely nothing [by way of grants]” and has certainly struggled, not being able to make profit for many months.
Despite all of this, Papa Si remains in good spirits and is confident his business will pull through and continue to operate within the new guidelines. He went on to tell the Tab that, “Simon’s is up, running, alive and strong”. He says that as long students continue to use the delivery service that, will continue to operate even when the Tier 2 restrictions come in on Saturday, he will be able to keep operating.
Enver says that: “Papa Simon’s and the [University] are working together to keep students safe”; and wants to thank everyone for their support.
A spokesperson from the University said: “All tenants and partners are expected to support reasonable efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 on campus”.