A FAMILY-RUN café that offers a chilled vibe, late-night music and entertainment is Daily Echo’s Trader of the Week.

Ricky Knowlton, 58, owns Syds Slaps, a café located in the heart of Southbourne that opened in late 2023. 

Dubbed in Ricky’s words as the ‘neighbourhood caff, night-time gaff’, Syds Slaps offers café favourites from toasties to a full English breakfast.

Bournemouth Echo:

The café also turns into a night-time bar with a large outdoor garden which Ricky calls ‘Southbourne’s best secret’.

He also operates Ricky’s Fish and Chips, an award-winning takeaway also in Southbourne.

Syd Slaps originated in 2013 as a pop-up at the Larder House, another business in the area.

On the inspiration behind the business, Ricky said: “Syd comes from my middle name which is Sydney, and slaps relate to slapping two bits of bread together to make a sandwich.

Bournemouth Echo:

“So that's where that kind of all came about and It's the kind of that café we want to be.

“We sell alcohol as well, so you can have a drink with your lunch or your dinner, and then we open sometimes in the evenings but as the weather gets better, we'll probably stay open more evenings.

“We’re a traditional English café in the morning and a live music bar in the evening.

“We have a quiz night once a month as well and an amazing comedy act the last Friday of every month that sells out every time.

“It's a great community, Southbourne."

Bournemouth Echo:

Ricky also mentioned the difficulties behind owning Syd’s Slaps, he added: “We're getting squeezed and squeezed because of the rising cost of living crisis.

“But that's something not to harp on and dwell on because we have to just move forward and bring new people in and adjust."

The concept behind the café includes most of Ricky’s family: “My daughter is the manager here. Her partner is our head chef and my wife helps out behind the scenes too.

“Some of the staff that work here have been working for me at Ricky's fish and chip shop since they 15. We’re more of a family than a team.”

Syd’s Slaps can be found at 12 Southbourne Grove, Bournemouth.