A Deptford restaurant has won an £11,500 grant from American Express to help continue its growth within the community and help “breathe new life into the venue”.

Buster Mantis, a Jamaican-British fusion restaurant, was given the funding by the International Downtown Association (IDA) and the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM).

The eatery and bar is named after Sir Alexander Bustamante (Jamaica's first prime minister) and is located down an alleyway just off Deptford High Street, spreading over two railway arches.

It offers live music and a community art space where one arch serves as an arts hub, hosting regular events, art showcases, and screenings.

It is owned by a family who has lived between Jamaica and the local area for over six decades.

A statement on the website reads: “We opened Buster Mantis simply to add to the small, but resurgent list of nice places to drink in Deptford.

“We can also now walk to work. Which is nice.”

Buster Mantis plans to use the grant to buy essential new kitchen equipment, revamp its dining space and improve its digital presence.

Owner Gordon McGowan said: “We’re thrilled to receive this generous grant which will allow us to make the changes we need to breathe new life into our venue.

“We’re passionate about providing our local community with a welcoming space that brings people together to meet, socialise and enjoy great food and drink.

“This grant enables all of us at Buster Mantis to continue with that mission and build for the future.” The partnerships, backed by American Express, are part of a wider initiative that helps small dining businesses expand and prosper in their communities.

The Backing International Small Restaurants scheme runs within five major cities worldwide.

This is the second year of the scheme which highlights restaurants in London, Mexico City, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto.

Besides appreciating the role of independent restaurants in communities, the program offers them valuable support helping them to thrive.

Well over 100 London-based restaurants applied for the grant.

Six venues were chosen by the IDA and ATCM to receive equivalent portions of the total £69,000 pot.

David Downey, Executive Director, IDA Foundation, said: “Our second year delivering the Backing International Small Restaurants programme recognises the vital role small, independent restaurants play in our communities.

“The programme furthers our commitment to supporting the businesses which have been selected, helping them thrive and succeed in the wake of ongoing economic challenges worldwide. It is an honour to implement this innovative work with the generous support of American Express.”

Ojay McDonald, ATCM Chief Executive, added: “Hospitality plays an important role on our high streets, allowing people to come together around good food and drink.

“The entrepreneurial spirit and drive of business owners in this industry is excellent but the pandemic and inflationary pressures have dented their momentum.

“It’s why this programme from American Express has been so well received, supporting innovation within a sector that needed a helping hand to get it moving again.”