Family behind top restaurant fear Tier 3 could spell closure

family behind top restaurant fear tier 3 could spell closure - Family behind top restaurant fear Tier 3 could spell closure

A restaurant owner fears he will be forced to permanently close both his sites after it was confirmed Bristol will enter the highest level of coronavirus restrictions next week.

Chef Kirpal Singh and his family run Pipal Tree in Easton – which is ranked as the best restaurant in Bristol on Tripadvisor – and Pipal Leaf in Redfield.

While Pipal Leaf has been running for three years, Pipal Leaf was only operating for 25 days before the second lockdown began having opened in early October.

The launch of the second restaurant – which the family purchased in February before the first lockdown began – has put the business in a precarious financial position.

family behind top restaurant fear tier 3 could spell closure 2 - Family behind top restaurant fear Tier 3 could spell closure
The family launched Pipal Leaf in October 2020 after the success of Pipal Tree, which opened in 2017
(Image: BristolLive)

“While I understand we need to bring infection rates down, Tier 3 will completely kill the hospitality industry and of course I worry that we will have to close both our restaurants if things don’t improve,” said Kirpal.

“A friend of mine who also runs a restaurant recently went into liquidation and I’m going to do everything I can to give us a fighting chance and make sure the same doesn’t happen to us.

“The hospitality industry has been thrown under the bus by the Government with businesses having to deal with strict safety measures, the 10pm curfew and now this with minimal support.”

Kirpal said the Government grant of £1,100 his family received to help them through the second lockdown ‘wasn’t even enough to cover the rent’. 

It was announced yesterday morning (November 26) that Bristol will be in Tier 3 when the lockdown ends on December 2.

This means restaurants across the city will remain shut and will only be able to operate with takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

In a bid to keep the family business afloat Kirpal will launch a takeaway service next week for the first time in the restaurant’s history, with a menu that combines the most popular dishes from both Pipal Tree and Pipal Leaf. 

“We’ve never done takeaway before because we haven’t really needed to,” he added. “In the weeks that Pipal Leaf was open we were turning away between 140-200 people a week from both sites combined as we were fully booked. 

“But now we will need to do it to give ourselves a last chance of survival.

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“We’re currently working on the menu and logistics before hopefully going live with it next Thursday.

“I don’t want to start up a GoFundMe page or anything like that and instead want to work for this.”

Kirpal runs the business alongside his wife Kulwinder Kaur and their children, son Dylon and daughter Amrit. 

He said the family’s takeaway menu, cooked at the Pipal Leaf, will be ‘unlike any other Indian takeaway in Bristol’. 

All the recipes are the ‘family’s own Punjabi-fusion secrets’ with only the freshest ingredients used. 

More information about the restaurant’s new takeaway service will be shared on its Facebook page and website.

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