Cotswold pubs and restaurants react to second national lockdown

Now, as the second lockdown forces all non-essential businesses to close again, the people at the heart of the hospitality industry tell The Standard how they will cope.

Hospitality venues across the country closed on Thursday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a month-long national lockdown, which runs until December 2.

Figures show that it will affect over 37,000 pubs and 27,000 restaurants across the country.

As part of the new restrictions, restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes must remain closed with take away and deliveries only permitted.

Cirencester and its surrounding villages boast many pubs, restaurants and café’s including Relish Groups The Waterside Kitchen and Bar and the Gateway Café, both on the lakes, The Old Prison in Northleach, Sally Pussey’s Inn, Royal Wootton Bassett, Jack’s Kitchen and Tearooms and the pub Somewhere Else, both in Cirencester.

Phillppa Sawyer is the director of Relish and said of the new lockdown: “The food business has changed shape completely these last six months to accommodate the lock-down life style.

“Here at Relish however, we have embraced the opportunity to continue to serve our customers with their favourite dishes and introduce them to new ones by switching our usual arrangements to take away or delivery options – the same great quality food, using the same fresh local ingredients and cooked by the same talented chefs – just served to be enjoyed at home instead.”

Sam Edwards and his business partner Jak Doggett took over the Firehouse at Upton only last year.

They have had to adapt the buffet style of the restaurant due to the social distancing rules to great success enjoying busy lunches and breakfasts but now find themselves in lockdown two.

“The hospitality business has done so much to ensure peoples safety, that is customers and staff,” Sam said.

“We understand why the government has done this but it is blow to us as the business is so young.

“We have opened up take away; we already do this every Wednesday with our pizza evenings but are going to add in a Barbeque Friday set menu, Saturday Firehouse classics and Sunday lunch.”

The new manager and landlord of Bathurst Arms in North Cerney finds himself in a similar situation.

Jordan Pelly only opened the famous pink pub on July 4.

He said: “We would like to thank everyone for their support since we opened.

“The organic approach and our menu has gone down really well and we were getting some real momentum to the business.

“We hope that it is a short lockdown and for the sake of so many new and small businesses out there.

“We have started a takeaway as well, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it is reflection of the menu that we were offering before we had to close on Thursday.”

Teatro director Rachel Wright said plans are now underway for Christmas.

“We are obviously sad to be closing our doors again,” said Rachel.

“We have invested significantly in Covid measures to allow our customers to feel safe when visiting and we have had some wonderful comments and support from regular and new customers since we re-opened on July 4.

“Although a little frustrated at having to close again we understand the need to do so.

“We thank all who visited and enjoyed Téatro and wish all a safe November with lockdown 2.

“What happens now is we plan for re-opening and for Christmas.

“We love Christmas and have had many discussions about what we can and cannot do for our customers.

“We had some significant plans that we feel are now unable to take place due to the financial risk, but other plans are being adapted or very much taking place, all in a safe way, and we will be announcing these over the coming weeks.

“One thing for sure though is that we will still be having a 20ft Christmas Tree.”

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