‘Good times are ahead’: New Burgh Hall owner reflects on having to close just months after opening
- Credit: Archant
A family which took over a new venue just before the coronavirus lockdown was imposed has said they are expecting “good times ahead”.
The Southey Family, from Oulton Broad, opened up Burgh Hall’s bar and restaurant officially on January 7 this year, after moving premises from the Kingfisher Bar and Restaurant in Burgh Castle.
“All was going well and we were doing our Sunday carvery, live music, bingo nights, weddings and events. But then lockdown came along and gave everything a huge wallop,” said Paul Southey.
“On March 21 at 5pm, the Prime Minister announced that pubs would have to close, and by 10pm that evening we had shut everything down, and knew it would remain that way for the forseeable future.”
He added: “There’s plenty I could say how that was done, in terms of giving business owners no time to prepare whatsoever - but ultimately everyone is in the same boat.”
However, Mr Southey and his family are positive that they will survive this, and have used the opportunity to finish decorating their new premises.
He said: “We’ve painted the restaurant, built the new kiosk, done up the outdoor area with 25 tables, relayed the driveway and - as people will be glad to hear - plan to sort out heating for the pool sometime next week.
“We have definitely been keeping ourselves busy - and look forward to good times ahead.”
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According to Mr Southey, the business received a £10,000 grant from the Government which Great Yarmouth borough council sorted out very quickly.
But while helpful, he stressed that it will not cover all expenses costs and is minimal compared to what the venue would otherwise be taking in revenue.
He said: “Our insurance company said that because Covid-19 wasn’t listed as a notifiable disease, they wouldn’t be paying out.“We are staying optimistic though, and can assure our customers that we will be opening as soon as we can.”
On the topic of Wetherspoon’s announcement to reopen in June, Mr Southey said that his business would be following official guidance alone.
He said: “I don’t know how Tim Martin can make those sort of statements with any confidence, but on our part we will adhere to whatever the Government permits us to do.”