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Restaurant gears up for Saturday reopening as lockdown transformation seen for the first time

PUBLISHED: 16:53 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:57 01 July 2020

The Southey Family have been working tirelessly in lockdown to get Burgh Hall ready for when guests return. Photo: Paul Southey

The Southey Family have been working tirelessly in lockdown to get Burgh Hall ready for when guests return. Photo: Paul Southey

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Despite a number of setbacks to the grand plan for re-opening, the Southey family say they are thrilled to welcome back customers to their newly-refurbished leisure complex this Saturday.

July 4 is a big day for hospitality and leisure - with many places throwing open their doors for the first time in 15 weeks.

At Burgh Hall in Great Yarmouth, applying the government’s coronavirus guidelines means reduced seating capacity in the restaurant and bar, bookable-only inside areas, no live music, one-way systems and no pool.

But regardless of this, booking requests have been piling in for across July as people are desperate to return to some level of normality.

Paul Southey, who took over the pub in January, said: “After reading government guidance, we had everything ready to go for Saturday - the pool table and darts board had been positioned at a distance, we had a thoroughly disinfected carvery set up and an 100-inch screen for outdoor entertainment.

“But a visit from Environmental Health this afternoon has changed a lot of that and delivered us a bit of a blow.

Luckily for Burgh Hall, there's a lot of outdoor space which means their capacity is still fairly high, even with restrictions in place. Photo: Paul SoutheyLuckily for Burgh Hall, there's a lot of outdoor space which means their capacity is still fairly high, even with restrictions in place. Photo: Paul Southey

“We’ll still be opening on Saturday, but it’ll be different to what we expected.”

He added: “Sadly, there’ll be no darts, pool table or Sunday carvery - because these activities can’t work under the ‘1m plus’ rule.

“At the carvery, we would need all customers to wear gloves and stand 2m back from one another and the chefs who are plating up their food. In practice, that can’t work, so instead we’ll be running a full menu on a Sunday with a plated roast that will be delivered to your table.”

However, with a Covid-capacity of more than 200 across the bar, restaraunt, plaza bar and outdoor area, the atmosphere at Burgh Hall come Saturday will undoubtedly be buzzing.

Burgh Hall in Great Yarmouth is reopening this Saturday, but with strict restrictions in place. Photo: Paul SoutheyBurgh Hall in Great Yarmouth is reopening this Saturday, but with strict restrictions in place. Photo: Paul Southey

According to Mr Southey, the new kiosks will be in full session, the 100-inch screen and five individual TVs will play at a reduced volume to ensure people don’t raise their voices, the bar and restaurant will be open and guests, most importantly, will “be as safe as they possibly can be” under extensive distancing precautions.

He said: “We’re so excited to have people back and the place looks lovely. We’ve made a real effort doing it up while in lockdown.

“Groups of six and seven have already been ringing to book. It’s been a struggle but things are finally turning themselves around.”

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The restaurant is being carefully sectioned in line with coronavirus guidelines for hospitality. Photo: Paul SoutheyThe restaurant is being carefully sectioned in line with coronavirus guidelines for hospitality. Photo: Paul Southey

Burgh Hall in Great Yarmouth is reopening this Saturday, but with strict restrictions in place. Photo: Paul SoutheyBurgh Hall in Great Yarmouth is reopening this Saturday, but with strict restrictions in place. Photo: Paul Southey


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