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‘Now is not the time’ – why these eateries will not be reopening yet

PUBLISHED: 15:52 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:02 03 July 2020

Karolyn Hubbard, owner at Margo's in Bells Road in the window with the vintage cafe's takeaway menu. She has made the decision not to reopen on July 4 Picture: Margo's Lounge

Karolyn Hubbard, owner at Margo's in Bells Road in the window with the vintage cafe's takeaway menu. She has made the decision not to reopen on July 4 Picture: Margo's Lounge

Archant

As pubs and restaurants rush to open as soon as possible bringing in a raft of PPE, new working practices, and screens, some Norfolk eateries have decided it’s not for them.

The Shed in Gorleston, one of Norfolk's smallest restaurants, has announced it will  not be opening on July 4. Instead it is concentrating on its new lounge and bar Picture: Google MapsThe Shed in Gorleston, one of Norfolk's smallest restaurants, has announced it will not be opening on July 4. Instead it is concentrating on its new lounge and bar Picture: Google Maps

The Shed on Gorleston’s quaint riverside, overlooked by a lighthouse, says the new rules don’t fit with its relaxed vibe that thrives on close interaction.

And Margo’s Lounge, a vintage cafe famed as a movie-star hangout during the filming of Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, has taken a similar view.

Owner Karolyn Hubbard said the restrictions meant the experience at Margo’s where people liked to mingle and linger wouldn’t be the same, but mostly she was worried about keeping her staff and customers safe.

Since the lockdown they had worked out an “eat at home” takeaway menu that was keeping things ticking over, bolstered by a range of gifts and deli items.

Much-loved Margo's in Bells Road, Gorleston, has decided the safest option is to carry on with its takeaway and shop, and not reopen the cafe element on July 4 Picture: Google MapsMuch-loved Margo's in Bells Road, Gorleston, has decided the safest option is to carry on with its takeaway and shop, and not reopen the cafe element on July 4 Picture: Google Maps

With some staff furloughed and others working safely behind a screen she said what they were doing was working well.

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

“Mainly it’s because we think of ourselves as a little family,” she said.

“We have all got people we look after and staff have children to care about, people with health issues, or elderly parents.

“We love seeing our community, Bells Road is such a lovely, buzzy place, but we have to think about everyone.

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“We feel very safe our side of the screen and behind the counter.

“I feel like I am keeping the staff safe.

“And there is a financial element, it just would not be viable.”

MORE: The Great Yarmouth pubs reopening on Saturday - and the ones that aren’t

Meanwhile, although people were calling and trying to book, they understood and supported her reasons for keeping the cafe closed for the time being.

Writing on its Facebook page The Shed said the restriction’s went against the tiny restaurant’s dining concept.

It said: “Although the government has felt that it is time to ease some restrictions from July 4, and we would love to see all our customers that we now consider friends, we all feel that being constrained by regulations governing distance and the inability to interact with you means that now is not the time for us to open our doors.

“Those of you who know us will understand that this is not a decision that we have taken lightly.

“We all love being part of The Shed, we miss you all, our customers and friends.

“Hopefully in the not too distant future things will improve enough to enable us to get back to some sort of normality.”

The post added that on the upside the continued closure meant it could concentrate on its long-awaited new bar and lounge area.


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