'It's been emotional' - New restaurant to finally welcome indoor diners

Conroy and Sarah Robinson Coral Bay Gorleston

Conroy and Sarah Robinson are excited to finally open their new restaurant Coral Bay to indoor diners on May 17. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Last-minute preparations are being made as hospitality businesses, cinemas and theatres on the coast prepare to welcome guests back indoors.

Along with the rest of the country, Gorleston will take its third big step out of lockdown on Monday (May 17)

Coral Bay, on Baker Street in Gorleston, will open to indoor dining on May 17.

Coral Bay, on Baker Street in Gorleston, will open to indoor dining on May 17. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

On Baker Street, Conroy and Sarah Robinson are excited to finally have diners inside their restaurant, Coral Bay, which they opened during the third lockdown after deciding to move on from their stall at Great Yarmouth's outdoor market.

Mr Robinson said: "It's been emotional."

The Caribbean-themed restaurant, in the former St John ambulance training building, began trading in March with takeaway and delivery orders and has been building up a solid base of customers.

"We've had people coming to support us," said Mr Robinson. "I want the people of Great Yarmouth to know that just because we are not in the market and are in Gorleston, the intention is to deliver an even better quality of service."

Conroy and Sarah Robinson outside their restaurant Coral Bay in Gorleston.

Conroy and Sarah Robinson outside their restaurant Coral Bay in Gorleston. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa


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Mr Robinson is originally from Jamaica and learned how to cook from his mother.

At the age of 24, he moved to the UK and met Sarah in 2007.

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Whenever the couple cooked for friends and family, they were told they should open a restaurant.

The Gorleston Palace cinema (photo: Denise Bradley)

The Gorleston Palace cinema (photo: Denise Bradley) - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

On Gorleston High Street, Patrick Duffy, manager of the Palace Cinema, said: "This is the third time we've reopened since March last year. We have got the distancing between the seats. We'll be maintaining that for the first month - everything will be waiting for the government guidance.

"The costs of maintaining the cinema have been very high," he added.

Patrick Duffy, 65, managing director of Palace Bingo and the Palce Cinema in Gorleston High Street,

Patrick Duffy, owner of Palace Cinema in Gorleston. - Credit: Archant

Mr Duffy also runs bingo halls in Great Yarmouth and Felixstowe.

"We've spent £54,000 on Covid-safety provision across all the Palace bingos, cinema and casinos," he said.

When the Palace Cinema reopened last July, after the first lockdown, it was able to trade at 85pc of normal business.

This time around, those same figures would be a "fantastic starting point", according to the owner.

The Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston reopens on May 18.

The Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston reopens on May 18. - Credit: Submitted

The curtains will also go up at the Pavilion Theatre, on Pier Gardens, which reopens on Tuesday (May 18) with a variety show featuring comedy, magic, song and dance.

Trustee Alex Youngs said: "It's been tough. We've been closed pretty much since March last year.

"The money from the first round of government funding was a big help. But we missed out on the second round."

Pavilion Theatre Gorleston

Some of the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston was renovated during the coronavirus lockdowns. - Credit: Submitted

The grant allowed the theatre to pay the bills, install new air-conditioning, repaint the foyers and generally smarten the place up.

Mr Youngs said: "We're all excited. We've worked hard to put a show together.

Pavilion Theatre Gorleston

Curtains will go up on the stage at the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston on May 18. - Credit: Submitted

"It is more difficult to try to organise a show now, you've got to think about social distancing and safety above all else."




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