PICTURES: Bognor business owners glad to be back as restrictions ease
Eager punters were once again allowed to sit inside pubs, cafes and restaurants this week as another round of Covid-19 restrictions were lifted across the country. All photos by Derek Martin.
Before Monday (May 17) businesses serving food and drink were only allowed to serve customers in outdoo seating areas, limiting the extent to which they could trade.
Now, customers have been welcomed back indoors, a change embraced by Bognor business owners.
“It’s incredible” said Sarah Woodhouse, owner of the London Road Coffee Shop, “we’ve got all of our original and new customers back for the first time in five months, which is amazing.”
That sentiment was echoed by Clare Frampton, the marketing and training manager for Sussex Inns, which owns The William Hardwicke on High Street, a pub that has just enjoyed extensive refurbishment work. “Literally just being outside, we’ve been taking just as much as we would have been anyway, so being able to open inside now is just going to make a huge difference for us.
“We’re getting fully booked every single Friday and Saturday a week in advance, so the tables inside opening up now is going to make it a lot easier.”
The owners of Mustards, a bar and restaurant on York Road, are looking forward to a similarly successful return to service: “It’s bust everyday for the foreseeable future,” said Craig Mustard, who owns the restaurant with his brother, Shaun.
“We didn’t expect it but, as soon as we opened, we were technically full up,” aded Emre Sen, whose family owns The Clockhouse Cafe on High Street. “I feel like we’re going to be busy. We don’t do bookings, just walk-ins, but I think it will pick up because no one’s going abroad, everyone’s coming down to Bognor for holiday. So I think it’ll be better this year.”