Market Drayton restaurant boss will not 'gamble' on July 4 reopening
A Shropshire restaurant owner has announced he will not be among those reopening next weekend, citing a lack of guidance or support from government.
The award-winning Town House in Cheshire Street, Market Drayton, has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown.
Owner Daniel Derrington said he understood the "excitement" from many business owners after the government's latest announcement that pubs and restaurants can open their doors again from July 4, but said that he could not afford to gamble with his business.
He wrote: "It's been three months since we closed our doors, during that closure we have had fantastic support from our customers and the community, who are eager to show their support and return to dine at The Town House.
"I'm sure, for many people, today's announcement regarding the hospitality sector has been met with eagerness and excitement and businesses will be keen to open their doors as soon as possible, which we fully understand.
"But our own approach is going to be more cautious and The Town House will not be open for business at the start of July.
"Halving the social distancing measures will not halve the difficulties that we will all face when we re-open. With no guidance about how to re-open safely and no support network if lockdown measures need to be ratcheted up again, re-opening a small independent restaurant becomes a gamble we cannot make.
"The prospect of taking reservations, stocking a kitchen, preparing a menu, calling staff back from furlough and re-opening, only to have to close again at a moment’s notice is too great a risk to take at the moment.
"Furthermore, the reason why The Town House has such a loyal and supportive customer base is because of the intimate and attentive dining experience that we offer and at the moment we cannot be confident that we can provide this.
"We appreciate the continued support during this scary time and hope to update you soon with our plans for re-opening."
The Town House opened in Cheshire Street, one of the town's main shopping streets, in February 2018.