Glass remains half-full for South Tyneside pub boss - despite latest lockdown
A South Tyneside hospitality boss says he and his team are doing their best to retain a positive outlook, despite the setbacks Lockdown 3 has dealt businesses like theirs in the area.
Carl Mowatt, manager at the Lakeside Inn, said that, although disappointing, the announcement of a third national lockdown earlier this week was “expected”.
The Lakeside, near Leam Lane, will continue to run a home delivery service during Lockdown 3, with its kitchen operational for this purpose only over the coming weeks.
"I think we’ve all come to the conclusion now that it’ll be February at the earliest before there’s a return to any kind of normality,” Mr Mowatt said.
"In the meantime, we’re going to continue with the takeaways. We’ve had a week off now to re-charge and carry out a bit of a cleanup...to sit back and reflect a bit.”
As was the case with other hospitality venues in the borough, the Lakeside was forced to cancel its booking arrangements during the festive period, while Covid infection rates began to soar again in December.
The venue had to cancel festive events that had been fully booked since early 2020.
However, the business has reported an encouraging take-up for its delivery service, while financial losses have been mitigated to some extent by a newly-announced government grant.
Mr Mowatt added: “It’s good that local people want to keep purchasing local. We have a regular customer base who seem to keep coming back, which is rewarding.
"We're not going to kid ourselves – these are testing times for everyone. But you’ve got to remain optimistic, keep a 'glass-half-full’ outlook and just continue driving forward.”
Earlier this week Lee Hughes, who runs the The Red Hackle on Perth Road in Jarrow, told the Gazette the lockdown announcement makes little difference to him, since the pub is unable to provide a takeaway service.
And Stephen Sullivan, who runs Ziggy’s Bar in South Shields, welcomed the newly-announced grants, saying they are ‘long overdue’ and another indication of the region’s peripheral status for political leaders at Westminster.
“Being a ‘wet-led’ pub we can’t really operate unless we're placed in Tier 1 [of the local lockdown system],” he said.