The owner of a Coventry bar/restaurant is ‘buzzing’ to finally reopen its doors after its latest unexpected Covid-19 related setback.

The Green Dragon in Spon Street has only known life in a global pandemic after its grand opening came just days before the first lockdown arrived in March 2020.

Some 15 months on from first opening the doors to the painstakingly renovated 15th-century building, ‘The GD’ has only been open to dine-in customers for a total of 17 weeks when lockdown restrictions were eased last year.

But through some creative thinking and wildly diversifying its offer, they’ve managed to stay in business, creating a strong reputation for its delivery and takeaway offer.

However, the easing of restrictions last month provided a fresh setback for the establishment.

“We didn’t foresee the impact that April 12 would have on us,” said owner Luke Truslove. “Over the months we were allowed to deliver food, we managed to build up a really good customer base and it kept us afloat. We really managed to carve ourselves a bit of a niche there.

“As soon as people were allowed to dine outside, the delivery side of things dropped like a stone. We do not have any outdoor area so couldn’t offer that, but we didn’t expect our deliveries to fall like they did.

“We’ve lost probably £2,000 a week since April 12, so we will probably be down around £10,000 in all come May 17, and that’s from a level where we were just ticking over and had to take that on the chin.”

But brighter times are around the corner for the catering and hospitality industry. From Monday (May 17), customers will be allowed to dine in once more for the first time in 2021.

The GD kicks off its latest chapter from Wednesday, with chef’s table sessions already attracting interest while walk-in customers to eat from its à la carte menu will be warmly welcomed too.

“We’re buzzing to have people in again,” said Mr Truslove. “It feels like we’ve had the longest-ever marketing campaign for a new venue!

“The support we’ve had from the people of Coventry has been amazing, we couldn’t have got this far without them. That support has come from outside of the city too and we’re looking forward to having people in and give them the full GD experience.

“I am fully confident that this project will work, celebrating quality, fresh local produce, in a unique, historical setting.”

On the challenges of fully re-opening his business, Mr Truslove added: “We maybe got a bit carried away in December and jumped the gun a little bit before the measures changed. We recruited people and had to let them go, so that process is starting all over again. So it’s not without its challenges in terms of getting staff in. But we will meet them head on just like we’ve done throughout the global pandemic.

“I believe what we have to offer is unique to Coventry city centre and I look forward to welcoming returning customers and new customers in the coming weeks and months.”

Is your food/beverage business fully re-opening on the week beginning May 17? Contact robert.bridge@reachplc.com

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