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‘It was calm and enjoyable’ - popular pub and restaurant puts customers at ease

PUBLISHED: 14:10 05 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:10 05 July 2020

Tuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham Lodge

Tuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham Lodge

Archant

Nervous visitors to a mid Norfolk pub were left feeling ‘at ease’ as a popular pub and restaurant reopened for the first time since lockdown.

Tuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham LodgeTuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham Lodge

Tuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March.

Through the coronavirus pandemic The Lodge Shop remained open to help locals get everyday groceries and offered an evening takeaway service, but did not allow customers to enter the pub.

Tuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham LodgeTuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham Lodge

Now, Vikki Hunt and her husband, Gavin, owners of the establishment have spoken of how customers who were nervous about heading out on July 4 were put at ease after stopping by for a drink at their business.

Mrs Hunt, who has owned the pub for 13 years, said: “Yesterday went really well for us, it was a really calm and enjoyable atmosphere.

Bill Aylett, the first customer at Tuddenham Lodge in North Tuddenham. Picture: Tuddenham LodgeBill Aylett, the first customer at Tuddenham Lodge in North Tuddenham. Picture: Tuddenham Lodge

“Because of our location we rely heavily on bookings, this helped us keep number under control and know when people would be leaving and entering.”

The pubs first customer was Bill Aylett, who visited the pub regularly before lockdown.

Tuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham LodgeTuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham Lodge

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Mrs Hunt said: “He [Bill] has been shielding since we went into lockdown in March and hadn’t even been to a supermarket.

Tuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham LodgeTuddenham Lodge ‘Griddle & Grill’, on Main Road in North Tuddenham, reopened to the public for the first time since lockdown began at the end of March. Picture: Tuddenham Lodge

“He said he wasn’t sure if he would visit on the day that pubs opened, but after seeing our posts on Facebook with the measures we put in place, he said he felt happy to come to our new beer garden.

“We had some customers saying how nervous they were about coming out as well, but they were reassured and felt very comfortable after visiting us.”

Plans on how to reopen the restaurant had been in motion for weeks, with staff members coming in for training earlier this week.

Kitchen and front of house staff were also giving headsets so they could communicate with each other while minimising contact.

“All of our staff felt safe and comfortable working and I think that’s what made the difference”, said Mrs Hunt.

“They loved the headsets and felt that they could serve with ease.

“The last thing you want to see is staff feeling uncomfortable, it makes you feel nervous.”


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