Express & Star

Restaurant’s new outdoor dining pods open to guests

Four of the pods seat up to six people each and the fifth is set out for couples.

Coronavirus – Sat Jul 4, 2020

A restaurant served guests in outdoor dining pods in a novel way of social distancing as lockdown restrictions were eased.

The five dining bubbles cost owner Josh Green £12,000 to install at The Barn Restaurant in the village of Terrington St John near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

Four of the pods seat up to six people each and the fifth is set out for couples.

Waiters in face visors serve diners, leaving food on a table outside the pods for them to collect themselves if preferred.

Coronavirus – Sat Jul 4, 2020
A waitress checks on diners in the outdoor dining pods which have been installed for social distancing at The Barn Restaurant (Joe Giddens/ PA)

Mr Green said he got the idea for the pods from seeing similar structures used in America and on London’s Embankment at Christmas.

“They are very, very booked up,” he said. “It’s gone a bit crazy.”

Robert Rose, 71, who lives nearby, dined in one of the pods with his wife Nanette and two of their friends.

He said: “We do miss eating out and socialising but it’s nice to be back.”

Coronavirus – Sat Jul 4, 2020
Sally and David Clayton enjoy a meal in one of the outdoor dining pods (Joe Giddens/ PA)

Mrs Rose, 70, described the pods as “wonderful”.

The restaurant normally has 100 covers inside, but this has been more than halved to allow for two-metre social distancing.

The addition of the outdoor pods has helped limit the impact of restrictions on the restaurant’s capacity.

Guests must use hand sanitiser when entering and exiting the pods, and Mr Green said the pods are chemically cleaned after each use.

The pods, which are air-conditioned and heated, have proved popular and weekends are booked up until September.

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