Better safe than sorry says restaurant group boss over lockdown easing

One of Lancashire's top restaurant chains says it is prepared to stay shut until mid-May if it means avoiding a fourth national lockdown.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 6:29 pm

The San Marco Group, which runs five of the best-known eateries in the Preston area, has admitted it is unlikely to take advantage of Boris Johnson's offer to reopen outdoors in April due to the British weather.

But director Carlo Bragagnini is hoping a restart on May 17 at the earliest will make it more certain the hospitality sector is not hit again with another shutdown.

"We would rather be open again right now than in three months time," said Carlo whose family business operates the Italian Orchard at Broughton, San Marco at Much Hoole, Angelo's and Stratos in Avenham Street, Preston and Pinocchio's in Walton-le-Dale.

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The Italian Orchard in Broughton is one of five restaurants run by the San Marco Group.

"But at the same time we would rather wait a little bit longer so that when we do open we stay open and we don't have to go into another lockdown again.

"It is more difficult opening and then having to close down again. It has been a nightmare. Luckily we are not in that bad a position because we have been careful with things.

"The support from the Chancellor has been really good and the furlough scheme has really helped.

"I can't really see us going for outdoor opening in April, it wouldn't work having diners exposed to the elements. On the Continent maybe, but not here in Britain."