Lessons from the lockdown

Lessons from the lockdown #5

You may remember a while ago, when only takeaways were allowed to open, I wrote a post on my local restaurants and whether they were still open and doing takeaways during lockdown.

Well this week, the lockdown restrictions have lifted and it’s now possible to eat inside restaurants again. In fact, if you’re reading this on the Wednesday evening this post was published, I’m possibly out for a meal right now (but it’s slightly outside the catchment area for this list).

I thought I’d have another review of my local restaurants to see what’s changed. Here’s what I found:

  1. I said this in my previous post, but there are a lot of restaurants near me. Every time I thought I had been everywhere, I remembered another one that I yet to visit. And when writing this list out again I found even more I still hadn’t been to. I should probably have broken the list down into subcategories or a more logical order, but it is what it is. And some of them are more takeaways/cafes than restaurants, but I’m not being too picky.
  2. Only a small number of places have closed down. In fact, only one place has definitely closed down, and there’s another few that may have closed down but could potentially just still be dormant. There’s even been a new sushi takeaway open since lockdown so maybe things haven’t been as bad as they could have been (here at least anyway).
  3. There’s a few places I didn’t previously include in my list because I thought they were more “cafes” than “restaurants”. However, a lot of them have now re-stylised themselves as more “cafe/bars” and are open later in the evening for food and drink. There’s still a few pure “cafes” in the area which I’ve not included as I’m only listing places which open in the evening.
  4. I’ve also added a few extra pubs to my list. My original list only included places that served food, but I missed off a couple of pubs that did food that I hadn’t realised. I’ve just included all pubs now, even if they only do drinks.
  5. A lot of places have been refurbished. Mainly the cafes that have shifted into the cafe/bar niche, but also some of the takeaways and the restaurants too. Whether they intended to do this anyway, or whether they just took advantage of reduced customers numbers during lockdown to do it, I don’t know.
Have I been there? (April 2020)Have I been there since lockdown?Status?
The Chinese (the only Chinese now since the other one closed)YesYesOpen
The dodgy IndianYes (but not since the new management)Yes. It’s fine with new management, but it’ll still be the “dodgy Indian”Open
The classic Indian (it doesn’t look like it’s been refurbished since the 90s)YesYesOpen
The posh Indian (used to be across the road but is now where the posh Chinese was)YesYesOpen
The expensive fish and chip shopYesYesOpen
The fish and chip shop restaurantYesYesOpen
The station kebab shopYesYes. This one has now also been refurbished, but they still do a proper kebabOpen
The posh kebab shop (formerly the normal kebab shop)Yes (but not since it was refurbished)Yes (you can read about it here)Open. Not previously an eat-in place, but now has a few posh tables.
The fried chicken takeawayYesNot since lockdownOpen
The Mediterranean restaurantYesYes, and it was strangely emptyOpen
The Thai restaurantNoYes, and this has turned in to one of my favourite surprise restaurants (takeaway anyway)Open
The noodle barNoYes. They even delivered despite me only living two minutes walk awayOpen
The Indian at the other end of the high streetNoNot since lockdown, but I think I may have actually been there beforeOpen
The restaurant around the corner that possibly specialises in burgers NoYes. It wasn’t bad but they were surprised when I walked in, rather than ordering via an online delivery serviceOpen but at the moment still only for takeaway/delivery (or it was yesterday when I walked past).
The steak restaurantNoYes. Although somehow I felt like I wasn’t their target clientele when I just walked in for a takeaway mealOpen
The Italian place on the hillNoYesOpen
The pizza place up the hillNoYes, twice. The pasta was good, but the pizza had an incredibly soggy bottomOpen
The other Italian place on the hillYesNoOpen
The greek place on the hill [Missed this one off the list first time.]YesNoOpen
The Italian chain restaurantYesNoIt didn’t open during lockdown and has now closed for good. The one place that has definitely closed
The Italian chain restaurantYesNoOpen
The Italian chain restaurantNoNoOpen
The spicy chicken restaurantYesNoOpen
The large pub on the cornerYesNoOpen
The old heritage pubYesNoOpen
The tiny pub near the large pub on the corner [I didn’t include this one first time as it doesn’t serve food. But that’s no longer a requirement of lockdown rules so it is now fully reopened]NoNoOpen
The old pub behind the high street [I didn’t include this one first time as I thought it didn’t serve food. It was much bigger than I expected, including a large garden at the back.]NoYes (for drinks)Open
The cheap chain pubYesNoThis was closed for most of lockdown (even before Christmas and when outdoors has been allowed). I’m not sure if it’s reopened yet as I forgot to look when I walked past, but I can’t imagine it’ll be closed for long
The pub at the far end of the high streetNoNoOpen. I don’t think it does food, but I’ve never been here
The Mediterranean restaurant that also likes to think it’s a bar/night clubYesI went for drinks here with a friend when that was allowed last yearOpen
The hipster place on the corner YesNoAfter being closed for all of lockdown and not reopening for outside only, I thought this place might have closed for good. But it did belatedly reopen last week for outside and I’m sure inside will be open too now.
The Spanish tapas place (I thought it was more of a cafe, but it is open until late evening)NoYes. This is on my list of places worth trying again.Open
The place up the steps that used to be a police stationNoNoOpen
The Italian chain restaurant round the cornerNoNo. I had a look at the menu, but I just wasn’t interested in itOpen
The restaurant that I can’t remember next to the Italian chain restaurant round the cornerNoNoI think this one might have shut down permanently, there’s no signs it may reopen but it could surprise.
The place that used to be the French restaurantNoNoFully reopened, but it still feels like somewhere I don’t want to go.
The American dinerNoYesThere’s a notice on the door that it won’t be opening for Christmas/New Year. I fear it may not be reopening at all (but again, I could be surprised)
The chain bar that does for 2-for-1 cocktails at all timesNoNoOpen
The Irish pub opposite the stationNoNoOpen
The other Irish pub opposite the stationNoNoThe shutters are still down so it might have closed down
The burger place upstairs from the night clubNoNoI think this has probably shut down for good. The night club downstairs has been refurbished/rebranded and I’m expecting the upstairs place to be too
The seafood place on the wrong side of the tracksNoNoI’ve never been able to work out whether it was open for takeaway during lockdown. It looks like it’s open again now, but it has absolutely no signs outside so I have no idea
The dessert placeNoNoOpen as normal
The dessert place across the road from the dessert placeNoNoOpen as normal
The vegetarian placeNoYesI hadn’t realised this place opened late in the evening (I think they did it before lockdown). I think they do some chicken dishes too, so not purely vegetarian. The vegan burger was alright, would eat again.
The place that used to be the cheap cafeYes, but when it was still the cheap cafeNoThis used to be a cheap cafe, but they refurbished and now open late into the evening too.
The deli cafe NoYes, I grabbed a coffee here when I met up with a friendThis is another one that’s also extended it’s opening hours into the evening since lockdown
The “pick your own sandwich” chainNoNoWouldn’t have been on the list before, but had a brief renovation and is also open late so needs to be added