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‘We’ll give you a freshers week’: Bar’s survival bid as curfew confirmed

PUBLISHED: 15:25 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:25 22 September 2020

Truth in the ground floor of Mantra has vowed to give Norwich students a freshers week. Picture: Truth/Mantra

Truth in the ground floor of Mantra has vowed to give Norwich students a freshers week. Picture: Truth/Mantra

Truth/Mantra

Bars and pubs across the country have been cuffed with a 10pm curfew – but a business in Norwich has vowed to give the student population a pandemic-safe freshers week.

Inside Truth, the new bar in Norwich's Prince of Wales Road. Picture: Chris HarveyInside Truth, the new bar in Norwich's Prince of Wales Road. Picture: Chris Harvey

The prime minister announced today that hospitality businesses including bars, pubs and restaurants will need to have closed their doors by 10pm.

The announcement was made in relation to a spike in positive coronavirus cases, the largest being seen in the 20 to 29 age bracket.

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Glen Sarabi is the manager of Truth, Mantra and Fetch, in Prince of Wales Road, as well as Bond, in Tombland, and said that business had to adapt to the new normal.

“This is our bid for survival,” he said. “Many businesses will look at this announcement and crumble but we have invested too much time and effort into our business not to try. Our customers have also invested so much in us that we refuse to let them down.

“We will be doing what we can to give students a freshers week in a coronavirus-secure way. It’s a rite of passage. The student population has always been hugely supportive of us so we will bend over backwards to try and give them some sort of freshers experience.

“We’re looking at launching a happy hour and other student offerings as well as takeaway food and drink.”

The team have also changed their opening hours, with Fetch and Truth now opening from 5pm until 10pm, and Bond opening from 2pm until 10pm given its different client base.

Truth has only opened in recent months after the bar – which was previously the ground floor of Mantra – had a revamp.

Management spread out the tables for social distancing as well as putting in outdoor drinking pods complete with phone charging stations.

“We obviously want to keep our staff and customers as safe as possible and we will continue to do that, but we cannot take this lying down. We need to adapt to the normal – particularly if it’s going to last as long as six months,” he added.


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