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‘We can no longer ask you to come’: Owners of Farmyard restaurant’s sad closure over coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 12:35 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:35 18 March 2020

Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham, at the Farmyard restaurant. Pic: Archant

Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham, at the Farmyard restaurant. Pic: Archant

The owners of Norwich’s Farmyard restaurant issued an emotional response to customers after deciding to close because of coronavirus.

The restaurant is yet another to shut down until further notice after the government’s advice. Others, like Norwich diner Zaks, only recently taken over by local businessmen Ian Hacon and Chris Carr, are staying open but with various measures stepped up.

Hannah Springham and Andrew Jones, of Farmyard, issued an emotionally charged statement to customers, saying: “We’re nothing without you. But for now, we no longer feel we can ask you to come. We feel we personally have no choice other than to close our doors for a little while.

“This we hope, will give us a fighting chance of being able to pay our wonderful suppliers and irreplaceable team and be in a solid position to reopen, when the time comes, in all our glory. We’re absolutely devastated to be writing this. It’s hard to put into words how it feels.”

MORE: More shops close in Chapelfield as a result of coronavirus

Ian Hacon and Chris Carr on the day they announced they were taking over Zaks. Pic: ArchantIan Hacon and Chris Carr on the day they announced they were taking over Zaks. Pic: Archant

Other restaurants closing included Warwick Street Social, in the Golden Triangle, the Wildebeest, in Stoke Holy Cross, and the Ingham Swan, which are all owned by G&D Ventures and run by Greg Adjemian and Dan Smith.

They issued a statement saying: “The decision to close is necessary for the health and safety of our staff, customers and wider community. We are mindful of the impact of this extraordinary crisis on our guests, staff and suppliers and when the time is right, we will investigate how we might re-purpose our venture in the short term to support the local community as needed.”

The decision comes just a year after the Ingham Swan reopened following a devastating fire.

Meanwhile at Zaks, Mr Hacon and Mr Carr took to social media in a video advising customers they were “going above and beyond” in ramping up safety measures.

Greg Adjemian and Dan Smith. Pic: ArchantGreg Adjemian and Dan Smith. Pic: Archant

Mr Hacon said: “Together we face an unprecedented challenge, social isolation has become a key part of the government strategy to beat this horrible virus. Our priorities remain with you, our teams and our neighbourhoods.”

Mr Carr said: “We are not going to say don’t come to see us but you need to make your own minds up. We are committed to keeping our doors open as long as we can safely do so.”

But they added they were looking at introducing a delivery service and are currently offering a new takeaway service. If people don’t want to come into the restaurant to pick it up, it can be delivered to your car in the car park, they said.

But the coronavirus has meant they are delaying introducing their new menu.

Farmyard, St Benedicts. Pic: ArchantFarmyard, St Benedicts. Pic: Archant

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