Dining pods the latest foodie trend as restaurants reopen after lockdown
PUBLISHED: 15:20 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:21 25 June 2020
Ian Burt Photography
A restaurant will be rushed off its feet when it reopens after lockdown as customers flock to its new outdoor dining pods.
Chef patron Joshua Green has spent £12,000 installing the structures at The Barn Restaurant at Terrington St John, near King’s Lynn. He said the investment was already paying off.
“Weekends, we’re booked up until the end of August and on Wednesday nights there are only three pods left for the whole of July,” he said.
“In London and America they have them on roof top bars. I saw them on The Embankment in London at Christmas.
“If people are worried about coming out again, they’re in their own little bubble.”
Mr Green, who has run The Barn for three years, has installed four six-seater pods and one two-seater in what was part of his car park, off School Road.
He said the new eating space would help make up for losing half the seats in his 96-cover restaurant to maintain 2m social distancing, despite Boris Johnson’s announcement this would be reduced to a metre, with lockdown easing as the coronavirus pandemic stalls.
“We’re going to stick to 2m in the restaurant,” he said. “I feel he’s been pressured into going down to a metre.”
Mr Green plans to keep the pods in place after Covid-19 is no longer in circulation.
“It’s a unique dining experience,” he said. “I think it will be around for a long time, not just for Covid-19.
“It’s bringing something new to Norfolk. They’re rain-proof, snow-proof, wind-proof up to 60mph, they’re heated and they’ve got all the lights. You’ve got to think on your feet and do something different.”
Many in the hospitality industry feared for the future after three months when restaurants could only operate as takeaways. For many so-called Super Saturday, July 4, can’t come soon enough.
“I had enough money to last another two or three months, then I would have had to close the doors,” said Mr Green.