The owners of a much-loved Liverpool restaurant have spoken out about the current lockdown restrictions and said “the worry and anxiety for ourselves, staff and suppliers is hard to capture”.
In an emotional letter Peter and Elaine Kinsella, the owners of Catalonian bar and deli Lunya, said the jobs of nearly 70 people are at stake ahead of the Government’s announcements.
So far, all restaurants, pubs and bars across the country have been told to close their doors at 10pm. More locally, in the Liverpool City Region, restrictions are stricter as two households are not allowed to meet indoors.
It is expected Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce further restrictions tomorrow for Merseyside, with worries stricter rules could be put in place for hospitality venues.
Peter and Elaine said: “In all our 30 years of running a business, we have never known a week like this one.
“We have had a week of constantly changing government information about what we can and can’t do, when we can be open and when we can’t.
“All of it gleaned from trying to read every newspaper, listen to every news channel and watch every TV news channel. It feels like the government is deliberately trying to confuse all of us.
“This is not a political statement, don’t worry, but you must be wondering what is going in. We are very upset at the way we and the rest of the industry is being treated.
“Last Monday, it was getting leaked we would be closed on Friday. On Wednesday, it was leaked we would be closed on Monday. This weekend, the government ore leaking that we may be closed on Wednesday, but pubs certainly will. The worry and anxiety for ourselves, staff and suppliers is hard to capture.
“By last Wednesday, we had one table of 2 booked in yesterday (Saturday); however, by the end of the day, we welcomed in over 300 guests. Imagine trying to plan on that basis. Even now, we don’t know if we should be ordering anything today for the week ahead! But rest assured we are still open and as safe and hygienic as possible.”
They added: “The jobs of nearly 70 people are at stake for us, and we care about every single member of staff and feel tremendous responsibility as an employer.
“This state of limbo we are in now as a result of the current rules means that each day, we are making catastrophic losses (we are not alone, every other restaurant is).
Keep up to date with coronavirus news in your area by adding your postcode below:
“We feel in many ways that the whole industry would be better off with a temporary closure for a few weeks (with good, targeted government financial support), to enable infection rates to come down and have a clear run to Christmas from November. Who knows what is ahead? whatever happens, we will be ready.
“But, our spirits are good. we have never felt so loved and supported. We love serving great food and drink to those who are able to join us, or deliver it to your homes, or provide packages for your work.
“We cannot thank you for the lovely messages of support we receive and all of the business which comes our way. This is the only reason that we are still here. Thank you so much, x”
During the last lockdown, Lunya’s deli remained open – much to the delight of supporters and customers.
The business said if they are told to close again, it will be the restaurant that is shut.
The deli, with their full range available, will remain open, they added.
Their online shop will still be doing deliveries and take-away coffees, pints and sangria will also remain available.
If permitted, the venue said it will also keep its terrace open for coffees and snacks.
Local leaders have been locked in discussions with government this weekend regarding new restrictions for the entire virus-hit region which will be announced by the Prime Minister tomorrow.
It is expected Mr Johnson will reveal more details about local lockdown measures in a speech.