As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, businesses in Sutton Harbour are making a comeback. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Tuesday 23rd June, our favourite restaurants, pubs and cafés are preparing to reopen their doors to customers from Saturday 4th July, just in time for the summer season.
Many eateries along the harbour have manged to continue operating to a degree during lockdown by offering takeaways, collections and deliveries. More information on which businesses are open, their business hours and how you can enjoy Sutton Harbour safely can be found here.
We spoke to some of the businesses in Sutton Harbour who have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure they can safely reopen to customers.
The famous Cap’n Jaspers is one of Plymouth’s most loved eateries and has been open since the beginning of June with social distancing measures in place. The popular alfresco café and takeaway has fenced off its seating area, opened the end shutters and put up screens to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
Cap’n Jaspers has been part of the harbour since the late 1970s. Cap’n John Dudley built the original hut in 1978 to help raise money for charity as The Barbican Regatta, and it grew in popularity. After a re-build and a little relocation, the eatery that we know and love today added the outside eating area in the late 1990s for customers to enjoy their food with a spectacular view of the Harbour.
Owner and daughter of Cap’n John, Georgina Curtain said they will be making some changes to their seating area.
“We are looking at different options for our seating such as a gazebo and putting partitions between the tables to act as booths but still providing customers with the lovely view of the marina and harbour.”
She said there has been a really positive reaction from customers since they’ve reopened: “I think people are pleased to have a sense of normality back in their lives which I think is important for all of us as we’ve been put in a surreal situation. Everyone seems to be happy to see businesses opening again, even with social distancing measures in place.”
The Good Times Bar and Kitchen is new to Sutton Harbour and celebrated its opening night on Valentine’s Day, five weeks before lockdown.
Co-owner Craig White, welcomes the news that restaurants can reopen from early July and believes people are ready to get back into restaurants and pubs as long as there’s social distancing measures and regular cleaning in place.
Craig owns the restaurant with his business partner Darren Totscott, and they have been running Sunday roasts takeaways with the help of their partners Karen and Jodie and a selection of volunteers, while their staff are on furlough.
“We had a great response from our takeaway roasts with up to 150 orders every week and had a lot of repeat customers, I think as there’s a lot of elderly and single people so it’s helped them.”
The restaurant has started to open its front windows offering takeaway food and drink including ice creams, pasties, hotdogs, salad boxes, vegan boxes, gin and beer. It plans to fully reopen to the public from July 5, offering a reduced menu and changing its opening times to 10am-10pm.
Craig said: “We are trying to support other small businesses by buying our produce locally, rather than going to larger wholesalers, so that they can also keep their business ticking over during this time.
“We expect custom will be low to start with. Reducing the menu and opening times will help us to reduce food waste and we are hoping to get back to normal as the weeks go on.”
Popular wine lounge, HonkyTonk Wine Library, has gone digital during lockdown. When they had to close and couldn’t offer their customers their extensive menu of wines and delicious deli foods, HonkyTonk decided to start doing deliveries.
Co-owner Zoe Brodie said: “We have a very basic link online and are in the process of getting a new online shop built for our website to make it much easier for people to browse our offering. We are aiming for this to go live mid-July.”
Zoe owns HonkyTonk Wine Library with her partner Fitz and will soon be celebrating two years since they opened in Sutton Harbour.
“A lot of our customers are itching to get back because one of the things we are well known for is our sharing platter and unfortunately this is not something that we have been able to provide during lockdown.”
HonkyTonk are expanding their shop before they reopen, creating a lounge area called the Garden Room and are also working on a new menu. They expect to be fully open again the week commencing 13 July.
Zoe added: “We are really looking forward to open our doors again and with all the add-ons and alterations we will be bigger and better.”
To keep up to date with the goings on along the harbour check out our blog on enjoying Sutton Harbour safely during Covid-19, which is updated weekly, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.