Family-run restaurant overjoyed to reopen – and host NHS only nights

PUBLISHED: 17:30 23 June 2020

Tina and James Leamon said they are overjoyed to reopen The Grill at Twenty5 next month  Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Tina and James Leamon said they are overjoyed to reopen The Grill at Twenty5 next month Picture: DAVID VINCENT


A mother and son behind a popular Ipswich restaurant said they are overjoyed to reopen next month as lockdown continues to ease.

Tina Leamon, who runs The Grill at Twenty5 with son and head chef James, said the team “cannot wait” to see their customers again after the government announced restaurants can reopen from July 4.

MORE: Lockdown – what is changing from July 4?

The family-run restaurant, which was taken over by the Leamons in 2019, will reopen July 4 solely to provide free meals for NHS staff and their families who were nominated via social media. It will also hold two further nights before reopening to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from July 10.

Mrs Leamon, who formerly worked for the NHS and has cooked more than 300 meals for hospital staff, said: “We have been watching the press conferences every night, and today we have been sat watching parliament and are so excited to hear the news.

“Obviously we wanted to hear the news, but the main thing is that people are safe – if we had needed to we would have stayed closed for longer – but the feeling is just fantastic.

“We had said we would not have been able to open if the rules hadn’t have been lowered from 2m, we’re not a big restaurant and we need to keep people safe.”

MORE: Pub group toasts news of reopening

Mrs Leamon added new measures have been implemented to ensure social distancing is adhered to, including increasing the distance between tables and utilising its courtyard during the good weather.

Staff will also wear gloves when serving food – which will be changed after each customer – while they will also wear plastic visors and disinfect furniture once customers leave.

Mrs Leamon added: “It has been a really difficult time for us, in the weeks before lockdown people were cancelling reservations because they were worried, and understandably so.

“But the furlough scheme has been amazing for us. And ever since Boris made the announcement my phone has been going off non-stop with staff who are so excited to get back.

“There has been talk of places putting prices up to cover losses during lockdown, but with how people have been struggling during this time we don’t think it fair to stop people enjoying a meal with their loved ones.

“The NHS has also done such a fantastic job and we want to say thank you.”

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