Our local businesses are working hard to keep open and keep customers safe, keeping essential services going during the coronavirus pandemic; they undertake many roles, and we're celebrating this collective show of unity via #YorkKind.
Rebecca's story, Galtres Lodge
My fiancé Chris and I took over Galtres Lodge, a small hotel with a restaurant on Low Petergate, as a project in October 2018.
We refurbished the bedrooms, parts of the restaurant, and changed the menus to serve home-made British classics using fresh local produce. These improvements received great feedback from guests. Business was looking great and 2020 was supposed to be our year to shine! However, everything stopped in March.
We used the closure as an opportunity to tackle some of the refurbishment that was difficult to complete when we were open, such staircases and corridors, and the main part of the restaurant. We have re-branded the restaurant FOREST, after our name which comes from the ancient royal forest of Galtres.
During lockdown we started doing takeaway meals, served out of a restaurant window directly on to Low Petergate. This is quite a funny concept, but worked really well. It generated some excellent goodwill amongst locals who appreciated us adapting, and wanted to see independent businesses survive.
We're very excited to be open again. We've prepared the building and trained our staff. For the most part, we can take care of almost all our COVID-Safe measures, leaving guests to enjoy their visit. All that we ask of our guests is that tables are booked in advance, and that you remain seated for as much of your meal as possible, leaving us to serve everything to your table.
Things might take a little more time, with the extra safety measures, but that just gives guests more time to relax and enjoy the experience!
Having worked so hard throughout lockdown, it's really made us realise that you have to find every bit of joy that you can. Simple things like taking walks with the dog, or short bike rides have been great to keep us motivated to keep working. We also have a classic mini which is great fun for a quick drive out in!