Eating out post-lockdown: What life has been like for this Bolton restaurant owner since re-opening

PUBLISHED: 17:26 29 July 2020

'We wanted to create a place people can eat at any night of the week, in beautiful surroundings, with great food and service.' Picture: Vanilla Pod Studios

'We wanted to create a place people can eat at any night of the week, in beautiful surroundings, with great food and service.' Picture: Vanilla Pod Studios

Archant

Tom Taylor, owner of The Cherry Tree restaurant in Blackrod, reveals what running a restaurant is like post-lockdown and how they’re bringing city-eating to the town.

It is advisable to book a table before you arrive, though walk-ins are also welcome. Picture: Vanilla Pod StudiosIt is advisable to book a table before you arrive, though walk-ins are also welcome. Picture: Vanilla Pod Studios

Q: Has lockdown brought about any changes for the restaurant?

A: Before lockdown started, we closed the restaurant for a full refurbishment. We wanted to create a venue that resembled the restaurants of Manchester, but that people didn’t need to travel for.

We’ve kept the character and charm of the bar and transformed the dining room into a modern eatery with living wall features to brighten the room. The greenery of the walls and plants bring the whole dining area to life. Our garden room is light and airy, fitted with skylights and two blossoming cherry trees.

We’ve also redecorated the outside with decking, heaters, and AstroTurf to create an amazing alfresco experience.

Diners can eat, drink, relax and unwind in the beautiful outdoor area and garden room. Picture: Vanilla Pod StudiosDiners can eat, drink, relax and unwind in the beautiful outdoor area and garden room. Picture: Vanilla Pod Studios

The plan was to create a place people can eat at any night of the week, in beautiful surroundings, with great food and service, for an affordable price.

Q: What measures have you taken to ensure customer and staff safety when visiting?

A: The new extension has proven hugely beneficial. It’s given us the space to set up the restaurant to accommodate social distancing.

Enjoy a mix of classic and modern British food. Picture: Vanilla Pod StudiosEnjoy a mix of classic and modern British food. Picture: Vanilla Pod Studios

We’ve introduced stricter and more regular cleaning routines to ensure tables and touchpoints are safe for customers and staff. We’ve also installed partitions and screens between tables and have restricted capacity to help keep everyone safe.

Q: What kind of cuisine is on offer?

A: We offer a mix of classic and modern British food. We use fresh produce that’s prepared to a high standard by our professional kitchen team. If you want to try something new, I’d recommend our fusion Malaysian curry or our Thai-cured salmon.

We plan to build a gin and cocktail bar to give people a place where they can dine, relax, and unwind at the end of a long day.

Q: Will I need to book a table before arriving?

A: It’s advisable to book a table before you arrive, though we are also welcoming walk-ins. You can book a table for up to four people online via our website or call 01257 481234 to make a reservation for a larger table.

It’s great to see how many people are coming out, especially after everything, but I think a night out is exactly what people need to lift their spirits and help us all return to some kind of normal.

On our opening night, we had VIP guests in attendance. Peter Kay was a regular user of our takeaway service during lockdown.

The Cherry Tree won Bolton’s best restaurant 2019/2020.

Visit cherrytreeblackrod.com to make a reservation, call 01257 481234 or email info@cherrytreeblackrod.com.

The Cherry Tree is located on the A6, Chorley Road, Blackrod, Bolton, BL6 5LA.

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