'Expect changes' as Harrogate cafes and restaurants reopen today for first time in months

Diners and coffee drinkers are being advised that it will mainly be a case of advance booking and strict safety measures in place today as cafes and restaurants open their doors for 'Super Saturday.'

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 5:26 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd July 2020, 5:30 pm
"It's going to be great seeing all your familiar faces once again today" - The West Park Hotel in Harrogate which is reopening. (Picture Gerard Binks)

Despite the Government's decision to reduce the 2m rule to 1m+ for social distancing, capacity will be reduced drastically in most places in Harrogate's hospitality sector which has been under lockdown for Covid-19 for more than three months, except for takeaways.

Among the cafes and restaurants which got in touch with the Harrogate Advertiser to say they were opening today, the West Park Hotel said the safety of customers was paramount.

The message from the hotel, which includes a popular bar-restaurant today is simple: "we missed you - we're here to keep you safe"

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The West Park said: "It's going to be great seeing all your familiar faces once again today.

"But there will be a few changes to our normal service. For ease of use, we have simplified our menus and have created a reassurance brochure for you to look at before you come see us."

But how and when cafes and restaurants in Harrogate town centre choose to reopen varies wildly.

Popular indie cafe and coffee house Hoxton North on Royal Parade near the Crown Hotel actually reopened earlier in the week.

It is hoping 'Super Saturday' will attract the sort of footfall which has failed to materialise yet since people started to return to the town centre in a cautious fashion after the Government gave the green light for 'non-essential' shops to reopen on June 15.

William & Vics, one of Harrogate’s most popular and highly respected restaurants, is living up its reputation by introducing a highly detailed list of protective measures for its reopening today on Cold Bath Road

Jo and David Straker at William & Vic say they are “excited to open our doors and welcome everyone back with a a friendly welcome, excellent service and the same great food and wine.”

But, they add, “some adjustments have been made to ensure safety and comfort during your visit and make sure we are Covid-19 secure.”

Another of the restaurants reopening in Harrogate on Saturday is Fisk, the highly-regarded seafood and champagne restaurant run by head chef Kanyana Williams at its swish location in Montpellier Mews.

It is taking advance bookings and has a plethora of safety measures in place for diners.

Even so, to achieve this, it says, it has had to to reduce capacity by 30%.

Marconi cafe and Sasso restaurant, which are both located in Princes Square, are reopening today but with advance booking.

Baltzersen’s Coffee Shop on Oxford Street in Harrogate has decided to delay reopening until next Monday, July 6 and to make it by reservation only.

Its director Paul Rawlinson says the Scandi-inspired cafe will have to drop the internal capacity from 44 to 24 with four to six seats outside.

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