Ottoman Kitchen restaurant in Southampton has said it will reopen on July 4. The government has not announced clear advice for restaurants and hospitality despite the falling level of the coronavirus crisis, which today was dropped to level 3 from level 4 by the chief medical officers in the UK.
Niyazi Kaya, owner of Ottoman Kitchen turkish restaurant located on the high street in Bargate, is confident in his stance and warned that many restaurants and pubs will close unless the government acts fast.
In a statement, he said: “We’ll be opening on Saturday, July 4, despite the complete lack of clarity and direction given to the hospitality industry by Boris Johnson and his government.”
“Despite the numbers falling dramatically and threat level there has been no road map for reopening. So we plan on reopening when its speculated the government is going to announce we can reopen. The government seems to do everything very last minute which makes it very hard for us. We need to plan.“
New safety measures and protocols have been introduced at the venue including the introduction of two outdoor eating areas, reduced capacity inside and a one-way system through the premises. Hand sanitising stations are also in place.
“We are very lucky to have a very large restaurant with two outdoor seating areas. We will be one of the safest places for people to go, much safer than indoor supermarkets and clothes shops. We have taken expert advice and done everything we possibly can to make sure that when we do reopen, the health and safety of our customers is the best”
Mr Kaya is also calling on Boris Johnson to reduce the 2m social distancing guidelines.
“For smaller restaurants and cafes this could be the difference between staying open and permanently closing. We are amongst the few countries in the world using the 2 metre distance“
“I’m sure that most people in Southampton understand that re-opening takes planning and our staff cannot just be called in on a few days notice as many have families to support also. This is why we have taken the decision to announce our reopening unless we hear otherwise from the government.”
Bookings are now being taken online for Ottoman Kitchen restaurant from July 4th onwards.