Ipswich pub creates heated pods to accommodate rise in outdoor dining
- Credit: THE GREYHOUND
An Ipswich pub has extended its offering with new heated pods following a move to outside dining during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Greyhound pub, in Henley Road, will launch the five outdoor dining pods on Wednesday, when the national lockdown comes to an end - complete with cushions, lighting and cover to keep customers warm and dry in the winter months.
Dan Lightfoot, landlord of the popular pub, said that being put under Tier 2 restrictions is the “perfect timing” to launch his new outside space, allowing people from different households to continue to socialise.
Over the summer, his team shut the pub’s car park and transformed it into an outdoor eating and drinking environment, due to the restrictions in place on socialising with other households indoors.
“More and more people are wanting to eat outside now,” said Mr Lightfoot. “Hopefully we won’t be in Tier 2 for much longer, but while we are this is a great way to use the outdoor space, and the pods can be used all year round.”
Mr Lightfoot has installed five of the wooden pods into the pub’s outdoor space, with the help of an up and coming Ipswich company called Willoughby Green who create beautiful outdoor living, working and social spaces.
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“It’s all about adapting as we go,” said Mr Lightfoot, who sold 500 takeaway pints a weekend during the first lockdown. “This is our busiest time of the year and we are already completely booked up for weekends until Christmas.
“There is some availability on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but the response to the pods has been crazy. We need to employ a secretary at this rate just to sort out the pod bookings!”
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The pub is one of many in the hospitality industry to provide an alternative outside dining space as a result of the pandemic.
In Nayland, The Anchor Inn launched its own dining pods and an ‘indoor garden’ along the River Stour to help increase its capacity.
If you fancy having a meal in one of The Greyhound’s new pods, visit the All About Ipswich Instagram page, which is running a competition to win Sunday breakfast for four people with prosecco. The prize is worth £65.