West End favourite Eusebi Deli is back in business after three months in lockdown.
The boards came off the windows of the Park Road restaurant and deli on Thursday morning.
Owner Giovanna Eusebi said it was like starting a new business.
There will be no sit-in customers and no outside seating for some time yet.
But a new website has been launched for collections and deliveries.
From next week, the deli will open to customers for takeaway – with social-distancing rules applying.
Giovanna said: “It’s almost like opening a new business again.
“We have been training our staff via Zoom.
“It’s going to look a bit different for our customers and our staff.
“But we are not going to lose any of that humanity in our hospitality.
“You are still going to get that food hug.
“But you’re just going to get it a different way now – by our online business where you can shop for all your favourites.
“Or from Wednesday our deli counter will be opened and we are back in production, producing our pastas, our sourdough.
“Our bakery has opened again. It feels so good.”
The business, like so many others, has not been trading but the team has been busy creating a new model.
Giovanna and general manager Michael Prior have taken time to create a new online shop.
The chefs and restaurant team have also been working out new safe procedures and practices.
The only hope is that the science will allow the two-metre rule to be relaxed in the coming weeks.
If it continues, Giovanna fears it will have a devastating impact on the hospitality trade.
“It’s been an incredibly challenging time.
“I think the most challenging thing at the moment is the two-metre rule.
“We are hoping that come July at least some outdoor seating will be available.
“It the two-metre rule continues it’s going to be devastating for hospitality come August when they allow restaurants to hopefully reopen.
“It will mean that capacity will fall to 50% – and I don’t have to tell anyone what that adds up to in economic terms.
“A half-full restaurant is half the money coming in – is half the staff that you need.
“And that’s completely heartbreaking.”
* The new online site can be found here.