THE HEAD chef at a town centre bistro said he would be better off financially if he was told to close his cafe by the Government.
Graeme Brown, head chef at Churchill’s Bar and Bistro, All Saint’s Square, said he thought his business would survive — but was expecting the coming months to be worse than the 2008 financial crash.
“I have never seen anything like this — never,” he said.
“This is worse than the recession — a lot worse.
Mr Brown said he had seen a drop in footfall in the last two weeks since Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first press conference on Covid-19.
“It’s dropped off — but we’re trying to do meals on wheels for the elderly,” he said.
“We are trying everything to stay open and keep our regular customers well-fed.
“I think we can survive if we had to close.”
The Government has advised everyone to avoid social gatherings and venues such as pubs and clubs to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Brown said he hoped to be able to get a loan from the Government if he was forced to close.
“We can’t close until the Government tells us to close,” he said.
“It would be better financially for us if they just said close — we would prefer to close now.
“But we will stay open until we have to close.”
“Until someone tells us we have got to close we are going to stay positive.
“It’s funny that it’s the older generation that are still coming out — they’re not scared.”
Mr Brown, who has worked at Churchill’s for 12 years, said he was concerned about the welfare of his regular customers.
“We have a lot of older generation here and they are telling over-70s no to go out from next week,” he said.
“They come in here to have a natter with other people who are around.
“If this place closes they will have nothing and they are sitting in their houses waiting.
“That’s not nice to think about at all.”