Hartlepool businesses hope for bank holiday boom to help them bounce back after lockdown
Businesses by the seaside and on Hartlepool marina are banking on a busy holiday weekend – the first since lockdown restrictions were further eased.
Pubs, chippies and other hospitality businesses are hoping for a boost to takings over the three-day weekend as people begin to enjoy more freedom.
May Day on Monday will be the first public bank holiday since the Government allowed outdoor hospitality to begin again nearly three weeks ago.
Among Hartlepool businesses hoping for a busy time is JP’s Bar on Navigation Point on the marina which increased its outdoor seating for its re-opening earlier this month.
Owner John-Paul Maynard said: “The last two weekends have been really busy so if we get anything like that it will be good.
"The weather forecast doesn’t look too good but we’re still hoping for a busy weekend.”
He said the pandemic and lockdowns had been hard but added: “We managed to make it and are trying to do all we can safely and comfortably for people to try and claw a little bit back.”
Cath Hodgman, owner of Young’s fish and chip shop at Seaton Carew said she is keeping her fingers crossed for the weekend, but is not sure what to expect.
She said: “We have picked up a little bit and people are starting to venture out a bit more.
"We are taking a bit more but nothing like what we should be.
"I don’t know what to expect any more. It’s still new to us this pandemic.
"You have just got to be prepared and do your best.
"If we have a nice day you know you are going to be busy. But sometimes it can be raining and still be busy.”
Supreme Ice Cream, also on The Front at Seaton, has survived the pandemic and celebrates 46 years of serving up ices to visitors this year.
The business is run by owner Susan Baxter and her daughter manageress Zara Bowman.
Zara said: “With us being a takeaway we never really closed and opened again in January because a lot of people were coming down.
"We’ve noticed it has been busy with all the other shops and things being closed.”
The Met Office is forecasting a cool weekend and for Monday with sunny spells and some showers.