A RESTAURANT manager says the phone has been ringing off the hook as diners look forward to its reopening after the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Bookings at The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill in Durham are already at 80 per cent capacity for next week.

Having endured one of the toughest 12 months of trading on record, the venue  is making the final preparations before it throws open its doors to guests as the latest Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The restaurant, which is located at Old Shire Hall, will welcome guests to enjoy indoor dining for the first time in over four months on Monday, May 17.

Tom Orange, general manager, said: “The phone has been ringing off the hook while online-based reservations have also been coming in thick and fast and the mood is certainly one of celebration.

"A lot of people have missed out on events such as birthdays, anniversaries and engagements so we’re looking forward to making sure guests make up for lost time.

“We’re already at about 80 per cent capacity for the first week of opening and shows the pent-up demand in the area.

“Based on enquiries so far, it looks like steak is going to be in the box seat when it comes to favourite mains and it seems guests will be out to enjoy themselves to the full with plenty of questions coming in regarding starters and desserts.

“Of course, we’ll still be operating the required social distancing measures, but the feeling is guests now regard this as being the norm.

“I truly believe there is a healthy appetite to dine out and we now want customers from across the region to come and enjoy a relaxing meal out and can’t wait to welcome them back.”

To reserve a table visit mpwrestaurants.co.uk