Restaurant to move 1.6 miles from Tier 4 to Tier 2 to save Christmas

Ten metres separates restaurateur John McGinn from Tier 2 and Tier 4 but that is about to change - at least temporarily

Ten metres separates restaurateur John McGinn from Tier 2 and Tier 4 and the prospect of cancelling 300 Christmas meals already booked. But Mr McGinn has found a solution - for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Restaurateur John McGinn is moving his Christmas operation less than two miles to a social club to avoid the Tier 4 lockdown. 

Mr McGinn says he has sought both local council and police advice to confirm he is within the law to move local stock and barrel five minutes down the road and into Whittlesey. 

He will vacate the Dog in a Doublet on the outskirts of the town – which is in Tier 4 – to the relative safety of the Tier 2 designated Ivy Leaf Club in Whittlesey. 

Mr McGinn found himself trapped in a Covid quandary when he found the latest restrictions put the Dog in a Doublet 10 metres inside the Tier 4 lockdown for Peterborough.  

"With the help of some amazing friends, we will be serving a restaurant Christmas Day lunch and a very special Boxing Day service,” he said.  


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“Our complete Smoke and Embers restaurant will relocate to an incredible building and kitchen which is in a Tier 2 area so we will be open and giving our local community some real Christmas cheer.” 

Those who booked any of the 300 plus Christmas meals he had expected to serve at the Dog in a Doublet have been contacted and deposits are being refunded.  

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Now he is hoping new customers will come along – but only from Tier 2 – to make his Ivy Leaf venture a success.  

He said he had reduced his prices for the Ivy Leaf and promised that “special arrangements will be on offer for seniors/OAP's who would love a hot Christmas dinner”. 

He insisted it was “definitely not about making money” and more about not letting down many who would like to go out for a Christmas Day or Boxing Day meal. 

Guests arriving at the Ivy Leaf will have their temperatures checked and also asked to provide proof they are within a Tier 2 area.  

He said his business had been “given a lifeline to carry on” and at the club in Whittlesey where he normally would operate his outside catering van.  

“We hope people will take advantage to have a bit of normality this Christmas with us,” he said.

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