The team at The Maltings Complex in Stowmarket have come up with several novel ways to counter the impact of lockdown and the ongoing challenges faced by the leisure and entertainment sector.
In what is undoubtedly a challenging time for the sector, as it is for so many others, Robert Perry, who purchased the formed Malting’s Entertainment Complex in 2014 and reopened as The Mill Bar & Grill and Carbon Nightclub in the same year, first stepped up to meet the demand for takeaway meals.
“At the beginning of lockdown, I seemed to do little more than check the building to make sure it was secure, but when we realised all the takeways in Stowmarket had closed, Christopher Collins from Suffolk Event Catering and I decided to step in and Portman Takeaways was launched. With a staff of six in the kitchen, four taking orders on the phone and up to four drivers, we quickly established a loyal following with overwhelmingly positive feedback.”
In fact the new service has been so successful, Robert and Christopher decided to carry it on and have refurbished a Grade 2 listed building (formerly called T Bar) to launch Portman Malthouse Lounge & Takeaways within the Maltings complex on Station Road. Business continues to grow and feedback continues to exceptional.
“The doors to Portman Malthouse opened on July 24, serving lunch and dinner with a street food theme and the option to eat in or takeaway. We open Wednesday to Monday from noon. The menu is popular with all ages and has attracted lots of new customers too. We pride ourselves on locally sourced ingredients cooked to an extremely high standard.”
To order call 01449 675571 or go to www.portmanfoodanddrink.com to view the menu and book a table.
Keen to provide a safe and pleasant space for diners to eat out as lockdown eased, Peter came up with yet another clever solution. He installed several glasshouses so customers of The Mill Bar & Grill could meet on slightly chillier evenings to enjoy an extensive à la carte menu, a rather unique take on eating out!
Peter has also added a large outdoor terrace to provide more outside seating and, as if that wasn’t enough, he hosted a Cider and German Sausage Festival over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.
Now Peter is preparing for Stowmarket’s first Oktober Festival which starts on Friday 2 October.
“The success of the Cider & Sausage Festival gave us the confidence to launch the Stowmarket Oktoberfest, which is sponsored by the well-known Bavarian beer, BITBURGER. People clearly want to go out and are keen to meet up with friends and enjoy being with others. Because we have plenty of space, we can easily adhere to the social distancing guidelines and we’re providing sanitising stations and have a Track and Trace system in place.”
Peter is more determined than ever to provide a safe, welcoming, stylist and fun venue which local residents enjoy visiting regularly and which attracts others from further afield to enjoy wonderful food and many of the special events he and his team come up with. Watch this space!
“Those who visit for the first time often tell us what a wonderful space this is and are amazing they haven’t been before. It is a great building and I’m very proud of what we offer and of the building itself, which has been a popular venue for many years and will be for many more to come.”
Carbon Nightclub is closed until it’s safe to reopen.