Birmingham news The big reason why Southside and Chinatown won't fully reopen on July 4 MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - Full list of all of the Southside and Chinatown businesses that are set to reopen on July 4 - but the biggest reason why three quarters of the total will remain closed could affect everyone for months

Birmingham news The big reason why Southside and Chinatown won't fully reopen on July 4 MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - Full list of all of the Southside and Chinatown businesses that are set to reopen on July 4 - but the biggest reason why three quarters of the total will remain closed could affect everyone for months

Birmingham news  The big reason why Southside and Chinatown won't fully reopen on July 4 MetiNews.Com
01 July 2020 - 04:48

Breaking News ! Businesses in Chinatown and Southside have been hit by a double whammy as the city prepares to reopen further on July 4 after more than three months of lockdown. BirminghamLive has learned that just a quarter of cafes, pubs and restaurants will be opening again this Saturday, the first day they are being allowed to do so under the latest government guidelines. The biggest reason why the rest of the city's legendary nightlife quarter is struggling to re-float is simply this - the nearby Birmingham Hippodrome and Alexandra Theatres have both been closed since mid March, too. The empty square in front of Birmingham Hippodrome on Hurst Street looking towards the businesses of the Arcadian (right) (Image: Graham Young / BirminghamLive) On June 8, BirminghamLive revealed that the 120-year-old Hippodrome had put 62 staff on notice of possible redundancy - and with no sign of live productions being able to return, even the big Christmas shows are now at risk. This summer's big theatreland hit would undoubtedly have been The Phantom of the Opera which was due to run at the Hippodrome from July 29 to September 12. But without the area's theatres pulling in more than 2,000 customers per night between them, the entire district knows it will have much less trade as a result - especially as the local nightclubs can't reopen either. BirminghamLive understands that of the businesses still closed, "five or six" might not even seek to reopen until all social distancing measures are back to normal in a post-lockdown world. James Wong will be transforming his Chung Ying Cantonese restaurant in order to meet social distancing guidelines (Image: Graham Young / BirminghamLive) For the people who put the Chinese into Chinatown, there is another factor too - fear. Chung Ying owner James Wong says that once the pandemic had been declared to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Chinatown in Birmingham experienced a sharp downturn in trade even before lockdown began. "Our people are among the highest risk population groups in the city," he says. "But they've also been wearing masks long before the British began to even think about doing so, so we're also good at protecting ourselves. Read More Related Articles Stay up-to-date with the latest news from across the city Read More Related Articles Sign up to BirminghamLive's free politics newsletter for daily headlines "We hope people will still come to see us. I'll be asking my staff to wear visors - we want customers to see human, smiling faces. "Chung Ying is going to be doing its best to survive - August 25 next year will be our 40th anniversary and we want to still be here to celebrate it." Chung Ying will have an invitation-only 'soft' opening on July 4 and not open to the public until July 10. Tandis Hair and Beauty Ltd is bouncing back on the Radisson Blu hotel corner of Smallbrook Queensway (Image: Southside BID) Businesses definitely opening Bars and restaurants reopening include: Eden, Loft Bar & Kitchen, Missing Bar, Sidewalk, The Fox, Village Inn, Equator, Dragon Inn, Snobs Bar & Grill, Wu Shuang, Ruga Bistro, Peach Garden, Malaysian Delight, Topokki Korean restaurant, Pepper Chef, Formosa isakaya, Miyako Teppanyaki, Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant, Santorini Greek Restaurant. Hairdressers reopening include: Hairport, George Kosit Hair, SK Hair Salon, Tandis, Turkish Barbers, Ace Face Barbers and Saint Salons. Still positive: Julia Robinson, Southside BID manager (Image: Southside BID) What they say Even with only one in four businesses opening on July 4, Southside BID manager Julia Robinson remains defiantly optimistic. Anyone visiting the Chinatown area this weekend might well enjoy the difference... "I think Southside and Chinatown will be a lot quieter than it would normally be at this time of the year," she says. "Places will be opening from midday to midnight. "At least the one metre social distancing rule now is a lifeline for businesses, though I know of five or six businesses don't want to reopen until all social distancing measures are back to normal. The Arcadian - designed to become Birmingham's equivalent of Covent Garden (Image: Southside BID) "It will feel like a much more relaxed, early evening kind of place because there will be no live entertainment, no live sports, no live music. "We just want to offer an enjoyable time out for people who have been cooped up and need a change from their four walls." One option is to expand outdoors - but that needs official permission. "We want to make as much outdoor space as we can," says Julia. "We've been in talks with Birmingham City Council to try to close Hurst Street so that we can all spread out," says Julia. "The weather is key for us - if you have people in a garden and it rains, what then?" Julia said Southside currently has some 6,500 residents, with room for another 2,500 following the arrival of current developments like Timber Yard and two more in the pipeline.

. Ruga Bistro on Pershore Street is reopening on July 4 (Image: Southside BID) View from Chung Ying As well as helping to organise the city's annual Chinese New Year celebrations, James Wong runs two Chinese restaurants in Birmingham city centre. He is keeping Chung Ying Central closed on Colmore Row where, he says, not enough people have returned to work in the local business district to justify reopening. But Chung Ying, on Wrottesley Street - opened 39 years ago and named after his parents - has remained open from noon til 9pm for takeaway and delivery ever since the lockdown began. Work is now underway to improve its outdoor terrace. Chug Ying is to the left in this view across Ladywell Walk from Pershore Street towards the heart of Chinatown (Image: Graham Young / BirminghamLive) On July 4 it will have a soft, invitation only reopening to help staff to readjust to their brave new world before reopening to the public on Friday 10. "The Chung Ying capacity looks set to go down from about 120 people to 35 maximum," says James. "But we want to make sure our staff and customers are safe so we are not reopening to the public until July 10 after a series of soft, invitation only openings while staff get used to the new way of doing things. "We have got to get it right first time. I was criticised by some for staying open for deliveries during lockdown, as if I was somehow doing so just for the money. Southside and Chinatown 2020 Year of the Rat Beginner's guide Chinese foods Gay village "I stayed open because while the majority of my staff were happy to be furloughed, ten were desperate to carry on working so they could continue to help out their relatives. "Being open also meant we could cook meals for NHS staff and for people on the front line. "Opening is one thing, though, getting people to come through your doors is another - and once you are open, you then have a lot of set-up costs and can have bills to pay with no income coming in. Before the pandemic: China Court Restaurant on Ladywell Walk at the heart of Birmingham's Chinatown (Bath Passageway to the left) (Image: Graham Young / BirminghamLive) "I think we'll have staggered groups of staff working different days and for, say, two days each. "It all means people having to make some really difficult decisions such as how do you retrain your staff when they've spent 25 years developing their way of working. "The last thing we want is a second wave and for everyone to be stuck at home." Sunday, January 26, 2020: the Chinese community on Hurst Street celebrating the Year of the Rat in wet, cold weather (Image: Darren Quinton / Birmingham Live) 2020 - far from a year of plenty From the miserable weather for the Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday, January 26 prior to the three named storms of Ciara, Dennis and Jorge during the wettest February on record, the chances to make any money in 2020 have been few and far between.  The cafes, pubs and restaurants taking up the chance to reopen on Saturday, July 4 will do so for the first time since being ordered to close from midnight on Friday, March 20.  But only after missing out on potentially lucrative event days such as Mothers' Day (March 22), Easter (April 10-13), the Monday May 3 Bank Holiday and extra VE Day Bank Holiday (May 8), Pride Weekend (May 23-24) the Spring Bank Holiday (May 25) and Father's Day (Jun 21).  The next big Bank Holiday Weekend is not until August 29-31 and after that what then... Halloween? Bonfire Night...?  Jason Donovan BirminghamLive revealed on June 8 that the 120-year-old Hippodrome had put 62 staff on notice of possible redundancy - and the following day reported how that decision had put the theatre's giant panto at risk, too.  None of the government's announcements since have suggested that the theatre's decision about jobs can be reversed in time to save the panto this Christmas. The Hippodrome's management now has roughly three weeks left to hope that something changes otherwise it won't have time to plan to put the panto on given that it would be cheaper in the long run to stay closed than to get halfway towards an opening that never happens. Unless the panto is confirmed by the end of July, the chances of Jason Donovan starring in Goldilocks and the Three Bears from December 19 to January 31, 2021 will be reduced even further. And, if the worst comes to the worst, it will be a chill economic wind that blows across Southside and Chinatown this winter.

Source = MetiNews.Com

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Birmingham news The big reason why Southside and Chinatown won't fully reopen on July 4 MetiNews.Com


Birmingham news The big reason why Southside and Chinatown won't fully reopen on July 4 MetiNews.Com


Birmingham news The big reason why Southside and Chinatown won't fully reopen on July 4 MetiNews.Com


Birmingham news The big reason why Southside and Chinatown won't fully reopen on July 4 MetiNews.Com

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