A RESTAURANT in Blackrod has had to close before lockdown begins due to a gas fault.

The Cherry Tree experienced gas cutting out several times on Friday evening.

While the issue was investigated by engineers, the restaurant brought in electric cookers to use on Saturday.

But this meant the menu had to be severely reduced and the demand on the electrics led to further problems.

The owners then took the decision to close the restaurant on Sunday as they felt customers could not have the experience they deserve.

Co-owner Tom Taylor said: “We had a fault on our gas line which was reported on Friday. We drafted in electric cookers and ovens but unfortunately the demand could not be met by the electric supply coming into the building.

“As a result we had to limit the menu significantly so we took the decision to close on Sunday, we didn’t want to disappoint guests with a limited experience.

“The issue has been looked into further and we are currently waiting for the correct parts. This delay along with the lockdown on Thursday means it’s not feasible to reopen this week.

“Restocking our food will be very expensive for a few days and we just don’t know if customers will want to dine out.”

Two staff members reported positive coronavirus tests on Friday night and later their close contacts were told to self-isolate before being tested.

All tests came back negative but staff are still self-isolating in line with test and trace guidelines. The restaurant was deep cleaned on Saturday morning and agency staff were brought in.

Mr Taylor said: “We follow strict procedures and Bolton Council were told immediately about the positive tests, they asked us about our safety policies and we were deemed safe to open.

“We would be able to remain open if the gas fault had not occurred.”