A POPULAR Maryhill restaurant is hoping its 10th birthday celebrations will go ahead in September as it battles to survive after lockdown.

Angela Loftus, co-owner and chef at The Black Sheep Bistro on Clarendon Street, is ‘hoping against hope’ her business will make it to the milestone anniversary.

“When lockdown was announced, we had already taken the decision to close as a sit-in diner, because of what was happening, and we were worried about staff and customer safety,” she explained.

“Our last day was Mother’s Day, which we did as takeaway only. At that point, we just did not know enough about COVID-19 and to be honest, I could not believe what was happening.”

Angela added: “In those first few days, we sat glued to the news, thinking we might be closed for two or three weeks.

“As things got worse, we began to think – this is it, we are finished.”

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Angela runs the restaurant, which regularly receives rave reviews for its hearty, homecooked food, with her partner Dave Grogan and daughters Claire and Emma.

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As the initial shock subsided, Angela and her team rallied, deciding to re-open to provide a takeaway-only service.

“Seven weeks closed, and I felt like I was on some weird long holiday,” she said. “We had to get back to work as our landlord needed the rent paid and there was nothing left in the bank.

“I have to make this work.”

Angela has signed up to the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which offers a 50 percent discount worth up to £10 per head for customers who dine out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.

“We want to survive until our tenth birthday next month and we hope taking part in this scheme will go some way to getting us there,” she said.

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“It sounds like a good deal for diners as they can use it as many times as they want, and hopefully it will encourage people to come out and eat.

“I know people still feel very wary but our place, like many others, are fighting for survival.”

Angela has been overwhelmed by the support from her local community.

“The takeaway has been hugely successful and local people have been amazing,” she said. “We are feeling a lot of love and support from our customers.

“We are now open to dine in and we will still do takeaway to try and support the business as our seating capacity has been reduced by 50 per cent to allow us to comply with social distancing.”

Angela added: “I really hope the hospitality industry can recover.

“It breaks my heart when I hear of places like the Wee Lochan and Ingram Wynd closing down because I know what goes in to building up a business in this industry and it is not easy.”