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Bury St Edmunds restaurant Francela brings back Eat Out to Help Out-style scheme for May reopening





A new-look Bury St Edmunds restaurant is serving up an old favourite by bringing back an ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ style offer for its reopening.

Francela, on Angel Hill, will welcome back customers from Monday, when restrictions ease, having had a refurbishment.

And the family-run Mediterranean Greek and Turkish eatery, which is Bury’s number two rated restaurant on TripAdvisor, will be offering the popular discount scheme on three nights every week.

Delil Simsek and Salih Akman at the newly refurbished Francela restaurant
Delil Simsek and Salih Akman at the newly refurbished Francela restaurant

Delil Simsek, who has owned Francela for five years, said: “We have been wanting to hold a refurbishment for a long time but we have never had time before. Lockdown was a good opportunity and gave us the time.”

Mr Simsek said staff have taken a ‘step-by-step’ approach to refitting the restaurant and the process has taken several days of work, but over a period of a few months.

Francela has been fitted with sound panels to help with the acoustics of the restaurant, while new tiling has been added and sash windows have been fitted.

Francela restaurant has been refurbished Picture by Mark Westley.
Francela restaurant has been refurbished Picture by Mark Westley.

Some of the restaurant’s 3,000-odd followers on Facebook have responded positively to the new-look décor after images were shared online.

“It looks lovely,” said Mr Simsek. “There have been so many people liking it, sharing it, and posting comments.

“We are delighted to provide a nicer-looking interior for our restaurant, and the improved acoustics will reduce an echo and provide a better atmosphere.”

Francela has no garden and has been closed all of this year.

Francela has been refurbished Picture by Mark Westley
Francela has been refurbished Picture by Mark Westley

But Mr Simsek has observed from The One Bull next door that there is a demand, with queues of customers spotted in and around Angel Hill.

Resurrecting the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is not aligned with the Government - who footed the bill during the initial run last August. Instead, all diners will be given a 50 per cent discount - with up to £10 off per person - on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This will all be at the restaurant’s own expense.

Mr Simsek said: “The scheme was so successful last year that we continued it beyond the summer for as long as we were allowed to open.

“It encourages customers back into restaurants after a long time.

“I think a lot of people will take it up again. There is a lot of confidence because of the success of the vaccine roll-out. And I have seen a lot of people queuing around town for gardens already.”

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