SOUTH Lakes street food business, Thai Kitchen, will be opening its first permanent daytime location in Kendal next week.

The new venue will open its doors to the public on Wednesday, August 12 at Yard 2, Stricklandgate.

During lockdown, the Thai Kitchen business lost 90 per cent of its income, as all outdoor events and dinner parties were cancelled.

The Government restrictions also meant the husband and wife team behind Thai Kitchen, Eric and Amporn Whitehead, were unable to open their new café - which the pair had hoped to launch in Spring.

During the lockdown period, the couple diversified the business, moving - as many other restaurants have done - into takeaways.

They claim, in doing so, to have created Kendal’s first drive-thru takeaway, setting up a ‘zero contact’ collection service.

The lockdown takeaway service was run from their site on Dockray in Kendal.

Thai Kitchen says that on average it made over 170 freshly prepared and cooked dishes per night during lockdown.

The takeaway service is also set to continue its service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings once the new café launches.

Co-business owner Eric Whitehead spoke of the commercial impact Coronavirus has had on his business, and discussed his plans for the new cafe.

He said: “It was heartbreaking for us and so many like us in the early days as we watched event after event pulled due to Covid restrictions.

"Our model was reliant on our street food offering at festivals and other venues, and it was this income that we intended to support us during the opening of our new café.

"Thankfully we were well placed to diversify into takeaways due to our preparation kitchen on our Dockray site and create our secure ‘drive-thru’ system.

"Our customer’s safety is a primary concern for us and we are extremely grateful to our loyal and new customers who immediately responded when we offered the service.

"During the Lockdown we offered a 10% discount and free meals to NHS staff and one customer told us a few weeks ago, ‘Thank you for all you have done, this is the only takeaway where I have felt safe during the past months.’"