Furnace Kitchen fires back to life after lockdown
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s Furnace Kitchen is reopening today– the first of the museum sites to open its doors since the coronavirus lockdown began.
The Coalbrookdale restaurant will serve locally-sourced takeaway food – including a pizza night on Friday and full roast dinner on Sundays – as it returns to life for the first time since March.
Executive head chef Marcus Bean said he was delighted to be reopening the site after lengthy planning to ensure it could operate safely.
“We are thrilled that we can finally get back into the kitchen and start preparing the fantastic, fresh and locally-sourced food which has been our hallmark since we first opened,” Marcus said.
“We have been working really hard behind the scenes with our staff and Museum partners to make sure that we can open up safely and maintain the necessary social distancing and health measures that are essential at the moment.
“We will be serving takeaway food only for the time being and are also launching a pizza night on Fridays and Sunday Club for roast dinner takeaways. We hope we can help take some of the strain out of the lockdown restrictions which families are still having to deal with by serving up some fantastic food to accompany a relaxing walk around some of the wonderful local countryside.”
The restaurant will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9am – 4pm, from 9am to 8pm on Fridays and 10am-3pm on Sundays.
Alongside the takeaway menu it will also serve hot and cold drinks, cakes and pastries, savoury bakes and local fresh produce such as milk, eggs, butter, bread and fruit and vegetables.
Both the pizzas and Sunday lunches will need to be pre-ordered and paid for in advance by calling 01952 435968, with pizza orders closing by 4pm on Thursday and Sunday dinners needing to be booked by 4pm on Friday.
Nick Ralls, chief executive of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said customer safety had been a paramount concern in re-opening the Furnace Kitchen.
“We have followed all the Government guidance and regulations in taking this decision and are delighted that Marcus and his team are back where they belong. We are still working with our partners over plans to reopen other museum sites and hope to be able to release further information shortly.”
The museum – in a World Heritage Site and Shropshire’s most important visitor attraction – has been closed since the lockdown was announced in March having earlier been hit by the floods along the Ironbridge Gorge in February.