ONE of Warrington’s most popular restaurants has said it is unlikely to reopen for diners wanting to eat in following the lockdown.

Little Box of Treats – which often tops the Tripadvisor list of Stockton Heath’s best eateries – is closing at the end of the year.

This is not related to the impact of the coronavirus and is because founder Sue Kelly is starting a new chapter in her life with her husband Joe, who is studying medicine at Warwick University.

But unless there is a change in the current social distancing rules, the former Woolston High student does not think it is viable to reopen the 22-seat restaurant in the meantime.

However, Sue has been running Little Box of Treats as a takeaway on Fridays and Saturdays for the past 10 weeks and wanted to thank customers in what has become a very strange end to a decade in the village.

Sue, who found her love of food helping her mum, Ling Yee, in the kitchen while she made things like dumplings and Chinese buns, said: “We have 10 tables, but with the current rules we’d only be able use five of them. It wouldn’t be viable to open to eat in.

“We shut down for 10 weeks and decided to open just Friday and Saturday for takeaways only.

“It’s actually been nice to wind down a bit and get used to a slower pace although it would’ve been great to have a busy last year and get to say goodbye to customers properly.”

Warrington Guardian:

The most popular meals have been Sue’s dim sum and Singapore dishes for people.

She added: “The first week we opened back up was very busy, however, every week since then has been quieter as other restaurants have opened back up.

“I think a lot of people are trying to get back to normal now and eat out more, especially with the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ government scheme.

“I did intend on hosting some cookery classes in my final few months but with the social distancing it’s just not possible.

“I will miss all my customers very much, I’ll miss chatting to them all.

“They’ve been a massive part of my life, I’ve seen some more than I’ve seen my family or friends.”

Sue, of Minerva Close, is letting the lease come to an end at Little Box of Treats and will then spend more time with her husband and think about starting a family.

But it is not the 10th and final year in Stockton Heath she had in mind at the start of 2020.

Sue said: “It’s such a shame this lockdown has happened in my final year in the village.

“Every one is in the same boat and there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future.

“I don’t know if my business would survive if I still had a few more years on my lease so in some way I am glad to say farewell now.

“Since lockdown, I’ve definitely discovered more of Warrington and feel more connected to it.

“All my family and friends are here so once my husband finishes his medical degree I’m sure we will come back to the area.”

Sue has also baked cakes for the NHS during lockdown.