THE owners of Harley's Smokehouse in Kinver say they are doing everything they can to contact concerned customers after a case of Covid-19 was confirmed at the restaurant.

Wilf Beardsmore and son Simon, who run the American style smokehouse alongside Dunsley Hall Hotel, have had to close the popular eaterie for two weeks after a member of staff at the restaurant tested positive for coronavirus.

Diners who were at Harley's yesterday as the news came in were politely asked to leave, Wilf said, adding that the next seven hours were spent on the phone notifying customers who had booked tables.

He said there wer nearly 200 customers booked in yesterday and well over 150 for today and similar numbers for tomorrow and he added: "We've been answering phone calls all the time and trying to contact people who had booked for today and tomorrow.

"We're trying hard - not just to run a business but to protect our customers as well as ourselves."

The temporary closure of Harley's is a follow-up blow to the pair who know heartbreakingly too well how Covid-19 can devastate families.

Terrie Beardsmore - wife of 42 years to Wilf and mother to Simon - lost her life on April 19 after falling ill with coronavirus while battling cancer.

Choked with grief after the death of Terrie, aged 61, who had been the driving force behind the business, they vowed to carry on and re-open the restaurant and hotel as soon as lockdown restrictions eased and they have been busy with bookings ever since - helped out by the Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Harley's, however, has now been closed for 14 days and a note on the restaurant's Facebook page says: "We have been advised by Public Health England and they have said that anyone who has dined at Harley’s Smokehouse would not have been in close proximity to the person that has tested positive.

"We are doing everything we can to contact those who are concerned and are also in continual contact with Public Health England over the practices going forward."

Wilf said the member of staff who tested positive works in back of house functions so would not have come into contact with customers and he stressed that all staff have been following safety and hygiene guidelines at the restaurant and the hall.

Dunsley Hall remains open for business as usual and has not been affected, Wilf told the News - adding that they hope to re-open Harley's Smokehouse on September 18.