A RESTAURANT owner is “confident of a bumper summer” following a busy bank holiday weekend which he believes signalled a return to normality.

Jason Smedley, along with his wife, Georgie, runs the Royal Hotel, All That Jazz Beauty Bar and the My Big Fat Greek Taverna restaurant in Clacton.

The Marine Parade East businesses have been closed on various occasions throughout the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns.

Despite this, Mr Smedley has gone above and beyond to ensure frontline workers are both supported and celebrated for the sacrifices they have made since last March.

Following the first national lockdown, for example, he allowed local paramedics and nurses to sleep for free at The Royal Hotel.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Last month he invited the district’s NHS heroes to his restaurant for slap-up meals collectively worth £2,500.

The celebration attracted an impressive 75 guests, all of which were able to eat the venue’s tasty dishes without paying a penny.

After a difficult 14-months, but a positive bank holiday weekend, Mr Smedley is now looking forward to what he believes will be a busy few months for the town.

He said: “At the complex we have managed to save all jobs. We are confident of a bumper summer to counteract the awful last year we have all experienced.

“One of the most awesome sounds the other day was walking out of our buzzing restaurant to hear the sound of kids and families having fun on the Clacton Pier.”