A POPULAR Hexham restaurant that was due to close on Wednesday will remain open – for a few more weeks, at least.

The Golden Dragon on Battle Hill was set to close this week when owner Wil Cheung’s lease expired, bringing an end to 15 years of trading for the Chinese outlet.

The news brought an outpouring of support from Wil’s customers online, with many people frequenting the restaurant’s takeaway operation during the coronavirus lockdown.

However, at the eleventh hour Wil came to an agreement with the building’s landlord for a short extension to the lease.

He explained: “The article in the Courant came out and the landlord got in touch that day.

“They said they’d been reading the article and seen the comments and that he understood the situation a bit better.

“They offered me a proposal which I thought was fair enough and I decided what I would do is extend the contract for a few months to give me time to think about what I’m going to do.”

However, Wil is still planning to move to pastures new – but he remains hopeful somebody will take on the business once the lockdown has been eased.

He continued: "My plan is to keep going for six or seven weeks and then that will be it.

“I have the right to sell the business and that’s what I want to do, but it’s been pointless recently because nobody is buying.”

The restaurant stopped doing its regular menu at the start of the month, and began selling ‘munchie boxes’ instead.

From this weekend, Wil is planning another tweak to cater for more people.

He added: “Customers know what they like.

“I’ve convinced the chefs to do a ‘make your own box’ which I think will really work. We’re going to start doing them from Sunday.”

Social distancing measures are currently in place for customers picking up takeaways.