ALL businesses have suffered badly during the coronavirus pandemic - particularly those in the hospitality sector - but perhaps none more so than Stalida Greek Taverna.

The popular Hexham restaurant was due to reopen its doors last summer after lockdown when a fire ripped through its kitchen just days before customers were to come back.

It is heartening to now hear owner Selena Truta say ‘we are open for business’ once again - showing her and husband Billy’s resilience in the face of adversity.

It has been a labour of love for the couple, getting ready to welcome back the public, completing a full refurb and staff returning to work after a year. The couple’s 14-year-old twins have now also joined the ranks of the family business with Saturday jobs to lend a helpful hand.

Since Stalida’s reopening last week, the good folk of the Tyne Valley have gotten behind the family which has welcomed customers old and new and has said their phone has been ringing off the hook with diners booking in for a taste of Greece in their Tyne Valley taverna.

We are lucky here in Tynedale to be home to such wonderful restaurants, cafes and pubs and now, more than ever, local, independent businesses need our loyalty and custom if they are to come back stronger. The Truta’s, and all of our other business owners, deserve their just rewards after this challenging time.

People aged 30 and over can now book their Covid-19 jab as the vaccine rollout gathers pace and the Government’s roadmap,which will see all restrictions scrapped, is still on course for June 21.

We can all look forward now to the future and to making up for lost time with loved ones.

Of course, we must remain vigilant to the virus which has wreaked havoc worldwide and disrupted life as we know it.

But the end is in sight and like you, we can’t wait!