Unlocking the keys

Pinchinthorpe Hall

In anticipation of the planned final phase of lockdown relaxation, the nightclub at The Keys, Yarm, is currently undergoing a major renovation, providing a cutting-edge audio-visual experience.

Preparations are already in place to host club nights and DJ sets which have been long postponed due to Covid-19 and the owners are hoping to cement the club’s place in Yarm’s nightlife as quickly as possible.

Additionally, with many celebrations forced to be on hold throughout 2020, The Keys is seeing an increase in bookings for private events as customers look for a venue to hold wedding receptions, parties, christenings, and get-togethers.

“We have invested heavily in a new sound and light system which includes two high-definition video walls. We did consider changing the light-up dance floor, but it just wouldn’t be The Keys without it,” says general manager Jake.

Under the ownership of the Powell family, and overseen by manager Jake, the priority for The Keys for the last two months has been to welcome new and returning customers as safely as possible.

This has meant following all social distancing and mask guidelines, regular sanitisation, reconfiguring table layouts, and embracing new procedures for customer-facing staff members.

“Since lockdown ended on April 12, the management and staff at The Keys have been working hard to reclaim our place at the heart of Yarm High Street,” says Jake.

Refocusing on taking bookings online via The Keys website and allocating timeslots to tables has allowed the restaurant and bar to safely manage the re-emerging customer base.

During the first phase out of lockdown, The Keys took advantage of its large garden area, with adjoining covered pergola, to welcome guests outdoors.

The further relaxation of Covid rules on May 17 allowed customers back into the spacious restaurant and dining room areas, resulting in both an increase in booking capacity and a reduction in weather-related cancellations.

Lockdown as a whole offered an opportunity to revisit and revamp all areas of the business. One example of this is the kitchen.

There is a completely new kitchen team, led by head chef Joe, who brings with him a wealth of experience from some of the county’s top restaurants.

It is the team’s ambition to become one of Yarm’s foremost destinations for high-quality, home-cooked food.