The Coconut Tree extends lawn pop-up

Sri Lankan street food concept The Coconut Tree has extended its 'pop-up on the lawn', created in Cheltenham as part of a community collaboration with St Paul's Church, until 30 September.

The pop-up has seen the restaurant, which doesn't have any outside seating in Cheltenham, operate from a 60-cover, 2,000 sq ft covered terrace set up on the lawn of the neighbouring church since April.

“The community spirit here in Cheltenham has always been strong, but we have been blown away by the support over the last three months, and are so grateful to our neighbours at St Paul’s Church, for the opportunity to serve our locally-loved dishes in an outdoor setting," says Cheltenham manager Naveen Rajamanikkam. 

"As a restaurant with no outdoor space, being able to do this made all of the difference; in April, we estimate that we served more than 2,500 customers and 9,800 dishes at a time when we would have otherwise been closed.

"In May, despite indoor dining being allowed, we still served 5,500 customers with 20,800 dishes at the pop-up, including 2,000 Sri Lankan hoppers, and 300+ of our popular ‘Drunken Sri Lankan’ cocotails. It’s a real success story for us, and people keep coming back for more.”

Community response

“The response from the local community has been incredible - in fact the whole of Gloucestershire!," adds The Coconut Tree's brand director Anna Garrod.

"It’s a great example of the magic that can happen when a community works together in the face of a challenge.

"Despite staff shortages hitting the industry, we recruited more than 10 staff over the month of May to support the pop-up, and will be creating more opportunities over the summer, especially for young people, through the Kickstarter scheme.”

The Coconut Tree also recently announced that it is extending the offer of 50% off for all ‘eat-in’ customers (Monday to Wednesday) until the end of January 2022 - this offer will apply at all sites, including the Cheltenham pop-up.

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