Brilliant new rooms are springing up in Teesside, now the restrictions are lifted.
Some started trading last month, serving their very first customers outdoors.
Now the inner hospitality has been allowed to wake up, the owners are showing big renovations and welcoming people inside.
We’ve rounded up some of the new places to try.
Brazilian Steakho Riouse
Newcastle’s number one restaurant announced it would be coming to Middlesbrough for a December opening – five months later the Rodizio Grills were finally set alight.
Rio Brazilian Steakhouse, owners of Tomahawk Steakhouse, served its first customers this week, with people saying the food and service was “amazing.”
The restaurant has taken over the old Bistrot Pierre on the Albert road, putting its own stylish imprint on the place.
The team advised people to book soon, as the first few weeks are “already almost full.”
“I just loved it,” said one of the first guests to eat there, “not eating for a week”.
The finishing touches have been made to Turkish restaurant EFE’s – it is now set to open in Middlesbrough on Monday.
It has taken over the old Greek restaurant from ex-footaballer Boro Dimi Konstantopoulos Super on Linthorpe Road and the new owners say the menu will be ‘best of the best’.
EFEs will be a totally authentic Turkish experience, even down to the knives and forks, which were brought especially from their home country.
In addition to the catering service, the restaurant also plans to offer take-out food for collection.
TS20 Bank, Norton
It took a long time to wait on launch day for the last place to hit the Norton Circuit.
Initially on track for an October 2020 opening, staff at The Bank TS20 were unable to draw their first pints until mid-April, when outdoor hospitality was allowed to open.
Guests can now take full advantage of the refurbishment of the former Yorkshire Bank, which still has the old vault and period features.
Hôtel The Staincliffe, Seaton Carew
Once a rather ‘sorry for itself’ place by the sea, the Staincliffe Hotel in Seaton Carew has been refurbished by new owners.
The venue on The Cliff had gotten into a “bit of a run down” over the past decade, and had grown a bit run down.
It was transformed last year with a new cocktail bar and marble floors.
They opened the main bar on Monday, with a marquee in the back garden.
This weekend, the new restaurant and cocktail gin bar will open – and Sunday roasts are also on the menu.
The site’s new sports bar will open on Wednesday May 26. Table reservations are in progress.
Aroma, Southfield Road, Middlesbrough
The latest restaurant in town brings a “touch of class to the boro”, according to a satisfied customer.
Aroma has taken over old Al Forno’s, serving its first customers outdoors from April 12.
It received a smart new makeover by new owner Nicko Fushaj and his wife Emma.
It was finally able to open up fully – serving ‘original’ Italian dishes and cocktails for ‘Middlesbrough foodies’.
The couple want to add a trendy remote-controlled glass extension to “bring something different” to the city.
Five guys, Teesside Park
The burger chain’s new Teesside restaurant is on track for a summer opening.
A renovation is taking shape, with plans for the group’s first drive-thru in the UK filed with Stockton Council.
Five Guys have taken over old Chiquito’s in Teesside Park and made it their last restaurant – and staff, including assistant managers, shift managers and full-time crew members, are in the process of being recruited.
He is awaiting approval from Stockton Council, after presenting plans for “other modifications”, including a drive-through path and “visual improvements to the premises and surrounding area”.
The Open Jar, Seaton Carew
The owner of one of Hartlepool’s busiest restaurants, The Open Jar, first announced his move from the marina to Seaton last year.
The restaurant’s “overwhelming success” meant that the small kitchens of the marina premises could not keep up with orders – a larger restaurant was therefore needed.
The Open Jar has taken over the former Sheesh Mahal site on the waterfront, and a big makeover has taken place.
Seaton Reach’s restaurant was slated to open on Thursday, May 20 with a “brand new menu of food and cocktails”.