A MEXICAN inspired eatery in Bournemouth utilised the lockdown period to create a brand new outdoor asset.

Ojo Rojo on Commercial Road has introduced a new outdoor space, otherwise known as the Hacienda, to offer outdoor dining and seating.

Once it was announced that restaurants could reopen from July 4, manager and owner Trevor Hill approached the landlord who owns the back car park of the restaurant and asked if Ojo Rojo could use the space for reopening.

Permission was given to the restaurant and the Hacienda was born.

The Hacienda has not only provided additional seating for customers but reassurance for the restaurant and its staff as they navigate through these challenging times.

Trevor said: "We lost 30 plus covers with the coronavirus restrictions in place, so the outdoor space is a real god-send. There has been a very positive reaction and it's nice to see a strong response to an independent business adapting."

The Hacienda hosts a converted Citroën van which serves as a drink dispenser, offering a plethora of cocktails, beers and more, quenching the thirsts of all customers.

It is also brimming with greenery, kindly donated to Ojo Rojo by a London prop company who have been very supportive throughout the lockdown.

Trevor added: "It's nice to hear people saying they want to support us, an independent business."

With the Hacienda an obvious success with customers and staff alike, Trevor hopes to keep it as a permanent feature, offering something the restaurant did not previously have.

Despite the difficulties faced, Trevor stands by the fact some good has come out of the unprecedented situation.

He said: "From a business and finance perspective, it has been difficult and we had to minimise our outgoings as much as possible. But the government support helped us get through it and positives have come off the back of the situation."

Ojo Rojo is open from Thursday to Sunday and has various safety and hygiene measures in place, including separated tables, contact free dining, frequent cleaning and hand sanitiser stations placed around the restaurant.

Staff are also wearing masks.