Pubs and bars invest time and money to make venues safe and viable
BUT BUSINESSES ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE BRITISH WEATHER
FOR many pubs and bars, reopening has been the fulfilment of lots of hard work and money invested over previous months as they looked to make outside spaces viable ready for the relaxation of rules.
Every venue that is able to open their outdoor space will be hoping for busy weekends moving forwards with coronavirus restrictions now lifted for rule of six social gatherings at pubs and bars.
All pubs, bars and restaurants that the Grimsby Telegraph has spoken to recognise that with restrictions the way they are, all are at the mercy of the British weather.
For all venues there has been some work on old measures that have kept us Covid-19 safe after the lifting of previous lockdowns with the biggest change noticeable for most drinkers, the now mandatory track and trace. Manager at The Linden Club, Billy Andersen said: “Like many places we’ve had to make changes to make things secure but a lot of that we’d already done during the last time we opened.
“It is all the same things in place this time around to make sure it is still Covid safe and obviously we’ve got your track and trace too which everyone has to do. “The owners here have really invested in the outside space though, they’ve put a lot of money and a lot of hard work into developing the space while the place was closed.
“The directors here have put in some real hard work to get this place ready, this is the thing that people don’t see - they’re the ones down here with the paint brushes and hammers putting together the new furniture and things like that. “We had a marquee last year but when the wind was up that would be a bit of a problem so we’ve got the new permanent cover now that still allows ventilation.” Ventilation is the key word for all venues that have invested in outside covers, temporary marquees are one of the most popular choices but all must ensure at least half of the wall space is open at all times.
The government guidance states: “To be considered ‘ outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50 per cent of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use.
Of course these sort of options are beyond the reach of many, in fact only 38.2 per cent of licensed premises have designated outdoor areas across the UK according to an industry report.
For those lucky enough to have the space, it hasn’t been easy to turn what are often slightly neglected areas (thanks to the local climate) into their only serving areas. Manager at the Mayflower in Immingham, Scott Forrington said: “With the news that we can only serve outside for at least five weeks we have no choice but to upgrade outside areas so that our customers can enjoy a drink and now something to eat in the new surroundings.
“When we first took over, the beer garden was an overgrown unloved and unkempt area that’s only real use seemed to be a dumping ground.
“Myself and Lindsay have turned this around, with the help of Punch we have erected a covered pergola along with heating and Love Island-style lighting.” “We are hoping for some nice weather because we only have a small space out the back, but we have invested in an additional five new eight-seater tables out the front and side, but this is England.” Other venues might not have the outside space to facilitate a covered area and are at the mercy of the elements, even here though there has been work to be done. Andrew Kay, who is involved in running a number of Cleethorpes pubs and bars, said: ““It has been hard work over the last few months. I think it has been the same for most people - we’ve been hard at work getting things ready and using the time to make changes.
“It is important for us to get all this right so we can stay open and so that people feel comfortable using the outside spaces that we’ve got.
“At Tale of Two we’ve got the screens in place between the tables even though they’re outside, it is important to us that people still feel safe.”