South Tyneside pubs raring to go with indoor service as May 17 arrives
Landlords have been preparing to open for indoor service for the first time in over six months – and today’s the day.
A number of pubs in South Tyneside have managed a partial reopening since outdoor-only service was permitted in April. But that has not been an option for all venues.
Not every pub has a beer garden, space to put up a marquee, or been able to obtain a pavement licence.
But Monday, May 17, is the date England’s pubs and restaurants return to something like normal when indoor service is allowed once again.
The rule of six will applies, although people can only visit hospitality venues in larger groups if only two households are involved.
Pubs and their customers alike have been very much looking forward to it.
The Lord Nelson in Monkton Lane has been serving outdoors. However, the situation has not been ideal and they are delighted to be going back inside.
Owner Lesley Huntley said: “It’s an extra step back to normality. We’re looking forward to it.
“At the moment we’re very dependent on the weather. The weather in May hasn’t been very good so far. We’ve had to have reduced hours on a night time when people don’t want to be sitting outside.
“The younger people don’t seem to mind so much, but the older ones have been put off. We’ll be able to show football matches again too.”
The Red Shackle in Perth Avenue has outside tables, but has not been open due to concerns over the North East weather.
For landlord Lee Hughes the reopening is tinged with sadness.
He said: “We’ve actually lost regulars who have passed away since we were last open, although not from covid.
“I’m looking forward to opening again. It’s the final hurdle and hopefully it’s the end of it. It’s been very strange and very stressful. But it’s going to feel very strange opening up again too after all this time. We will be sticking closely to the rules.
“Hopefully we’ll be busy. We’re looking for a glass collector and one or two other staff.”
Lee joked: “This time next year I’ll be a millionaire”.