Popular Stackyard pub triples its outdoor capacity ahead of April 12 reopening
One of the city’s most popular local pubs has tripled its outdoor capacity as it looks forward to an April 12 reopening.
Stackyard in West Herrington is among the many pubs utilising their space to cater for outdoor drinking and dining from Monday, April 12, in line with the Government’s roadmap for easing the country out of Lockdown.
Like all pubs, Stackyard, which was last year awarded a Travellers Choice Award by TripAdvisor, placing it in the exclusive club of the Top 10% of restaurants worldwide, has had an incredibly difficult 12 months due to the pandemic.
It’s been a year of ever-changing restrictions, adapting to food deliveries and, due to the North East being in the then Tier 3, not being able to open for sit-in custom since November 5.
Almost six months after closing, publican Katrina Quinn says they can’t wait to welcome people to their outdoor area from April 12, and for inside drinking and dining to resume from May 17.
"It’s been a hard learning curve,” she said. “But we have the most lovely, loyal customers, some of which have ordered from us every week, if not every other week, during the pandemic. But we can’t wait to have people back in the pub, and some sense of normality.”
In line with the new restrictions, the pub now has three outdoor areas, which can hold 140 people in total with social distancing.
The front gazebo area and a rear marquee, which will have 50% of its sides raised for ventilation, will be for bookings while a row of tables in the car park, complete with uninterrupted views of Herrington Country Park, can be used for walk ups.
Katrina, who runs the pub with husband Lee, said: “Before Covid-19, we were very much a food-led indoor pub, but when we reopened last summer we created the front outside area and it was really popular. We could once hold 200 people standing or 82 seated indoors before the pandemic, but now the seating has been reduced to 48 with social distancing.
"Due to the indoor restrictions, we’d already been working with a marquee company and it’s ideal for reopening on April 12. The sides will be raised so that there is plenty of ventilation. We are planning to open seven days a week, but while it’s outdoors only, that will be weather dependent.”
All the pub’s Government grants have been invested back into the venue to pay for new pizza ovens, the marquee, more contactless card machines, new uniforms and bar surrounds for Covid safety. The pub’s interiors have also been given a makeover.
Katrina, who took over the pub five years ago, said: “We’ve done what we possibly can to adapt and survive. We can’t wait to have people back and for them to be back enjoying themselves, but we also hope people adhere to the restrictions we’ve had to put in place.”
*From April 12, for the remaining fortnight in April, Stackyard outdoor tables are fully booked for peak times, with some availability at off peak times. A deposit of £15 is required so that the booking can be logged, but this will be given back in cash on arrival.