Sunderland pub will not reopen after lockdown as boss slams Government rules
A Sunderland pub boss says he will not reopen alongside other venues on Monday – despite creating a new beer garden for drinkers.
However customers must wear face masks, follow one-way systems and observe social distancing when in venues, and only table service is allowed.
Chaplins in Stockton Road has created a new beer garden in preparation for the easing of lockdown restrictions. The pub and back-to-back neighbour The Cooper Rose have been granted permission to stop traffic up the small section of Derwent Street that separates them and create two new outdoor drinking areas.
But while the Wetherspoons venue in Albion Place will be open to the public from 9am on Monday, Chaplins will remain closed for the time being.
Tony Griffiths is chairman of LGT Developments, the firm which owns the pub, said he felt the new rules were unworkable in their current form.
"The plan they have come up with may look good on the table for scientists but nobody from our sector has been consulted. Nobody from the hospitality industry was involved,” he said.
He does not want to see any repeat for previous scenes as staff tried to enforce the rules on social distancing: “Our staff were getting shouted at - it is just not good for anybody’s mental health.
"The plans are all well and good on paper but when people have had two or three pints, they just behave differently,” he said.
“We want people to come down and have a good time – I don’t want to be shouting at customers and threatening to bar them.”
Tony plans to see how venues which do open on Monday cope with the new regulations before making any decision: “I will see how it goes for the first two weeks. I will go into a few other bars and see how it is working,” he said.
“We are going to wait to see how it pans out, to see how the system works. I don’t think it will work with the current system – I think there are going to have to be amendments to it.”