‘It is a good feeling to be open’ – How Sunderland pub staff feel after first day of trading as weekend tables start to book up
Pubs in Sunderland city centre have reacted after reopening for the first time in five months.
For many pubs across Wearside Monday, April 12, marked the first day that they could reopen since November last year as coronavirus restrictions in England were eased further as part of the Government’s road map out of lockdown.
The new rules meant that pubs could open their beer gardens to groups of up to six people for food and drinks, with no curfews or substantial meals for the purchase of alcohol required.
The Manor on Foyle Street in Sunderland city centre was one of the pubs that reopened yesterday, with owner Michael Griffiths highlighting that the rules are different this time round.
He commented: “Everyone has been fine so far and understanding of the rules that are in place.
"Obviously it’s all a bit different to last time with people having to wear a mask until they are sat at a table despite being outside but everyone seems happy to be having a drink.”
Although the weather has been colder than the seasonal average, places have still been busy. Michael said: “It hasn’t been bad so far, a bit chilly outside, it’s a shame the sun isn’t shining but we’re glad to get open as it has been a long few months for the trade.
“We are now looking forward to May to get people inside and start planning for the second bank holiday weekend.”
He said: “All the staff were happy to be back, it’s a good feeling to be open again and being able to socialise with one another and customers as well.
"We have an app which people can use to order drinks or they can do it through one of the staff if they don’t want to use it, we’re basically just trying to accommodate everyone.
"It’s been an uncertain few months and the unprecedented times have made it hard on our livelihoods but it has been good so far, everyone seems to be happy.
“We don’t have a lot of outside space but we are fully booked heading into the weekend so we will see how it goes.”