Suddenly, it seems, we have something to look forward to, and I don’t just mean a haircut that looks as if it hasn’t been done by that shepherd in the Specsavers ad.
April 12th we could be pouring beer. Of course the government being what it is, they couldn’t make it straightforward for hospitality, so although wide disparities with other sectors will exist, we can only open outdoors, table service only. This will feed in better for some pubs more than others and its significant that some big players in and around here are electing not to open until the May date.
So, first step, we asked our regulars what they thought. “Stampede” was the word that came to mind and yes, like us, they are gagging for a pint of cask. (If anyone had any doubts about the future of cask , embrace this moment).
Outside it is then. We had a visit from the council, who, told us that, surprisingly, we can use 2/3rds of the front pavement on a permanent basis for outdoor seating. That’s good, but we need barriers that conform to various stipulations (white stick contact for one), oh and you will need a cafe licence… (Cost suspended for this year)
Awning? well, yes, April isn’t exactly known for its searing heat. Awning man arrives. All good apart from “you’ll have to move your sign lights otherwise they’ll snag the awning”
Sigh, the thousands are ticking up, and yes, I do mean thousands, but a rare oasis of good news, SMBC are throwing out free gazebos! Suddenly we can get a big table round the back and it will be under cover too. Suddenly also, the brewery emails that have been ‘can, bottle, minikeg’ are now extolling, praise be! Cask and keg.
We opened bookings and day one sold out double quick ( Can you fit in a table of 6 – only if you don’t mind being round the back, how long do you want? – We’ll come and 12:00 and stay until we’re full…)
Its starting to feel a bit like normal, and there’s still a lot to do, but when we open at 12:00 on the 12th, whatever thousands we have spent, when Roy dips his lips into that 1st pint of Mallinsons, his expression will be worth millions. And I just know he’ll say “Fucking hell” and we’ll all know, I suspect, exactly what he means.