Stevenage pubs and restaurants embrace the ‘new normal’ as punters return

PUBLISHED: 17:44 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:55 07 July 2020

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

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Stevenage’s pubs and restaurants are well and truly open for business after a successful week of trialling new COVID-secure measures to keep punters safe.

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

Pubs, bars, restaurants across the country were allowed to reopen from Saturday, July 4 – in what was dubbed by many as ‘Super Saturday’.

The Fisherman, on Fishers Green, was among many Stevenage pubs to reopen, with manager Peter McAdden recording roughly “50 per cent less trade over the weekend than usual.”

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

Peter said: “In retrospect we’re thankful it wasn’t too hectic, to be honest – I think long queues with people in close proximity to each other would have been tricky.”

Peter said that “the majority of people are sensible, same with any shop,” with most customers responsibly using the hand sanitiser given at the entrance, and keeping a fair distance.

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

The Fisherman has placed extra signage in the pub and social distancing stickers, and customers entering from the garden are now invited to wait before being seated, in order to avoid a “free for all” Peter said.

Meanwhile, Cinnabar – on the High Street – has gone to exceptional lengths to keep customers safe and has installed individual perspex screens between tables.

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

General manager Sam Chester said: “We just wanted to give people every reason to come and feel safe – rather than giving them a reason not to come. The government guidance was really poor generally, so in terms of the social distancing we just had to take our own precautions and rely on the common sense of our customers – who have been great.”

Stevenage resident Sonny Lakeson went to Cinnabar for breakfast, and said she was “very impressed” with the precautions which had been taken.

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

“It was great seeing a restaurant take responsibility and go the extra mile in terms of making sure you feel safe. I left in a better mood than I arrived in – which is always a good sign!”

Lavish Bar and Grill director Chris Koizi said he was thrilled to be reopen his restaurant again – particularly as Lavish had only launched in the High Street six months before lockdown began.

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

Chris said that while the climate is tough, he is confident business will return to normal.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? Get in touch at news@thecomet.net

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

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Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill

Stevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob SavillStevenage pubs and restaurants have welcomed customers back with open arms this week. Picture: Jacob Savill


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