LOCAL pubs reopening for outside bookings after the latest lockdown are getting back to business with a boom.
The Pilot at Bowerhill said they ran out of beer on the first day; the Somerset Arms in Semington were turning people away and White Hart in Atworth had a really busy first weekend.
Sam Ponsford, landlord of The Pilot, told Melksham News “We were absolutely rammed from day one. The first Monday we opened was a really big night, everyone just wanted to come to the pub I think. Friday and Saturday were insane. I even ran out of beers!”
Sam said outside trade was obviously weather dependant so if it rained they would just close. The Pilot opened every day for the reopening week but are now open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
John Adams from Somerset Arms, Semington, said, “It’s been really good, from 10am on Monday (April 13th) when we first reopened. We didn’t stop. We were full and turning people away.”
John said their workload had doubled because people were ordering at the bar and being served outside.
“We’ve done it with the staff we’ve got, but they’ve all been on furlough so they’re glad to be back,” he said. “The weather’s been kind and it’s been great to see people out enjoying themselves again.
“It is weather dependant though so if it starts raining we may as well close. By law you can have 50% of the outside area covered – but no-one wants to be sat outside eating their dinner in the rain.”
Kirsty Cortilla from the White Hart in Bath Road, Atworth, said they had been offering a takeaway service during lockdowns and were still running that, then added the option of eating the food in the pub garden when the pandemic restrictions were eased.
“We had a really busy day for takeaways on Saturday (17th) and on the Sunday,” Kirsty told Melksham News.
The White Hart is now open Thursday, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays for walk-ins and bookings.
“It’s really difficult with the weather because it’s cold in the evenings so people go home early and then we’re open and losing money. It’s a really fine line but it’s just great that we are heading in the right direction,” she said.