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The grand reopening: How Cambridge pubs aim to keep punters safe from Covid-19

Sally and Lawrence Champion at the Lion and Lamb in Milton. (37560649)
Sally and Lawrence Champion at the Lion and Lamb in Milton. (37560649)

Collection points, indoor and outdoor bars, online ordering and contact details, the reopening of pubs will bid to create the same experience as before but in a very different setting.

Hostelries across the country have been digesting the latest government guidance after they were given the green light to reopen last week.

It means making sure that they are Covid-secure, and with that comes a vast array of measures.

There will be noticeable differences from venue to venue but the overriding aim will be to make sure that customers are safe when heading back to the pubs.

Access to hand sanitiser is a theme throughout as too will be the necessity for contact details to be provided for each party, in case required for the government’s track and trace protocol.

There are of course nuances at each business, and the Cambridge Independent has taken a look at some of the measures being put in place.

The Lion and Lamb in Milton has built a new garden bar ready for the reopening on Saturday (July 4).

Advanced bookings are encouraged and, on arrival, entrance will be through the front door in the car park, with a new one-way system in place.

Sanitiser stations will be in place throughout the venue, with customers asked to sanitise/wash hands on arrival, and those with bookings will be shown to their table and, in line with guidelines, contact details for the group must be provided.

It will be full table service throughout, including in the garden, but should customers wish then they will be allowed to go to the Garden Bar to order drinks and meals.

Orders will be taken by staff, not placed on an app, and customers are asked to use card payments, contactless where possible.

The Corner House on Newmarket Road in Cambridge is only opening up outside for the first weekend.

A refurbished garden and car park will provide seating for up to 90 people, mostly sheltered from the elements.

On the opening weekend, tables must be pre-booked via email, a limited sit-down menu will be available from the kitchen with ordering done via a website or at a food ordering point.

Customers will be greeted on arrival and seated, and a limited table service will be provided to avoid large queues, while some drinks and food will be placed at a central collection point.

A full eat-in/takeaway menu will be available from the trailer, which will be served in takeaway containers.

The Portland Arms on Chesterton Road has been in overdrive to prepare the pub and garden for reopening.

Tables will need to be pre-booked for food, drinks or both, and it can only take bookings that consist of no more than two households in one booking for indoors or outdoors. Bookings of up to six people from various households may book but for outside tables only.

Anyone without a booking will only be accommodated if possible.

An app will allow orders to be placed from the table, and only card payments will be accepted.

A post on the Portland Arms Facebook page added: “There is no denying that a visit to the pub will not be the same for quite some time to come, rest assured that we have tried to retain as much atmosphere as possible and we want you to enjoy your time with us in the safest possible way.”

The Cambridge Blue on Gwydir Street is strongly advising advanced bookings, with walk-ins only permitted if there is space.

There will be a maximum booking time of three hours, with visitors asked to state how long they plan to stay when making the booking.

The pub added on social media: “At the minute we will only be opening the garden space to allow for social distancing as well as running a more limited menu on spirits and food.

“We are all eager to see all your smiley faces again and cannot wait to start serving. See you all soon.”

There will be a phased reopening of The Haymakers on High Street, Chesterton.

On Saturday (July 4), only the pop-up bar in the beer garden will open, no food will be available but customers will be able to sit in the garden. On Sunday (July 5), the whole pub will be open, trialling the one-way and table booking system, but with no food available. Then, from Monday, it will be offering takeaway pizza.

Indoor seating will be restricted to bookings only, with two-hour time slots, but the beer garden does not require booking. Car parking will be severely limited, with much of the space turned over to outdoor seating.

There will also be several glass-return stations around the pub, so that empties are not placed on the bar.

On social media, it said: “Our goal is to ensure the well-being and comfort of the Haymakers family as best we can following the guidelines, whilst also minimising risk to our staff and trying as best we can to keep to some of what the pub has been as your community living room over these last years.”

The Eagle pub in Cambridge (37556729)
The Eagle pub in Cambridge (37556729)

Meanwhile, Greene King confirmed most of its managed pubs will reopen from July 6.

Those pubs opening include:

  • Duke of Cambridge
  • Fort St George
  • The Granta
  • The Milton Arms
  • The Prince Regent
  • The Rock
  • The Boathouse
  • The Eagle
  • Golden Hind
  • Pickerel Inn
  • Grain and Hop Store
  • Robin Hood in Cherry Hinton
  • The Bridge in Waterbeach.

The Urban Shed in Histon will delay opening until July 23.

The Phoenix, Histon (37481933)
The Phoenix, Histon (37481933)

It has installed a one-way system, increased its outside space and invested in a new pull-through dishwashing system.

There will be disposable menus and privacy screens on all the tables. Pre-booking will be required for dining and drinking.

The Urban Shed will be taking over and going solo at the Phoenix, with Jamie Burton responsible for food and Eamon Bensaud in charge of front of house.

Read more

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