Pubs and restaurants reopen in Royston and villages – but how different is it?
- Credit: Archant
Bars and restaurants in Royston and surrounding villages have reopened following a major easing of lockdown restrictions by the government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave food and drink firms the green light to reopen on Saturday with social distancing and strict hygiene measures in place – as well as the collection of contact information in line with the government’s NHS Test and Trace initiative.
Royston’s Old Bull Inn landlord Ben Chapman said the mood among customers was cautious, and he was pleased to welcome them back.
He told the Crow: We were waiting for floodgates to open people behaved responsibly we were expecting a boozy one but it was civilised and the large majority of people were respecting what was going on.
“It’s a new set of rules and people have adhered to it and slowly the community is adjusting.
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“It was a big relief to reopen. We want to work, we don’t want to be sitting around watching Pointless on telly for the whole summer. It was good to be back out there.”
Banyers House general manager Rudy Abrantes was pleased to report reopening went well at the pub and restaurant in Royston’s Melbourn Street.
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He said: “The weekend couldn’t have gone better for us thanks to my retrained team and all the hard work our company, Oakman Inns, has done to ensure that our guests can enjoy eating out in as safe and enjoyable environment as possible. Our guests were respectful of our team and the new safety measures we’ve put in place inside and out in the garden – where we’ve recently created a weather-proof, heated area – and several expressed how much safer they felt than they’d expected to.
“We’ve introduced some new pasta dishes to our spring/summer menu which were well received and our pizza chef was extremely busy!
“As we are providing table-only service now, we are still urging customers to pre-book for drinks or a meal especially during weekends, but if you just want to meet a friend for coffee then it might be a good idea to phone ahead to see how busy we are.”
Dobbies in Shepreth has opened its restaurant, and their safety champion will be on hand to answer any questions and ensure all team members and customers feel safe at all times.
At the restaurant, customers will select their food then collect their covered meal from a dedicated food collection area, along with cutlery, wrapped straight from the dishwasher.
Graeme Jenkins, chief executive of Dobbies, said: “The safety of our team members and customers remains Dobbies number one priority. Not only do we want customers to feel safe, but we want them to have an enjoyable experience. We look forward to welcoming customers back and would like to thank our team members and customers for following the new measures.”
Stuart and Jenna Johnson had been operating a takeaway service in lockdown but have now reopened The Woodman Inn in Nuthampstead.
Ahead of the reopening last weekend they said: “We are thrilled that we will be able to re-open. We have completed our COVID-19 risk assessment and are confident that, with new safety measures in place, we will be able to provide a relaxed and enjoyable experience, in a safe environment.
“Pre-booking your visit will be a huge help, even if it’s just a quick call before you leave home. Tables can be booked for food and/or drinks, inside the pub or in our gorgeous – and recently renovated – garden space.”
They have also confirmed they will continue to offer takeaways.
The Fox and Duck manager Ivan Titmuss is reopening his Therfield pub to the general public today, after inviting villagers to a trial run.
Ivan told the Crow: “We are pleased that everything is in place, it has been crazy but we’ve got there. Things do take a little bit longer but we want customers and our staff to feel safe.
“We have put money into this, we have invested in a marquee out the back which has been popular.
“We’ve left no stone unturned and really got to grips with the guidelines. People do need reassurance and we’ve gone the extra mile to help people feel comfortable and safe.”
Melbourn Community Hub is looking to reopen its cafe doors in the near future, but needs more volunteers to help ensure customers are kept safe and well whilst they are on our premises.
If you can meet and greet customers, serve at tables or help to maintain cafe hygiene call 01763 263303