Pubs and bars in Sutton Coldfield town centre are set to welcome back customers for the first time in more than three months this weekend.
Drinking establishments have been given the go ahead to reopen this Saturday (July 4) – but more than one third of venues are keeping their doors firmly shut – at least for the first Saturday.
Quinto Lounge is avoiding the opening weekend and has instead set an opening date of Wednesday, July 8. While the Brewhouse and Kitchen – which was formally The Cup – has said it is set to open in two weeks’ time on Friday, July 17.
Two pubs with beer gardens are set to open their doors – The Station and The Duke Inn.
A spokesperson for The Station in Sutton Coldfield said, “We are delighted that we will now be able to reopen from 4 July. Our first priority is the safety of our staff and additional training and safety measures have been put in place. We are busy getting our bar ready to safely welcome back our customers.
“Throughout our bar we are implementing clear social distancing measures, enhanced cleaning regimes and providing customers with the opportunity to order food and drink via our business app.
“Single use menus, contactless payments, and hand sanitiser stations compliment the revised layout of our bar. We are hoping additional space will be made available with the potential pedestrianising of the outside area and we can’t wait to welcome back our customers.
“It will be best to book as we will have reduced capacity and please keep an eye on our Facebook page to check our trading hours.”
Other Stonegate Pub Company bars opening in Sutton are the Slug and Lettuce in the town centre and The Oak in Walmley.
The Duke Inn, with its attractive grassy beer garden, said it will not have bookings but will be ‘first come first served’, with table service indoors. A post on their Facebook page said: “We are very pleased to announce we shall be open Saturday, 4 July from 11am.
“While there are strict guidelines in place we want your local pub to still be an enjoyable place for you to visit so please adhere to the guidelines we have put in place.
“There will be one-way systems around the premises and through both rooms, hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.
“The tables and benches are set out and are not to be moved and everyone must be seated at a table.
“We are not operating a booking system it will be on a first come, first served basis and no time limit on visit, unless you cannot adhere to the rules then you will be asked to leave
“We are very excited to be back and can’t wait to see you all soon.”
While also opening on Saturday will be The Horse and Jockey in Jockey Road, Wetherspoon’s The Bottle of Sack, the Gate Inn and The Townhouse (previously known as The Royal).
When Sutton town centre’s third pub with a beer garden – the Brewhouse – opens on July 17 it said it will have ‘hands-free door opening, hand sanitiser stations, a temperature check facility for team for each shift and screens will be introduced to ensure employees and guest groups are made to feel as safe and as comfortable as possible.” It will also have online ordering.
Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District manager, Mike Bushell said: “I think it’s good to see the town centre’s evening economy coming back but it is also important to understand that they have had to work very hard to put in social distancing measures to keep everyone safe.
“We will welcome people back and hope they will be sensible.”
Molloy’s has delayed its reopening as it is currently being refurbished and the same Is happening at Sutton’s oldest pub – The Three Tuns, who are avoiding the first weekend rush – but said ‘we will be open in July’ at a date to be confirmed.
Also delaying their restart is Simpsons Gin Bar – which will reopen next Thursday (July 9). Owner Ann-Marie Simpson said: “For us safety is paramount . We want to have the same great boutique atmosphere in Simpsons and we are moving back to table service, reducing the number of tables we have and we will have app ordering. People will need to book on our website.”