PUBS AND BARS in Bournemouth have been absolutely ‘flooded’ with bookings in the run up to their potential reopening next month.
Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his four-step ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, pubs and bars have been inundated with bookings after it was revealed they could reopen outside as early as 12 April.
Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors in groups of up to six people from two different households.
Located in the town centre Eden Garden Bar are famous for having some of the best cocktails in Bournemouth and have become the ‘go-to’ place for al-fresco drinks all-year-round.
Excited to get back to their customers the bar have released a series of six Friday night live music events for the first six weeks of reopening, with local talent including Chris Payne and Carly Varly headlining.
Eden Bar manager Chris Dowell said: “Ever since we posted online about reopening we’ve had so many messages with people trying to book for every weekend throughout April and into May as well.
“Our opening night is completely fully-booked so obviously people are itching to get out and socialise in a safe way.
“We’re an outside venue so reopening is ideal and it’s great that we now don’t have to worry about serving food or kicking people out at 10pm too!”
The spacious Eden Garden Bar has heated booths and a weather-proof canopy to ensure drinks are flowing come rain or shine.
Jordan Thomas, manager of The Dancing Jug said: “We’ve got seating capacity for 75 outside and we have more than 100 bookings on the opening day – obviously sat at different times.
“Throughout the opening weekend we’ve been absolutely flooded with everyone wanting to come and visit.
“It’s looking really positive – we’ve only got space left for weekday evenings during the first week.”
The restaurant and bar have a quirky outside area with heating, ensuring you can enjoy a meal with friends no matter the weather.
Part of the quirky outside seating area at The Dancing Jug.
In Southbourne the iconic Darcy’s Bar and Kitchen have been inundated with loyal customers looking forward to the reopening.
Owner of Darcy’s, Nicola Haynes said: “We’ve definitely been busy with bookings and I just can’t wait to welcome customers back in.
“My life revolves around the business, it’s my social life and I’ve made great friends with the customers.
“I’ve worked to make sure it’s a warm and welcoming environment and somewhere that women also feel completely safe to come in on their own.”
The outside seating area at Darcy’s is summer paradise, ideal to enjoy with a bottle of wine or two.
New kid on the block, BackYard first opened in 2020 as a re-designed, socially distanced summer pop-up experience annexed with The Royal Exeter Hotel.
The diverse, fresh and contemporary bar hosts a range of events throughout the summer and are itching to get back to doing what they do best.
James Maidment, business development manager at The Exeter said: “We’ve had a huge booking response since announcing BackYard will be returning to the Royal Exeter Hotel on April 12th.
“The bookable tables for the first weekend are now completely sold out.
“We will be introducing DJ’s and live entertainment as soon as we are allowed to do so.
“We are very much looking forward to opening up the outdoor terraces of 1812 and Bar So at the same time.”
The purpose-built Back Yard bar was an absolute hit with customers last summer.
What are the key dates?
- 12 April – Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors – including alcohol; customers can meet in a group of up to six people from different households; a maximum of two households can meet to form a group of any size
- 17 May – Hospitality venues can seat customers indoors; parties can be made up of a maximum of six people or two households of any size; groups seated outside must be smaller than 30 people
- 21 June – All restrictions will be lifted, and nightclubs will be allowed to re-open
What rules do you have to follow when pubs reopen?
The Government has scrapped the hated 10pm curfew and customers won’t have to buy a “substantial meal” when they order an alcoholic drink.
Like before, pubs and restaurants will have to offer table service and face masks must be worn by staff and customers when not sat at a table.
From April, customers will only be allowed to sit outdoors with table service.
Pubs will also be allowed to offer takeaway pints, something which was banned during lockdown.
The rule of six is being brought back, which means six people from up to six households will be able to sit together outdoors. Alternatively, two households will be allowed to meet.
From May 17, customers will be able to sit inside but pubs must continue to offer table service.
When sitting inside a pub, the rule of six, or two households mixing, will also apply.