Pub landlords across the country have united to plead “use us, or call time forever”.
The rallying cry is being made four days before restrictions are lifted for outdoor pints on Monday – with some pubs having been shut since November.
And pubs are joining the Mirror in our call to support businesses with our “Shop for Britain” campaign.
Only a third, around 15,000 pubs, will open and the numbers they can serve will be limited by their outdoor space.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “No pub is expecting to profit, many will make a loss. It’s imperative they fully recover, so I urge pub-goers to support them, else risk losing them for good. For pubs to survive and thrive, they need to reopen without restrictions from June 21.
“The Government also needs to invest in them for the long term by lowering business rates, VAT and beer duty.”
Will you be grabbing a pint on Monday? Let us know your plans in the comment section
CAMRA’s national chairman Nik Antona agreed and said: “We hope that as many people that are able to can get out and support their locals next week.”
But research says nearly one in four pub-goers said they would visit less.
BBPA estimate 87 million pints have been poured away – and 2,000 to 2,500 pubs have closed for good in 2020 alone.
Guinness says it is sending out quality control experts to ensure perfect pints.
Tan Hill inn, Yorkshire
Andrew Hields, 36, is co-owner of the Tan Hill Inn, the highest in Britain at 1732 feet up in the Yorkshire Dales.
“We’ve got a lot of challenges because of the location,” he said. Their pub is the location for TV hit Vera.
“For some places it’s about buying a £90 parasol but it has cost us £15,000 just to trade this month. A few days ago we had a white out for half an hour.”
He believes they have lost £750,000 in revenue during the pandemic.
“We only traded three months of the financial year so it is important to open.
“But it’s not just about coming to say ‘hello’ on Monday, it’s about keep coming back to say ‘hello’
“Everyone is opening up with debts and losses and it will take three years plus to recover financially so we need people to keep coming back.
“We have missed our customers and regulars. There is nothing like a face to face.”
Hatton Arms, Cheshire
Jackie Pickering has been manager at the Hatton Arms in Cheshire for the past 18 months.
The historic Grade II listed building is owned by a group of locals who wanted to keep their favourite pub open.
Mum of three Jackie, 55, said: “Since the first lockdown we have only been open for 20 weeks.
“It has been depressing. I live in and living above an empty pub does get you down. It should be bustling.”
Jackie, who pulled her last pint on Christmas Day, said: “I can’t wait. And the regulars can’t wait to come back in.
“Please come along. We need customers to keep our pubs open” she said.
Emmott Arms, Lancashire
Jordan Hadfield, 31, owns The Emmott Arms in Laneshaw Bridge, Lancashire.
He said it had been his lifetime dream to own his village pub but ended up closed before he even got started when lockdown struck on Monday, March 23rd .
“I got the keys to the pub on March 2 and the first lockdown was days later.”
“I’ve lived in the village all my life and it’s been a lifelong dream to own my own pub.
“I worked at another pub for 12 to 13 years and when I found the old owners were selling up I gave them a ring and asked what they wanted for it.
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“Everything was surreal anyway because I had just got the keys and then three weeks later we were shut. It wasn’t good.
“The first lockdown was a nightmare as I had not done a payroll yet so could not furlough any of the staff. “
Jordan says living above the empty building is also “a bit odd and depressing”.
But he is delighted to be opening from next Thursday for long weekends until restrictions are lifted fully.
Tubbs of Colne
Steve and Jane Turner are the owners of Tubbs of Colne, a bar and restaurant with an outside terrace.
Jane said: “It’s frightening when you look at the loss of revenue, it’s at the point where it’s scary now.
“We really need our amazing customers back. Please let us serve you because we do really miss it.”*
While Steve added: “Our house has been at risk, the business has been on the line. It’s been the most stressful year of my life.*
“We need everyone behind us now. There’s only so many times you can get kicked.
“I’ve really missed our customers and I know they’ve missed us too.”
Willoughby Arms, London
Rick Robinson runs the Willoughby Arms in Kingston, South West London.
He has built five beach huts in his pub garden in preparation for the big reopening and said:
“I’ve been working in the garden for weeks.
“We have five cabins at the moment, all painted different colours to give them a beach hut feel, so there’s somewhere nice for people to sit in case the weather ’s not great.
“We’re just getting ready for a whole new trading experience.”
The Boat Inn, Sprotbrough
Manager Felicity Bell, 33, who lives above the property, saw their troubles begin in November 2019 with a devastating flood.
They were then kept closed by the pandemic.
“We’re unbelievably excited, we can’t wait now,’ she said, explaining how she had to wade through 5ft of water which left the bar submerged and garden furniture floating away.
“This was the record flooding. It was horrible and pretty surreal.”
She said as soon as the refurbishment started they were hit by the pandemic.
“We managed to open for one day December 3.
“But it looks stunning now. It looks beautiful and I’m looking forward to other people seeing it.”
Oyster Bed, Whitstable
The manager of the Oyster Bed in Whitstable, Adem Insel , said: “Hurray, we’re opening. Everyone is looking forward to it, we all miss going to the pub and enjoying ourselves.
“We are crossing our fingers about the weather because they had predicted snow but customers could wear warm clothes and bring some blankets.
“I’ve missed people so much. That’s what our passion is.
“We have all been on furloughed from November until this month but up until January we were getting 100 per cent because Masters were propping them up.”
Golden Anchor, Nunhead
Lana Bewry – pictured above – who runs The Golden Anchor, Nunhead, South East London , says it’s “been a horrible struggle” but she has survived because of “a great kindness”.
“When you’re struggling to pay every single bill as they are all coming at you every month,” she described.
“It’s been a nightmare not knowing where the next penny is coming from.”
“She said for the last four months, since January until now, her sister and brother-in-law have paid her mortgage.
“They’ve saved me. It’s unbelievable,” she said. “But this is the last month so I’ve got to start making heaps of money. I have seen great kindness.”
‘How I long for a pint, a laugh and a good gossip’
– Comment, by Paul Routledge
I’ll be there, and so will millions of others. The ceremony of “locks-down” from the pub door can’t come soon enough. I’m on an outside table at the Old White Bear on Pubday.
Mick, Clifford, me and other regulars will take up where we left off a hundred days ago. The nation isn’t just gasping for beer, it’s gasping for company.
The laughter, the sly wit, the chaffing, the gossip and the shared grief over those we have lost during pandemic.
That’s what the Great British Boozer is all about: not just booze, but people.
The beer is a help, naturally. It has been for 5,000 years since it was first brewed in Mesopotamia, now Iraq. They invented ale, but we invented the pub.
A snooty Parisian philosopher once defined hell as “other people”. That’s because the French don’t have pubs. They have grim drinking places.
We meet other people for pleasure, in a friendly inn. Indeed, there is a Friendly Inn, in Keighley. Capt Sir Tom Moore probably drank there as a lad.
There’s nothing like the Great British Boozer. They try to recreate them the world over, but it doesn’t work because they’re not full of British people.
I’ve drunk in these places, but it’s not like home, and the best kind of pub really is a home from home.
Six of us at the table come Pubday, all men of a certain age, all with news of how he’s getting on, and all vying to talk first! What can possibly go wrong?
We’re outside for the next month. But whatever the weather, the nation’s emotional temperature will surge when we can be together again – at the pub.