Many pubs and bars around Lincoln will reopen for the first time next week when restrictions are further eased.
Despite pubs being able to reopen outdoors from last month, some have remained shut due to concerns over how profitable outdoor service might be, being unable to invest into a beer garden over the pandemic, or lacking outdoor space entirely.
Pubs around Lincoln such as the Magna Carta and The Cardinal’s Hat will reopen for the first time on May 17 in more than four months.
Lincolnshire Live has spoken to some of those who run pubs that are still closed to see how they feel about finally reopening and their hopes for the summer ahead.
Jon Kempton, bar manager at BeerHeadZ Lincoln on Eastgate, said: “The entire team at BeerHeadZ have been anticipating and counting down the days until our re-opening.
“We know that from a YouGov survey which was carried out last month, Brits were most looking forward to going to the pub, dining out, getting a haircut, and shopping as restrictions eased.
“Since the re-opening of outdoor hospitality on April 12, customers have had to contend with the unpredictable weather when enjoying a drink or meal outdoors.
“The re-opening of indoor hospitality is another huge boost, especially for a business like ours, as we along with many other pubs don’t have a beer garden.
“Now, I think customers are eager to get back to socialising indoors where the weather isn’t a factor – and I know I speak for the whole team when I say that we are most looking forward to seeing our loyal customers again.”
Also in the city is The Cardinal’s Hat on the High Street.
A spokesperson here said: “We are also opening on May 17 and expect to be busy.
“Just trading outdoors didn’t warrant keeping the business open for us so we’re really looking forward to it all.”
Further up the High Street towards the city centre is The Tiny Tavern- one of the cities smaller drinking establishments.
Co-owner Emma Chapman told Lincolnshire Live: “When we opened for the first time in March last year, we were open for five days before we closed.
“We being a little about things this time as a result of that so we will wait until May 20 to open our doors.
“With restrictions, running the pub is really labour intensive so we have reduced our capacity and opening days to Thursday to Sunday.
“We were a really new business when the pandemic hit so we didn’t have a chance to invest in our beer garden or anything. We saw it as too much of a risk to open before next week.”
The Magna Carta pub on Exchequergate in Lincoln – is also preparing for a reopening next week.
A spokesperson added: “We are re-opening on May 17 and we can’t wait to see all your lovely faces. We are now taking bookings
“We will operate the same system as before where we’ll be taking bookings but also leaving some tables spare for people to walk in and use.
“We want wait to have our regulars back in here.”
The Walkabout bar in Lincoln which is also on the High Street will reopen on May 17.
A statement on its social media reads: “We are absolutely stoked to announce we will be re-opening on May 17.
“Make your booking over on our website.”
Also on the High Street is The Strugglers Inn – a pub that dates back to 1841.
In-line with restrictions, the pub will reopen to customers for the first time since the beginning of the year next week.
The pub has told its customers that booking isn’t essential, but it is recommended to avoid disappointment.