Unlocking Huntingdonshire: Desperate to reopen but some nervousness for landlords
- Credit: Francis Barreto
The Hunts Post spoke to The Three Tuns, in Fen Drayton and The Barley Mow, in Hartford about 12 weeks in lockdown.
Francis and Lois Barreto, who run the The Three Tuns will be opening on Saturday and say they are starting off with a “limited food offering”.
“We have carried out a risk assessment of the pub and put procedures in place, including yellow squares on the floor in high flow areas where only one member of staff/customer can enter the square at any one time. We have created a new one way system inside the pub, which will prevent people from crossing over each other and will enable us to control where people sit and who enters.
“It has been overwhelming, we have managed to keep ticking over by offering a take-away service, but it has been a real struggle managing cash flow.
“We were fortunate in being able to receive a grant from the Government but the main issue will be being able to maintain cash flow once we open.
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“It will be strictly table service only and people will be paying for their drinks through an APP on their phones. Everyone will be required to book a table inside and out, regardless of whether they are eating or drinking or both.”
“If they do not own a smart phone, they will be able to call us and to pay over the phone.
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“We are looking forward to opening, we are, however, anxious about it as well.
The Barley Mow, in Hartford, has decided to open its doors a little later, on Wednesday July 8.
Jenny Williams explained the slightly delayed opening, she said: “There are a couple of reasons for this, it is not as simple as switching on the lights and opening.
“We have had a lot of unused beer which has to be disposed of by the Environment Agency.
“We are also doing a trial run next Tuesday before opening on Wednesday, where we will be giving training to our staff.
“We have PPE equipment such as masks available for our staff to wear and they will be temperature checked every morning.
“We will have a screen up in place at the bar, to protect staff and customers when they come to pay for their meal.
“I prefer the idea of visors so that I can still talk to my customers when I greet them, as I have a lot of elderly customers.
“I am so thankful to Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly and HDC leader Ryan Fuller for all their help in re-evaluating my business rates so that I could receive my Government grant.
“Without this and the crowd funding that has taken place, I would have gone under in April.”
The pub will be delivering a reduced food menu and will not be open on Monday or Tuesdays for the moment. It will operate a one-way system in the pub and it will be table service.
“I advise people to book before coming, but we will try to fit others in, if we can.
“Our tables will be spaced out and we will have a lower capacity inside the building to ensure social distancing.
“We have four outdoor separated areas, one with a marquee, and some with umbrellas
“I am terrified about opening to be honest, I am worried about my staff’s mental health. I am worried that people might judge us, but we still have a business to run. One staff member is scared so I have put her to work behind the bar with a perspex visor up.
“We will do everything we can to ensure customer and staff safety, it is really tough for us as we still have to run this business.
“We hope people will let us know what they feel about returning to the pub and if they want any changes.”