Sheffield pub posts picture of empty bar and warns it may not survive till Christmas

A popular Sheffield city centre pub fears it could be forced out of business by Christmas due to the Tier 2 lockdown.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 9:46 am

The Red Deer, on Pitt Street, shared a photo of the empty premises on the first evening under the new restrictions on Wednesday, when it said takings were down by more than 80 per cent.

Sharing the gloomy image on Twitter, it wrote: “Empty pub, been viable for 10 years, but not looking likely under Tier 2. We need support @SCR_Mayor #whatyagonnadodan #tier2 #Sheffieldissuper #cancelthecurfew.”

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The Red Deer pub in Sheffield city centre said takings on the first day of Tier 2 lockdown were 10-15 per cent of what they would usually be on a Wednesday

Owner Jake Nickles said: “It’s early days for us but on Wednesday we took about 10-15 per cent what we normally would.

"We took a hit with the 10pm curfew but with the Tier 2 restrictions it’s a real challenge. We’re looking two months ahead and thinking are we going to make it through to Christmas.

"This is usually the period when business starts ramping up but we rely on university staff and postgraduate students and at the moment they’re mostly working from home. There aren’t many families living near us in the city centre.”

Under Tier 2 restrictions, different households are banned from mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.

Should Sheffield be moved to Tier 3, pubs and bars not serving substantial meals would be forced to close, with government support provided for those businesses, though there has been criticism that the financial aid being offered is not sufficient.

"It’s a horrible thing to say but from a business point of view a Tier 3 lockdown would be better for us because at least we could close and receive some government support,” said Mr Nickles.

"I think on a government level, the response to the pandemic has been dreadful. It strikes me that at no point have they consulted with anybody from the hospitality sector.

"When it comes to regional and city level, the Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis has been very vocal. They’re pushing the envelope as much as they can but we’re probably looking at the north-south divide and a bit of politics.”

The Red Deer is not the only Sheffield pub suffering under Tier 2 restrictions, with Conor Smith, landlord at The Dog & Partridge on Trippet Lane, having described the situation as ‘horrendous’.