"People are overjoyed to be out" - Sheffield's bar staff on reopening outdoors as city's hospitality industry is brought back to life
After months of planning, hoping and waiting, the moment Sheffield’s pub staff had been waiting for finally arrived today.
The city’s dormant hospitality industry was brought back to life this morning after the Covid-19 restrictions preventing customers from going to the pub were partially lifted, allowing groups of six or two households to meet in outdoor venues.
Among the first pubs to open to customers was Two Thirds Beer Co on Abbeydale Road, which welcomed four groups of customers, who had pre-booked, to its outdoor seating terrace at around 10am.
Danny Clare, one of the bar’s owners, said the first pint poured was a Guinness, and that the tipple proving popular with punters was a milkshake IPA from Norweigan brewery, Lervig, called Orange Velvet.
"I think draught beer is something people have really missed. It’s the main thing we do, so it’s good to be doing it again,” said Danny.
Two Thirds opened just four months before the pandemic took hold, and in addition to using the lockdowns to create a successful online operation, Two Thirds has also used the time to build a kitchen on the premises that will now be used to serve up food from popular eatery, Get Wurst.
Danny said: “I think people are really overjoyed to be out and to be seeing and talking to people again. Opening has gone smoothly, and it’s good to be back.”
Duty Manager at The Broadfield, also on Abbeydale Road, Ellen Bell said there were around four or five groups waiting to come in when they opened at midday.
She said the atmosphere at the pub was “really positive.”
"Everyone seems really happy to be here, and to be together again. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has been supporting us, and we’re excited to see everyone again,” said Ellen.
With one of the city centre’s best beer gardens, The Forum was always going to be a popular spot; and by lunchtime there were around 100 people soaking up the sunshine in its outdoor seating areas, which overlook Devonshire Green.
The establishment is one of True North’s family of pubs, and the company’s finance director, Sean Kelly, said staff were coping well with a busy first day back.
"It’s nice to see customers coming out and supporting us,” added Sean.