Sheffield bowling club to open city's 'biggest beer garden'
An ingenious if surprising idea has helped Crookes Social Club in Sheffield to reopen while observing social distancing.
The Mulehouse Road club’s bowling green has been converted into what the team behind it believe is the biggest beer garden in Sheffield.
Currently with seating for up to 180 people, the Bowling Green Beer Garden has the space to increase this number to up to 360 people if needed.
Historically, bowling greens have been considered almost hallowed ground but the members of the club have recognised the need to the business to adapt to allow it to survive.
The club first opened in 1919 - right in the middle of the world flu epidemic.
It continued to trade successfully through the Second World War and has through adaptation and tenacity survived all the other obstacles thrown at the club in the last 100 years, say the committee members.
The 2020 Covid epidemic is no different.
The club committee and members have taken a long look at the business and identified what they need to do to allow this historical institution to survive.
General manager Maurice Champeau said: “We need to adapt. Things will be very different in the club - we can’t have live entertainment any more and the usual club activities such as bingo may for the time being fall by the wayside but we have looked at our facilities to make sure we can safely serve as many customers as possible.”
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President of both the club and the bowling section, Pete Lonsdale, said “Although a very small minority of members disagreed, the vast majority have supported us in the opening of our new beer garden.
“Currently with more than 25 tables seating up to six people each, we can welcome members old and new back to the club and provide a venue to allow our customers to socialise in safety.”
Maurice said: “Since news of our beer garden leaked from the club the phone has been almost ringing off the hook for people wanting to reserve a table for opening day on July 4.
“So much so that on the 4th, and all subsequent Saturdays this summer, people will need to book tables in the beer garden in advance.
“We are all very excited to reopen on Saturday and safely welcome people back to the club.”
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