Sheffield pubs prepare to reopen their beer gardens with just days to go until restrictions are lifted

With just a matter of days to go until the next set of Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, Sheffield pub staff are busy getting their beer gardens ready for outdoor trading.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:29 pm

From Monday, April 12, outdoor hospitality, haidressers and non-essential shops will be able to reopen as part of the Government’s “roadmap” out of lockdown.

At least 100 pubs in the city are set to welcome customers back this month, after being closed for more than six months.

One such establishment is The Raven pub on Palm Street, Walkley, which opened in November 2019 and has the capacity for up to 90 people in its beer garden.

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Two Thirds on Abbeydale Road has taken over 500 bookings for its outdoor area, which is fully booked when outdoor hospitality reopens on Monday, April 12

General Manager at The Raven, John Lowry, said: “It will be very lovely to see people again, and indoors in particular when that is possible.”

He added: “We’ve got hanging baskets at the garden centre that are going to be filled and make it look all beautiful and pretty.”

John says they have had a "strange” first 18 months of trading, during which they have spent as much time operating under Covid-19 restrictions, as they have without them.

The Raven team have used the spare time over lockdown to install a new kitchen on the premises, and plan to introduce a new food menu when the restrictions preventing indoor hospitality are lifted, something that is currently scheduled to take place from May 17.

The Raven in Walkley has the capacity for 90 people in its socially-distanced beer garden

John says The Raven, which is a freehouse, always leaned towards championing local breweries; but that has become especially important to him since the pandemic began, in part because of supply issues, but also because he believes it is vital that small, local businesses support each other where possible.

“We’ll have our favourite beers on, plus plenty of tasty guest beers on rotation too,” said John, who has worked in hospitality for 18 years at Sheffield pubs including The Harlequin, The Lescar and The Old House.

The Raven is not taking bookings, and will not be placing time limits on tables. They will be from open 3pm until 10pm on Thursdays and Fridays and from midday until 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Two Thirds Beer Co. on Abbeydale Road also opened to customers for the first time towards the end of 2019, and are looking forward to welcoming customers back next week.

Two Thirds on Abbeydale Road has taken over 500 bookings for its outdoor area, which is fully booked when outdoor hospitality reopens on Monday, April 12

Owner Ben Stubbs said they have taken over 500 bookings for their outdoor terrace so far, and are fully booked on Monday, with the first slot starting at 10am.

“Our new kitchen launches on Monday, operated by Get Wurst - a local, much-loved, independent Sheffield street food outlet who will be bringing the best of Berlin to Abbeydale Road with their authentic currywursts, bratwursts and their famous raclette cheese fries," said Ben.

They are also fully booked on Friday and Saturday, but have availability mid-week and from Sunday, April 18 onwards.

You can book by visiting: https://twothirdsbeer.co/BOOK/

Bradfield Brewery are planning to open the beer gardens of their three brewery taps next week, with the King & Miller at Manchester Road, Deep; the Nags Head Inn at Loxley Road, Loxley and the Wharncliffe Arms at Main Road, Wharncliffe Side.

John Gill, Managing Director, said Bradfield Brewery have been brewing in anticipation of orders from pubs, which they expect to increase after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on April 5 that outdoor hospitality will be permitted to reopen on April 12 as planned.

"We’re looking forward to seeing the pubs open again and welcoming back our regulars,” said John,

He added: “All three of our Brewery Taps will be opening their outdoor seating for drinks, with the Nags Head also offering food albeit with a slightly reduced menu in place.

“We have also decided to operate all three pubs on a first come, first served basis as we feel that it would be difficult to manage bookings with attendance being largely reliant on the weather.”

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