Sheffield punters gather at beer gardens for first weekend out since lockdown restrictions eased

“It’s been brilliant, just good to have a bit of life back in the city.” – Thirsty punters have enjoyed their first weekend out since November as lockdown restrictions were eased this week on April 12.

Saturday, 17th April 2021, 10:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th April 2021, 10:22 pm

Drinkers were seen at beer gardens across Sheffield city centre for the first weekend since pubs reopened on Monday, April 12.

The government recently gave the go-ahead for outdoor hospitality to open under a coronavirus ‘roadmap plan’ designed to free the country from lockdown.

The city’s pubs have had a constant stream of customers during their first week back and had already started gearing up for an exceptionally busy weekend.

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Drinkers return to the city centre pubs in Sheffield as the COVID restrictions are lifted on pubs and restaurants
Drinkers return to the city centre pubs in Sheffield as the COVID restrictions are lifted on pubs and restaurants

Luckily the weather was perfect for people heading out this weekend, and beer gardens were filling up on Abbeydale Road.

Many pub-goers took the opportunity to drink inside the Abbeydale Picture House Social beer garden, which was packed in the afternoon, with pub-goers having to find alternative places to go as waiting times were said to exceed two hours.

Mark Riddington, events manager at Abbeydale Picture House, said: “It’s been brilliant, just good to have a bit of life back in the city isn’t it, especially at our venue because obviously, this is the first event we have done in over a year now. The last two events we did last year was the beer festival, the Indie Beer Feast and a film screening with Real Steel, and then we closed our doors, and that was it, so yeah, it’s good to have a bit of electricity back in the picture house.

Mark Riddington, events manager at Abbeydale Picture House.

"Everyone has been really helpful and listened to the rules, and have done their best to make everything safe. People seem really pleased to be able to sit in the sun and enjoy a beer with a mate, which is important. There’s been so much loneliness, it’s nice to have people coming together."

He added: "Most of the staff we’ve got on today are freelance. I’ve been on furlough, I’m back at it, and I’m tired. My body isn’t used to it, but I’m adjusting, getting used to it again now.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to putting on live music, we’ve got a few decent gigs booked. We’ve got Katie J Pearson coming up, Black Country New Road, we’ve got Mr Ben and the Bens, all those shows booked. All those are socially distanced for now, but some of them, if the conditions improve and the government lift some of the restrictions, we may eventually be able to return to our full capacity, which is exciting.”

Pub goers Mel and John were in good spirits outside of Turners Bar on Abbeydale road and decided to stay local instead of heading out to the city centre.

Pub-goers Mel and John drinking at Turner's on Abbeydale Road.

Mel said: “This is my first time back out, we’ve been walking around the area, and this is the only place we have found with a free table; we couldn’t get in anywhere else, and most places are book ahead. I prefer to stay local; you wouldn’t catch me queuing outside of Wetherspoons.

Speaking about Turner’s bar, John said: “I like the beer collection that they’ve got; it started as just a shop around the corner.”

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