Hampshire pubs and restaurants share what new Tier 2 restrictions mean for them
CONCERNS have been raised that the ban of households mixing indoors may lead to empty restaurants and pubs after businesses will be allowed to open next week.
With Portsmouth and the rest of Hampshire in Tier 2, pubs, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open until 11pm as long as they are serving food and can only sell alcohol with a 'substantial meal'.
George Madgwick, owner of The Wicks in Cosham and Knowle, is pleased with the new curfew but worried about households not being allowed to mix indoors.
He told The News: ‘I feel very mixed about the announcement because on the one hand it is great to be able to open again and the 11pm curfew change will really help but restaurants are social hubs.
‘As people can’t meet friends and family for meals and drinks, I am not sure we will be busy enough. We have had 18 bookings already this morning but it is whether after the rush people still want to go out.
‘We are looking forward to Christmas and it is great that we have been able to keep all our bookings for that but New Year’s Eve is the biggest day for hospitality and we will be restricted by the household mixing ban and having to close by 11pm.’
Fellow restaurant owner, George Purnell, of Koop + Kraft in Cowplain, agreed the household ban wasn’t ideal but hoped people would welcome the chance to go out for dinner with their bubble.
He said: ‘We are food-led so I don’t think the new restrictions are a death sentence like it is a for a lot of wet-led places, which we have a lot of around Waterlooville.
‘The banning of mixing households is not ideal but I feel people will still embrace the opportunity to gout and we hope to see a lot of the community over the next month.
‘I do think hospitality has been unfairly treated.’
For West Street Alehouse owner, Steve Wilhelmsen, the ‘substantial meal’ requirement for serving alcohol means his business in Fareham will have to remain closed.
He said: 'We have made it through two lockdowns and our online service will continue through December.
‘We are lucky to have really supportive customers.’
With shops and personal care open in all tiers, the team at Hardysalon are raring to get back to work but owner Rachel Hardy says it remains to be seen whether
She said: ‘We are so happy to open again and pleased that under any tier we would be allowed to.
‘It has been horrible having to open and close the business over the last year. The first lockdown was awful but then we had three months of people raring to have their hair done.
‘This time we are heading into Christmas which is usually our busiest time but it depends on whether Christmas parties are happening because that will affect us.’