Portsmouth punters ready for 'hectic' first weekend since pubs and bars reopened

PUNTERS and pub staff are gearing up for what is expected to be a ‘hectic’ weekend – the first since lockdown restrictions were eased.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 8:15 pm

After outdoor dining and non-essential retail was reopened on April 12, many people in Portsmouth have been making the most of having their favourite venues open for business once again.

Some have been out a few times already this week – while others have been building up the confidence to deal with the outdoor crowds.

At Brewhouse and Kitchen in Southsea Terrace, Dexter Richardson was out for the second time this week, and plans to go out again this weekend.

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Matt Nicholson, Max Hickman, Ethan Phillips, Katherine Watts and Dexter Richardson at Brewhouse, Southsea. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Dexter, 19, said: ‘I think there’s a much better atmosphere in Portsmouth now things have reopened. Everyone looks a lot happier.

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‘I hope it all stays open now, but this weekend is definitely going to be very busy though.

‘That’s a good thing because the local pubs all need our support right now – so I’ll be out as much as I can to help them out.’

Ryley Mason, Anneliese Parker and Hayley Purrington at Bonita's, Southsea. Picture: Habibur Rahman

His friend Matt Nicholson, 20, added: ‘I think now is the right time to reopen all the pubs.

‘I’m going out as much as possible too – I feel a lot happier now we can meet our friends in the pubs and bars again.’

For pub staff, it has certainly been a busy week, but even they have found time to have a beer or two.

Evan Stanley, 20 from Denmead, works at the Horse and Jockey in Hambledon.

He said: ‘We’ve got a big pub garden so this week has been really busy for us; it’s been so lovely to see people again though.

‘Even just being in groups of six again feels great, and we’ll certainly make the most of it.’

At Bonita’s in Palmerston Road, Southsea, university friends Ryley Mason, Anneliese Parker and Hayley Purrington were enjoying some long-awaited cocktails together.

Ryley, 20, said: ‘This is the first time we’ve been out but it feels really good to do it.

‘The queues at a lot of places are crazy and I think it’ll be the same this weekend.’

Hayley, 21, added: ‘We didn’t really plan on going out, so I think if you don’t book a table it’s a bit hectic. It’s nice to be going back to normal though.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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