Cheers! Pubs, bars and restaurants across Burnley and Padiham prepare to welcome back public

The hospitality sector begins to reopen its doors this weekend, three months after being ordered to close for lockdown.
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As the two-metre rule becomes ‘one-metre plus’, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes across Burnley and Padiham are going to be adapting to a new way of pulling pints and serving meals with Covid-secure guidelines in place.

Many venues will be operating a pre-booking system to control the amount of customers they let in, while phone apps are also being used to order and pay for drinks in some establishments.

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Table service, hand sanitisers, social distancing markers and stickers indicating one-way systems will also all now be part of the new ‘going out’ experience.

Ighten Leigh Social Club steward Brian Parker is back behind the bar ready for Saturday's reopening. Photo: Kelvin StuttardIghten Leigh Social Club steward Brian Parker is back behind the bar ready for Saturday's reopening. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Ighten Leigh Social Club steward Brian Parker is back behind the bar ready for Saturday's reopening. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

The Commercial in Harle Syke will see its capacity cut from 100 to around 30 when it reopens at noon on Saturday.

Landlady Sarah Williams said she will not be earning enough to turn over a living while the restrictions are in place, but felt she had no other choice.

“It’s going to be bizarre. We spent ages waiting for the guidelines; then last week we got the go-ahead and we had to jump into action

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“It’s been more about preparing the pub, rather than making a lot of changes. The furniture has been moved around, we have a QR code so we’re able to track and trace, and we’ve arranged staff into pairs. One will be pouring the drinks, the other will be delivering them. So, from Saturday I’ll no longer be a landlady, I’m going to be a waitress.

Sarah and Andy Williams, from the Commercial in Harle Syke, are looking forward to seeing their regulars again. Photo: Kelvin StuttardSarah and Andy Williams, from the Commercial in Harle Syke, are looking forward to seeing their regulars again. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Sarah and Andy Williams, from the Commercial in Harle Syke, are looking forward to seeing their regulars again. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“We spent a lot of the lockdown decorating; the place looks fabulous. Fortunately, we have a big outdoor space at the back as well so we can put more tables and chairs out there if needed.

“I really don’t know what to expect. We’re going to open the doors and see what happens.

“Staff at the Ighten Leigh Social Club have certainly been ‘putting’ in a few extra shifts during lockdown, building a crazy golf course and beer garden at the back of the building.

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Steward Brian Parker said: “We were planning to add in the third beer garden and the crazy golf course anyway, but once lockdown came in it gave us the opportunity to do it sooner than expected.

Ballaro' co-owner Francesco Tutrone. Photo: Kelvin StuttardBallaro' co-owner Francesco Tutrone. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Ballaro' co-owner Francesco Tutrone. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“We’re reopening to members and non-members, and we’re hoping to fit in around 70 to 80 people. It’s going to be really hard to manage. Hopefully it’s only going to be for two or three weeks. I get why the government is doing it this way but it feels like half measures.

“We can’t have anybody playing pool, snooker or darts, we can’t book any live music. We’ve got to get back to normal as soon as possible. A lot of pubs are going to go under because of this.”

The Royal Dyche in Yorkshire Street is currently in the middle of an exterior refurb with an outdoor balcony and bar being fitted.

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Owner Justine Lorriman said they would play the reopening by ear, but she would have no hesitation in shutting down again if she felt the safety of her staff or customers was being compromised.

The will be extra seating outside for those visiting The Royal Dyche. Photo: Kelvin StuttardThe will be extra seating outside for those visiting The Royal Dyche. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
The will be extra seating outside for those visiting The Royal Dyche. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“It’s just a case of trying it out. We know we’re not going to enjoy it. It’s hard enough working behind a bar without trying to work with all these guidelines. We’re going to review it after three weeks. If it’s not working out then we will shut again and wait for the rules to be relaxed further.

“Because we have quite a lot of regulars who are older, who don’t have smartphones; we’re not going to be operating a pre-booking system, it will be first come, first served from 11am on Saturday.

“We are really lucky here. We have a lot of regulars who use the pub to socialise, to see friends. We’re like one big family, and it will be nice to see everybody.”

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Between Saturday and Friday, July 10th, The Royal Dyche is offering all NHS workers a free pint. NHS ID cards must be presented.

Ballaro’ co-owner Francesco Tutrone said he had no idea what to expect on Saturday but he was happy to be back open for business.

“We have 160 people booked in for Saturday; and we’re allowing 40 walk-ins. We don’t want more than 200 people in a day.

“It’s been hard but we’re glad to be back. We’ve put down a new floor, carpet; we’ve given the place a bit of a refurb. We’ve had a meeting with staff and done a risk assessment, so we’re ready.

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It’s going to be strange. It’ll be one in, one out, hand sanitisers on the wall, guests will be given paper menus and there’ll be nobody allowed at the bar. We really don’t know what to expect but it does look like it’s going to be busy.”

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said: “This is the next moment in our careful and deliberate reopening of the economy, and I know it’s a moment our pub, bars, restaurants and other venues are ready for.

“I’ll be using the opportunity to promote all that we have to offer as a town and urge everybody to support our local pubs, cafes and restaurants as they begin to reopen.

“I hope everyone enjoys their first pint, meal out and haircut, but also continues to Stay Alert. That message remains as vital as ever, and is how we will continue to make progress.”