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The Ram, Newark, gets set for re-opening with new outdoor seating area

Any temptation to squeeze just one more table on to The Ram’s new outdoor seating area has been dismissed as safety remains the top priority ahead of re-opening.

The government’s roadmap to re-opening England allows ­— subject to the country continuing to manage coronavirus ­— pubs, restaurants and bars with beer gardens, outdoor areas and carparks to open for socially-distanced drinks and meals from Monday, April 12.

“It has been a strange time for all of us,” said Felix Bevis, who is part of the management team at The Ram, on Castlegate, Newark, which last pulled a pint at the end of October.

The Ram pub preparing outdoor area for when pubs can re-open. Michael Elms of Lumineri, building new seating area. (45367909)
The Ram pub preparing outdoor area for when pubs can re-open. Michael Elms of Lumineri, building new seating area. (45367909)

“As a trade, we are used to working flat out all of the time and to go from that to doing nothing overnight was hard to take.

“We have used the opportunity to plan ahead, whether that be creating our new outdoor seating area or new food and cocktail menus.

“All covid safety measures have been taken seriously and we continue to work with licensing to make sure we are ready to re-open.

“We can’t wait to re-open.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel and we are ecstatic. The pub industry is a passion as well as a job for everyone I know who is involved with it.”

Although it hasn’t had to lay anyone off, all staff at The Ram have been furloughed and some have moved on into other trades with more certainty, leaving a core of ten to 15, which the business will be looking to add to.

The management team is grateful of the support they’ve received through the furlough scheme and in business support grants and in business rates, saying a protective arm was thrust around them.

“It’s a busy summer ahead,” said Felix.

“In a perfect world people would be streaming in and we’d be back to the way that pubs used to be. However, that isn’t possible and no matter how tempting it is, everything will be done in the safest possible manner.

“Whatever the temptation to squeeze an extra table into the outdoor area, it will be resisted.

“If the vaccine roll-out continues to go well and the number of cases continues to reduce, I feel confident in a June 21 re-opening and a total removing of social-distancing ­— that’s the holy grail of what we are working towards.

“We want to see people standing at the bar, smiling, chatting, and enjoying themselves, but there’s a long way to go yet.

“Pubs are an integral part of British culture and I think most people are hoping we’re back in them one day soon.”

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