A popular pub in Preston is serving food for 1p after a row with Preston City Council over new tier-three restrictions.Advertisement
Ships and Giggles, on Fylde Road had been serving free food for customers since the middle of October.
However, following a phone call from Preston City Council just before they opened their doors for the night earlier this week, Andy MacDonald, owner of the pub on UCLan’s campus, was left ‘disheartened’ and ‘disgusted’ by accusations of giving out free food to stay open.
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Andy says he repeatedly explained that this was not the case, saying: “I had to repeatedly tell him that how dare he try and tell me what I’m doing when I’m not, and then wait until 5pm when I’m about to open my doors to ring me and talk down to me when I have a restaurant/bar to open putting fear into myself and my staff.”
Under the new tier-three restrictions, venues can only serve alcohol if a meal is purchased.
Ships and Giggles are now serving meals for 1p, rather than providing the food for free.
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Andy said: “I don’t know how to make myself any more clear on what I’m doing.
“I am doing everything in my power to keep my business afloat and in the safest way possible.
“What we are doing at ships and Giggles is trying to shine some light during these mentally and financially dark times.”
Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council, said: “We understand and are mindful that the changes to the hospitality industry as part of the Tier 3 restrictions are challenging for many businesses. While we can appreciate the difficulty this is causing and innovative solutions are being developed, we all have to work within the regulations set by Government.
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“According to the current guidelines, a reasonable amount of alcohol may be purchased to accompany a meal – one that may be expected to be served at a table, as a purchased main meal.
“The restrictions prevent excessive amounts of alcohol to be purchased and consumed with that meal, or long after the food has been eaten.
“We are currently updating our website with the full criteria, as outlined by Government.
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“Our environmental health team, working with Lancashire Constabulary, visit premises throughout Preston at regular intervals checking compliance with Covid safety standards. We will continue this work to ensure regulatory standards are met.
“We would much rather support and work with businesses but, where necessary, we will not hesitate to take a robust approach.”
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What do you think about Ships and Giggles response to the new restrictions? Will you be going in to support them? Let us know in the comments below