Monday 17 May marked the latest stage of the government roadmap and hospitality venues were finally able to reopen indoors.Advertisement
Spirits were high as people could gather indoors and avoid the miserable Preston weather for the first time in months.
🥳☕️🥪Today is the day we can welcome you back inside the cafes and bars at #PrestonMarkets and we can’t wait!🥪☕️🥳
Please visit us safely by following all the guidelines in place 🤗
See you soon! pic.twitter.com/bxyT2n3da8
— Preston Markets (@prestonmarkets) May 17, 2021
Mark Whittle, Preston City Centre BID Manager, said: “It was really good to see venues opening their doors after such a long period, there was a real excitement around. To see people enjoying a drink and a bite to eat with friends and family inside a venue is brilliant!
“Our pubs, bars and restaurants have worked incredibly hard during April to offer a sense of ‘normality’, which has been enjoyed by many people, despite the great British weather.
“As the week moves on, we expect more people will be enjoying a little of what they’ve missed, this time indoors. We’re incredibly grateful that customers are returning to support city centre businesses with lots of bookings being made.
“We’d like to thank all venues for reopening responsibly and our loyal local customers for returning and showing their support safely.”
See which businesses are declaring themselves #BackForGood near you by entering your postcode below or visit InYourArea
Blog Preston contacted venues in the local area to see how their experience of opening their doors for the first time in months went.
A spokesperson for the Italian Orchard said: “The reopening went extremely well. It was great to see so many familiar faces and there was a really positive and happy atmosphere from all of our customers and staff.
“It felt much closer to a normal service than after the previous lockdown and we had our lovely new pianist Guy playing our piano in the bar area who will be joining us most evenings.”
Councillor Boswell, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “Preston Markets have offered an essential service throughout the pandemic and we are thrilled that all traders are once again able to fully operate and serve customers safely.
“It is more important now than ever to shop local and support your independent businesses to upkeep Preston’s amazing city centre.
“While visiting Preston please make sure you continue to follow all the guidelines in place to keep everyone safe.”
We’re back…😍 pic.twitter.com/7ngUrJBR2L
— Preston At Night (@PrestonAtNight) May 18, 2021
Preston City Council took to social media to remind people not to get too caught up in the excitement, and to remain vigilant, as we are not yet out of the woods.
We are thrilled to see the re-opening of even more #Preston businesses & lifting of more restrictions.
But we aren’t out of the woods yet, so please do your part to keep fellow visitors and employees safe:
✅wear a mask
✅keep your hands clean
✅give each other space
— Preston City Council (@prestoncouncil) May 17, 2021
Venues are also extremely grateful for the support they received from locals during the pandemic when some were offering takeaway service.
Without the loyalties of customers, some venues would not have survived the pandemic.
A spokesperson for Taste of Turkey Preston said: “We are so excited to see our guests again after a long time.
“Also, during lock down we created some new dishes, and we have updated our menu and service.
“I’d like to thank our loyal customers for the support, who have ordered takeaway during the last few difficult months, and those who are booking tables now.”
Laura Short, Business Development Manager at 1842 said she now feels hopeful about the future – an emotion she didn’t feel after the last time hospitality reopened.
She said: “It’s been a relief reopening indoors because the weather has been very ‘British’ recently so we’ve had to cancel people’s bookings sometimes which has been really disappointing.
“It’s great to see people back and enjoying themselves, laughing and socialising and having fun. We’re fully booked up Friday and Saturday night which is great.
“It has been really hard to go from zero to a million in terms of workload and customer demand has been really high, but the majority of customers have been amazing and we’re so glad to be open again, and we’re so grateful for the support we’ve been shown.
“Being inside feels like we’re one step closer to normality, even though there are still restrictions.”
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Have you dined indoors yet? Let us know in the comments below.