THE owner of the Old Spot in Dursley has announced that the pub’s doors will remain firmly shut until January 2021.
Although the lockdown is set to end next Wednesday, Ellie Sainty, who also owns the Old Fox in Coaley, said that the Old Spot would stay closed.
“Closing the Old Spot until January 2021 has been a truly difficult decision,” she said.
“We have been open every day, serving Dursley since 1993, so it fills me with sadness.
“We have coped with the lockdown and all social distancing requirements but the 10pm closing, in the prime trading time, was a tough blow.
“In the lead up to this lockdown, we had to close for 48 hours as a customer notified us they had tested positive therefore staff needed to isolate and we needed to trace everyone.
“We have a moral and legal duty to act and not ignore it. This can happen at anytime so it makes planning, stocking, staffing and providing a great Christmas experience for customers very precarious.
“Fortunately our staff are protected with the furlough scheme, which is a relief as they are a fantastic team who I want to support through this and have back the moment our doors re-open.”
Ms Sainty said it will only be worth opening ‘wet pubs’ like the Old Spot if they are in Tier One.
“Tier 2 or 3 will ensure we can’t open without offering food all day, drinking only will not be permitted, so our hands are tied,” she said.
“However, at the Old Fox in Coaley we serve ‘substantial’ meals so we are hoping that we may be able to open with some degree of normality there.
“Of course, we will re-open again soon and hopefully as the R number decreases and the vaccines get online our bar screens can be removed and we can stay open a bit later and walk around with a beer and chat.
“These are the things I miss, the atmosphere customers create, camaraderie, laughter, togetherness and the social ties that bind a community.
“Pubs will come back strongly I believe, just not for a while yet.
“Some will never recover and we will lose some excellent publicans who would have had such an excruciating experience they will probably never pull a pint again.”
“This is by far the most serious issue that has faced our industry, and publicans put their life and soul into their businesses.
“I thank all our customers and friends for their messages of support and understanding.”
Ellie has assured customers that the pub is not closing and will return in the new year.
“We are not selling the pub, we’re just waiting a little longer for a better outcome,” she said.