Pubs (and bars) in brief …

The British Beer & Pub Association has urged the Welsh government to confirm when all pubs — rather than just those with outdoor space — will be able to re-open, as a matter of urgency. The Welsh goverment has announced that pub beer gardens will be able to reopen from 13th July, with two-metre social distancing in place, as long as the Covid-19 virus continues to abate. When asked when pubs will be able to fully re-open, the Welsh Government would only say this would be looked at “later”.

The Old Dairy Brewery Taproom will re-open on 4th July. Social distancing and hand sanitising measures will be in place. Hours are: Saturday, 10am-10.30pm; Sunday, noon-4pm.

Anglian Country Inns has secured £3.3m through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, via Cynergy Bank. The money will refinance debt and provide emergency working capital.

West Country pub operator Heavitree is extending its rent cancellation period for tenants until the end of July.

Adnams is aiming to re-open 90% of its pubs on Saturday, 4th July. The remainder will open over the next few weeks.

JW Lees has launched a C19 Safe campaign to assure staff and customers that its pubs will be Covid safe when they start to re-open from 4th July.

Mitchells and Butlers says all of its pubs brands will re-open on 4th July. These include Nicholson’s, All Bar One, and Harvester.

Ei Publican Partners — the leased and teanted part of its business — says its support package for publicans has cost more than £28m. This will include rent credit equivalent to 75% in JUly and 50% in August.

The Long Live The Local campaign, backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance, which includes some global brewers, as well as independents and other trade orgaisations, has been relaunched as pubs get set to re-open. It will remind pub-goers of the great beer, food, atmosphere, and community spirit they have missed during lockdown, and highlight what pubs are doing to ensure the safety of their customers.

Beer gardens can open in Scotland from 6th July, with pubs and restaurants able to serve people inside their premises from 15th July, the Scottish government has announced.

Stonegate is planning a debt issue to finance its £2.97bn acquisition of Ei Group, according to Reuters. The takeover has made Stonegate Britain biggest pub owner.

Marston’s expects to open 80 50 85% of its pubs from 4th July. Greene King is looking to open two-thirds of its managed estate.

Greene King says its 1,000 leased and tenanted partners will receive a £250 personal protective equipment (PPE) kit for re-opening, including face masks, visors, gloves, and hand sanitiser gel. Each pub has also been offered £120 of Covid-19 signs for pub gardens and interiors, plus free online training courses covering Covid-19 topics, such as service after lockdown and personal protection.

Hall & Woodhouse says its rent cancellation and loan suspension period for tenants will be entended into the re-opening phase.

Heineken-owned Star Pubs and Bars has said licensees will continue to get rent reductions through July and August. The rent concessions are 50% upwards.

Budweiser Brewing Group, the UK arm of AB-InBev, says its pub relief fund, to support the trade during closure, has hit the £1m mark. The scheme allows people to buy a gift card to spend at their local pub once it re-opens.

The Licensed Trade Charity saw 10,210 new visitors to its website in March, an increase of 650%. And there was an increase of 300% in enquiries by email, referral, and via the charity’s helpline. A spokesperson said: “We are working as hard as we can to deal with all the enquiries as quickly as possible and deliver support where it’s needed, and the feedback so far has been really positive. We’ve also stepped up our support services to cope with the increased volume and we’re developing our partnerships and resources to increase the support we can offer to licensed trade people.”

Fuller’s has opened The Windjammer, a managed venue in Royal Dock, London. Set to harbour a community atmosphere, The Windjammer will focus on fresh, seasonal food, and exceptional service. With a split-level interior, featuring a large downstairs bar and dining area set below a similarly versatile mezzanine floor, the pub boasts breathtaking views of the river and Thames Barrier. Nautical touches and plants are dotted throughout the interior, and this is continued outside into the decked seating area.

Windsor & Eton Brewery has opened its fourth pub — the Rose and Olive Branch, in Virginia Water.

The Foresters Arms, a community pub in Reading, has re-opened following a joint £200,000 investment by Admiral Taverns and new licensee, Maria Dykes, who has 25 years’ experience in the industry. The opening saw more than 600 guests come through the doors. Mayor Paul Woodward had a preview of the refurbishment the day before the official opening when he cut the ribbon.

Surrey’s Big Smoke Brew Co is opening a fifth pub. It is re-opening The Raglan, in Wokingham, in mid-March, under its original name, The Lord Raglan. A £350,000 refurbishment is under way.

Lakeland Inns has snapped up The Royal Oak, which sits alongside the River Crake in Spark Bridge, a village in the Lake District National Park. The pub has been closed more recently, but will re-open later this month after a mini-revamp, serving a wide selection of wines, spirits, and locally brewed ales.

PubAid has welcomed Greene King as its first ever patron. The group receives funding from a number of supporters, with Greene King becoming the first to commit at the highest level of £5,000 per year for three years. PubAid co-founder, Des O’Flanagan, said: “We’re delighted that Greene King has stepped up to be a patron and are grateful to all the pub companies, brewers, and others who have supported PubAid over the years. To enable us to plan for the longer term, we are seeking support guaranteed for three years, with a choice of funding levels. This will allow us to be more ambitious with our plans to raise the profile of pubs as a force for good in their communities and wider society.”

Young’s has completed the acquisition of The Constitution, in Camden, London. The transaction included the acquisition of the leasehold interest from Pubs of Distinction, and the freehold from an investor. The deal was brokered by Fleurets. Brendan Brammer, acquisition manager of Young’s & Co, said: “We are delighted to acquire this property, which has canal frontage, large external trading area, and is located in the heart of an area which continues to see significant urban regeneration. We intend to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the site ready for summer trading.”

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