The King’s Arms pub in Salford is preparing some drastic changes in order to re-open amid Tier 3 restrictions.
Landlady Lisa Connor is among many pub owners who felt the hospitality industry was unfairly targeted by the new restrictions.
On the Tier 3 rules, she said: “I don’t think there’s any science behind it.
“I don’t think there’s enough proof to keep shifting the goalposts and imposing restrictions on the hospitality industry.
“The figures and statistics don’t point towards us being the problem.”
The King’s Arms, on Bloom Street in Salford, will be expanding its menu to meet the “substantial” food requirement.
Ms Connor says the pub has “always been ahead of the curve” and will continue to adapt for customers.
She said: “Everyone has been really supportive.
“A lot of our customers have been coming in as soon as we open at four and staying until last orders.
“I think these people will order food and then maybe spread their meal out over the evening.”
What would you like to see on our menu? Best substantial pub food?
— The Kings Arms (@kingssalford) October 23, 2020
Ms Connor says they will “reinstate the kitchen” and add new items on the menu such as onion bhaji battered fish and chips and vegetarian pie and mash.
A pound from every meal will also be going to charities such as the Salford food bank.
Ms Connor hopes this will help feed those in need following the government’s controversial decision on free school meals.
She is also ensuring the popular and well-visited theatre is Covid-secure.
Ms Connor said: “The theatre upstairs we have reconfigured cabaret style with two metres between each table. You’ll get a show and a substantial meal whilst being entertained.”
While optimistic about re-opening, Ms Connor is sceptical the government’s financial support will be enough for her staff on reduced hours.
She said: “What the government offered isn’t very good at all. Some of them have got children, some of them have got houses and mortgages.”
Ms Connor is not the only one concerned about this and amidst the uncertainty, residents of Salford are wondering how they can help.
Jake Harrison is a regular supporter of his local pubs and wonders if they will survive the new restrictions.
“On one hand, if there is a problem, we do need to be tightening up restrictions, but a lot of these businesses aren’t going to survive. It’s a double edged sword really.”
“I’ve had a meal in my local since the restrictions came in, just to get out of the house.
“It’s weird because sometimes you’re not hungry, it’s all a bit strange, but I suppose that’s the world we live in at the minute.
On what he thinks would entice customers back through the pub doors, he said: “Pubs need to be doing little deals and cheap stuff.
“There’s nothing wrong with going and having a meal on a Sunday like a Sunday dinner but on a Friday night, you don’t want that.”