Pubs facing wet week after bank holiday wash-out
- Credit: Vine Thai/Aey Allen
Pubs and restaurants shut early and closed fully during a wash-out bank holiday weekend, ahead of another week of wet weather.
After enjoying a busy few weeks since reopening outdoors from April 12, the weekend and bank holiday - usually a busy time for the hospitality world - fell quiet.
Several pubs and restaurants, including the Cellar House in Eaton and the Trafford Arms on Grove Road in Norwich, changed opening hours and shut early amid downpours and windy weather.
As the poor conditions continued on Tuesday, many decided to stay shut, including the Crown at Reepham and the Blue Boar in Sprowston.
And with forecasters expecting the rain to continue past this weekend, it will be a blow for landlords and owners who are currently so reliant on sunshine.
Dan Trivedi, of the Prince of Denmark pub on Sprowston Road, said they'd had a strong first three weeks with plenty of record days, but said Monday had been their worst day on record.
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"Including April 12, which was just a crazy day, it has been brilliant and the weeks overall have been collectively 50pc up on what we were expecting," he said.
"But with it being cold and really wet, it was just a wash-out. We have got lots of umbrellas but they can't stop all of it. We have taken more money in the quietest periods when we were doing takeaways."
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He said with the next 10 days looking wet and windy, it was a concern for restaurants, and said there was a debate as to whether rules should be relaxed for hospitality venues ahead of May 17.
Restaurants and pubs can reopen indoors from May 17, and a legal challenge brought by hospitality bosses nationally to reopen earlier has been lost.
Aey Allen, at the Vine Thai on Norwich's Dove Street, had to challenge a licensing decision over outdoor seating to open in April.
The weather, she said, is another obstacle in the way of getting back to normal. She opened for 30 minutes on Friday and has closed on Monday and Tuesday.
"I am pinning my hopes on May," she said. "It's a nightmare, every morning I have to look out at the weather to see if we will be shut or open. I have to tell my staff to bear with me."