‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ in sight as Chichester landlords prepare for reopening venues

As hospitality venues across Chichester have been gearing up to open next week, landlords and managers have told of their excitement at welcoming punters back.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:26 pm

They’ve also shared what changes have been made to make the experience as safe as it is enjoyable.

The first chance the city’s pubs and restaurants will have to invite customers back is from April 12, when outdoor dining and drinking is once again permitted.

These Chichester pubs are planning on reopening as restrictions ease next monthShell Roberts, from The Old House at Home in West Wittering, which reopens on Wednesday April 14, said: “We’re becoming experts at this reopening game. We are optimistic and excited for the summer ahead. Especially with staycations being at the forefront of everyone’s agenda.

Glenn Johnson, owner of The Hornet Alehouse, Chichester. Picture by Steve Robards - SR2103309

“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone and their four legged companions.”

Glenn Johnson, owner of The Hornet Alehouse in The Hornet, which opens from Tuesday, April 13, said: “I’m really excited about it. It will be nice to be able to chat to people again. I have only been able to see people’s doorsteps and I am missing everyone really. I have been able to chat to the odd person but it’s nothing like in normal times.”

The bar successfully applied for outdoor seating for two tables and four chairs allowing customers to enjoy a beer on site.

“It was very easy to get hold of and it didn’t cost anything because we will be opening as a shop initially, but this means people can sit outside and have a beer if they want to.”

Glenn described a sense of normality in the city as the centre starts to get busy again. “It seems busier out there and it has been for the past few weeks – I think people are starting to realise that things are going back to normal again.”

On whether there will be a push to support local independents once things return to normal, Glenn said: “I would like to think so – I think there are a lot of people out there who want to support their local independents.”

The bar has been delivering beer to customers over the past year, and to say a ‘massive thank you’ for their support, a name will be picked from the delivery list and the winner handed at £50 voucher.

Richard Craig, director of Big Smoke Brew Co which runs The Hole in the Wall in St Martin’s Street, said: “We’re very excited to be opening our doors again on April 12.

“It feels like there’s light at the end of the tunnel for what has been a very trying 12 months. Initially we’ll only be opening our small courtyard with seating for roughly 30 people, but will be expanding this to include our inside spaces when Covid restrictions are lifted further.”