Local Pubs and Restaurants Get Set for Reopening

Social distancing relaxation welcomed but track and trace rules a challenge

Thatched House sell food and flowers & bedding plants. Picture: Darren Pepe

“We are so excited to get open,” said pub landlord James Fitzgerald.

He runs the Thatched House pub in Hammersmith and its sister pub the Duchess.

He said: “I am just so happy we have a date. I can’t see anything negative.”

The Prime Minister’s announcement that pubs, along with hairdressers and restaurants can reopen on July 4 with social distancing reduced from two metres to one metre means businesses are gearing up to welcome customers back.

And Mr Fitzgerald hopes things will “get back to normal fairly quickly”.

But it will mean there will be a one-in and one-out rule at the toilets to ensure social distancing and the Thatched House will only have space for 100 customers – instead of the usual 280.

Mr Fitzgerald said there will be more seats in the garden at the pub in Dalling Road to help cope too.

But one thing will remain after lockdown. The pub has been selling food and plants to the community.

“We absolutely love selling plants. It’s brought in people who would not normally come in. It’s really helped put us on the map, said Mr Fitzgerald.”

And Fulham restaurant boss Gianluca D’Aversa said he thought the relaxed distancing rules meant there could be 70 per cent capacity.

Gianluca D'Aversa. Picture: Merril Hammer

He said he will be changing the menu at La Pizzica.

“We are missing our customers and can’t wait to welcome them back,” he said.

There will be fewer tables and hand sanitiser as customers come in. And would-be diners who refuse to give their details for track and trace won’t be able to eat there.

He added: “We are positive about it. We were positive when it started and we have kept the same attitude.”

Julia Gregory - Local Democracy Reporter

June 23, 2020