Tribute to ‘meticulous’ pubs as Exmouth’s hospitality sector opens on Super Saturday

PUBLISHED: 10:53 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:53 06 July 2020

Pubs were able to reopen from July 4 in England following an easing of coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Getty

Pubs were able to reopen from July 4 in England following an easing of coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Getty

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Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants have reopened their doors for the first time since late March and one Exmouth regular has paid tribute to the way they are being run.

Some leisure and hospitality venues in Exmouth were able to reopen their doors in what was dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ at the weekend.

The pub/restaurant/cafe experience was different for customers returning to their favourite venues for the first time in three months.

Visitors were restricted to table service only and had their contact details taken at the door as per the Government’s guidelines on social distancing and possible contact tracing.

Jeff Lewis, a resident of the town, admitted the idea of returning to the pub left him with ‘trepidation’ but said he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ with what he experienced.

He said: “(I) Went out for a walk around half expecting to choose to come home with some bottles from the Coop.

“Oh ye of little faith.”

READ MORE: Social distancing measures at Exmouth Indoor Market have allowed it to reopen under continuing restrictions

He said The Powder Monkey was running a ‘near military operation’ to fit in with the Government’s existing guidelines on social distancing.

Mr Lewis said Oliver Bainbridge at The Grapevine has been providing boxes of beer for delivery and upon returning to the pub, it was a ‘meticulously planned’ pub experience.

He also visited the Merchant which he said was also ‘meticulous’, before getting a takeaway from Tandoori Nights.

He added: “I actually felt very light-hearted and happy as I took the Indian meal home to the awaiting family.”

Amy Matthews, who runs The Heavitree, visited some of Exmouth’s pubs on Saturday ahead of reopening her establishment on Monday (July 6).

She said the pubs were ‘quite quiet’ and that people were still ‘dubious’ about venturing out.

Miss Matthews added: “I think The Park was the busiest place because they’ve got a lot of open space and it’s a bit out-of-town.”

She took advantage of a mobile ordering application while at the Grapevine and said Spoken landlord George Nightingale was positioned at the door to direct people on where to go at his bar.

Miss Matthews added: “Everyone has done really well implementing the guidelines.”

The Heavitree reopened on Monday with a drinks and barbecue menu, with plans to return to the full menu on Wednesday.


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