Wakefield reopening: New outside area has doubled the size of popular real ale pub
City pubs have had to get creative and make the most of their outside space to thrive in this phase of reopening
Harry's Bar just off Westgate in Wakefield city centre has reopened today as the country enters the next stage of lockdown being lifted.
A new outside area has "doubled" the size of the pub. Landlady Louise Waters said it wouldn't have been worth reopening without it.
Today she drafted in her daughter Emily to help out before more staff arrive for the evening.
She ushers visitors to newly numbered tables on the outside decking and to the track and trace station by the entrance.
Pints of ale are rapidly delivered on black trays as Louise mans the pumps.
She said: "It's been so far so good. We are fully booked later on from 4pm. It's been a nice steady start and everyone is behaving."
Harry's has a robust safety system in place. Like most pubs it's well-versed by now in how to keep people Covid-safe.
But Louise is very much looking forward to the day things get back to normal.
She said: "I hate doing table bookings, if I wanted to be a restauranteur I would have been. I'm just not cut out for it.
"It's nice because it's orderly and we can keep a check on eveything and that's all fine but it's not the true spirit of a pub.
"People are supposed to come in, there's hustle and bustle at the bar, they speak to people, mingle, and move around.
"It's nice having everyone back and seeing everyone enjoy themselves but I think everyone is craving that real pub experience where you can get a pint and go off an drink it yourself without being told to put a mask on or sign in and check in. But it's enabled us to get open so I suppose it's for now it's better than nothing.
"I think we've done well to get to where we are. The vaccination rollout has been exceptional, they've done such a good job and I think providing everything keeps moving the way it had been moving there is no reason we can't get back to where we need to be.
"For me I'm just waiting for the pub to be back to being a pub and less like an army camp."