Fringe Box



Busy But Cautious As Pubs, Restaurants And Hairdressers Open After Lockdown

Published on: 4 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 4 Jul, 2020

By Hugh Coakley

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers opened today (July 4) in Guildford and customers seemed generally happy with the approach being taken to safety and social distancing.

But there was still a measure of wariness among some. A couple strolling in Chapel Street said: “It’s nice to see cafés and restaurants open. We are cautiously optimistic but we are not relaxing quite yet.”

Yo!Sushi in Friary Street was busy on Saturday, July 4, as pubs and restaurants were allowed by the government to open again provided safety rules were observed.

Most restaurants in Friary Street were still only offering takeaways but some were serving meals on the premises. Yo!Sushi, had a full house and a queue outside.

Many but not all of the pubs in the town centre were open. Tina and Paul Rowe were among the early visitors to the King’s Head in Quarry Street. Tina said: “We were just passing and fancied a meal and a drink. It’s our first meal out in three months.”

Tina and Paul Rowe were early visitors to the King’s Head in Quarry Street when it re-opened after the government restrictions were lifted.

It was busy for staff as they had to get everyone to sign in at the entrance giving their name and contact details so they could be contacted in the event a customer or staff member contracted the virus. Added to that, it was table service only.

“People’s reactions have been very positive,” said a member of staff, “but we have a garden so we are very lucky.”

Tracey Haworth (right) and daughter, Meghan Brown (centre) were visiting from Manchester to see her other daughter, Hannah Brown (left) and partner, Chris Corker, at the Kings Head. “It’s the first time mum has seen me since I was pregnant.” said Hannah.

Around the corner in Chapel Street, Pews Courtyard was also busy. A steward was outside the entrance ensuring numbers weren’t exceeded and to take names and contact details. Customers were taken to their tables in the courtyard.

It was busy but not crowded in the covered Pews Courtyard. “It’s very well organised.” said one customer. “I’m very happy to put my name and contact details at the door.”

The Three Pigeons at the top of the High Street was taking what appeared to be a different approach to customer contact details. Staff said they were asking customers to voluntarily log onto their company’s app or to leave their contact details on their table once they left.
A flaw in the voluntary approach was highlighted when one pub patron standing outside was heard to say that they were reluctant to use the app. “We run a business and if someone is infected in the pub, we would have to self isolate and it would affect our business.”

Positano in Tunsgate opened for restaurant meals after three months of takeaways and home deliveries.

Hairdressers were also attracting customers. “I’m not bothered about pubs and restaurants but I’m delighted that the hairdressers are open again,” said one woman queueing outside of Toni and Guy’s in the upper High Street.

Julia Lampard in her hair salon in Sydenham Road said that they were doing all they could to make customers feel safe.

Julia Lampard, from the Julia Lampard Hair Salon, said that she was booked solid. One of her customers, Judy Cunningham, said: “I wanted to be here on the first day of opening and I’m so pleased. And my husband is thrilled because I’ve been banging on about my hair for four months.”

Isis Gegas at the new Chapel Street barbers was delighted with his first-day trading. The premises had been a sandwich shop previously.

Amanda Masters, chief executive of Experience Guildford said: “It has been difficult times for many sectors since the outbreak and hospitality is one of them. We are glad that they can begin to reopen to visitors. Pubs and restaurants will have new measures in place, so it may feel slightly different to what everyone is used to.”

You can find a list of pubs and restaurants that are reopening on Experience Guildford’s website by clicking here.

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