Bars in Leeds prepare for New Year celebrations after no further restrictions confirmed

Bars across Leeds are preparing for "careful" New Year's Eve celebrations in light of the Covid pandemic - with may hoping for a turnaround after a bleak December.

By Daniel Sheridan
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 4:45 am

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Boris Johnson has urged the public to enjoy New Year celebrations in a “cautious and sensible way” as he continued to drive forward the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The Prime Minister encouraged people to book booster jabs or first and second doses as he said the vast majority of people in intensive care have not had a booster.

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Jasmine Day, Luke Harrop and Laura Marsh c Hideout

Luke Harrop is one of six co-owners of the hugely popular new arrival to Pudsey, Hideout bar.

The bar opened in late October and has been extremely busy since.

Hideout is set to host up to 50 people who have paid £10 each which includes a glass of prosecco at midnight.

Speaking to the YEP, Luke said he was worried restrictions may have been brought in which could have scuppered plans at the bar for NYE.

Hyde Park Book Club

He said it would have been extremely difficult to fit all 50 people in the bar if table service had been implemented.

Instead, Luke is expecting a great end to the year.

He added: "We have a ticketed event.

"We charged £10 a ticket which gets people a prosecco on midnight.

"We have five or six tickets left and no cancellations as far as I'm aware so expecting it to be a great night.

"I'm expecting around 50 people so the bar should be really buzzing.

"We were worried about restrictions coming into force as people have paid for tickets and we realistically would have struggle to accommodate 50 with table service.

"If restrictions are brought in for the new year, we will be prepared."

Jack Simpson, 42, owns Hyde Park Book Club on Headingley Lane.

He told how the end of December has been "difficult" for his business.

"We have staff and musicians who need the work, so in that sense we’re glad that we can continue to open.

"Our priority will be how to do that as safely as possible.

"It’s potentially massive for jobs in Leeds if we can find a way to keep hospitality and culture open.

"Our friends in music, art, who work in bars and restaurants rely on hours that were being eroded before Christmas.

"All of us want to work out how to do that safely."

Jack said New Year Eve preparations were well underway but staff will ensure everyone provides a negative lateral flow test upon entry.

"We’ll have a live band, and djs, but things won’t be as you’d expect in a normal year.

"We’ll be requiring proof of a negative lateral flow test and asking everybody to take care, especially in terms of not coming out if they’re showing symptoms.

"We’ll be open all day, with brunch served from 10am, band and djs from eight.

"Entry for the gig will be free, and there are a limited number left."

For ticket availability at either venue, contact Hideout or Hyde Park Book Club on social media.

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