'People need a pint, need to sit and talk after a year of hell': Leeds bar owners 'buzzing' about reopening tomorrow
A pair of bar-owner brothers have been putting the finishing touches to their new-look venue in north Leeds ready for the long-awaited re-opening tomorrow (April 12).
Graeme Phillips, 39, who runs an independent pub Terminus and Meanwood Brewery with his brother Baz, 36, said they are ‘buzzing’ to open their new-look bar.
The brothers have not taken a day off during the lockdown and have repainted the entire outer walls, refurbished inside and built up two beer garden areas.
Graeme said: "We haven’t stopped working on the business and what to do to improve it. When you’re a small business owner, you’re always at work.
“We’ve suffered literal blood, sweat and tears, Baz fell off a ladder and I’ve had chemical burns. These are the things we had to endure.”
He said they are incredibly excited to open tomorrow and said Covid had shown the vital role of pubs in communities.
“We’re super excited for tomorrow. If this year has proven anything, it’s that pubs in Britain are the heart of our communities.
“In a time of social distancing and requests to avoid social contact, it just shows how essential pubs have been and will continue to be.
“People need a pint, need to sit and talk after a year from hell. We’re buzzing.”
People across England will also finally be able to get their haircut by a professional, with barbers and hairdressers gearing up a busy Monday after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed this next stage of the roadmap was "fully justifiable by the data".
But on Friday, chiefs at Leeds City Council have urged people to act "sensibly and responsibly" as the restrictions begin to ease.
Council leader James Lewis said: "As restrictions lift, it's only natural that people will be keen to get out, enjoy the city and take advantage of the activities they are now able to do.
"But it's more important than ever that we remember to do that sensibly and responsibly so we can keep the virus under control and keep the city safe."
Andrew Cooper, chief executive of the Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) said the city's businesses had shown "incredible resilience and collaboration" throughout the pandemic - and this will be key as restrictions now begin to lift.
"I've seen incredible resilience and collaboration, people working together in ways that I've not seen before. Competitors sharing their practices and signage and working together.
"As a city, we need to work together. That was the case last year and it's great to see that carrying on as we come out of the restrictions."
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