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Landlord sounds note of caution for us all on pub re-openings

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 29 June 2020 8:20

Landlord sounds note of caution for us all on pub re-openings

As a nation rejoiced at news pubs and bars can re-open from July 4 a landlord from Gloucester’s decision not to heed the call should be a w

As a nation rejoiced at news pubs and bars can re-open from July 4 a landlord from Gloucester’s decision not to heed the call should be a warning to us all. 

 

Mike Hall, landlord of the popular Pelican public house in the shadow of Gloucester Cathedral, has good reason to want to fire-up his business again, but comes down on the side of ‘health and safety first’. 

 

Mr Hall, far more chipper and upbeat than the line above might suggest, is nevertheless blunt about why he not opening – and has been communicated his views to understanding customers via social media.

 

“If someone dies, I have to live with that for the rest of my life. I want to know I have not contributed to that,” he said, and he has good reason to have a considered take. 

 

Louise, his wife, landlady and mother to the couple’s two young daughters, was advised to shield against the virus – putting a very real perspective on lockdown, as idyllic as it might seem to some to be shut up in a pub for weeks on end. 

 

From a business perspective Mr Hall admits he is lucky. 

 

“Wye Valley Brewery has been incredibly supportive. They have not taken any rent off us for the whole period,” said the 41-year-old, who has run the brewery’s pub off St Mary’s Street, off Gouda Way near King’s School for eight years. 

 

Fans of the Pelican’s style (good real ale, adventurous guest beers, ciders and perries, free duke box, no TV, back yard, open fire in winter) have still been able to get a flavour of that fix during lockdown. 

 

Packs of HPA and Butty Back (five pints for £14) is available from the pub on special order. Surprisingly the money does not go directly into the pockets of the business.

 

“Because of that little bit of money we can pay our staff the 20 per cent they don’t get on furlough, meaning they get fullpay. We want to make sure they are okay.” 

 

In another happy twist to what you might assume, family life has actually beenpretty good for the foursome. The schools, he said, had been fantastic with his children and he had realised just how valued a part of the community the landlord and landlady of a well-run pub can be.

Read more: Pub openings is great news - but first order of the day remains safety says BIDs

 

“I have been in the pub trade for 20 years and running pubs for most of that and your neighbours usually don’t like you to much. Try as you might you usually bring noise and disruption, but we’ve worked hard not to do that,” said Mr Hall. 

 

Which probably explains why he has found himself receiving vegetables from neighbours, eggs, and even a near neighbour deciding to replant and tend his window boxes. 

 

“We would love to open, but I don’t want to have to stand on the door and tell people who are regulars here ‘you can’t come in, we have too many’. 

 

“We will watch the Wetherspoons of the world – much better equipped with much more staff and space to accommodate the necessary measures - and see how they fare and judge it from there. 

 

“I would like to think our customers will come back when we do open. We are a particular type of pub and do things our way - and we serve damn good beer - and that is something we don’t intend to change.” 

 

To keep track of an opening date follow The Pelican Inn on Facebook.

Read more: Pub openings is great news - but first order of the day remains safety says BIDs

 

arning to us all.