Meet the pubs staying shut on ‘Super Saturday’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:00 07 July 2020

The Thatched House in Upminster doesn't have an opening date yet. Picture: Google

The Thatched House in Upminster doesn't have an opening date yet. Picture: Google


Not all of Havering’s pubs welcomed customers through their doors on what was dubbed ‘Super Saturday’.

Some were unable to get Covid-secure - a requirement for reopening - while others opted to do things differently and delay their opening slightly.

The Hop House Inn in Hornchurch, which was forced to close due to the pandemic after only 78 days since opening, opted to have a ‘dry-run’ on Saturday.

A select few friends and family were invited to test out the new safety measures before it opened to the public on Sunday.

Co-owner Phil Cooke said: “We had an amazing Sunday. It was absolutely brilliant to see folks returning that we’d not seen since March. A whole mix of families and friends and new guests that got to know us through lockdown, and everyone respected the guidelines and were so supportive.

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“It’s been quite a journey from March 19, pivoting the business into a bottle shop and local delivery service, and reopening again as a micropub.”

Romford’s The Wheatsheaf, one of a handful of independent pubs left in the area, said that in order to open their doors, they were accepting regulars only - based on who they know and recognise as loyal customers. Drinkers are required to sign in and sign out.

Greene King pubs, six of which are in Havering - The Good Intent in Hornchurch, The Windmill and The Junction, both in Upminster, The Golden Lion in Romford, Archers in Gidea Park and the Aspen Tree in Collier Row - all waited until Monday for the big day.

A spokesperson for Greene King said: “We have decided to open our managed pubs from Monday, July 6 so we can open as many as possible with our Pubsafe promises in place for the safety of our customers and team members.”

But some, likeThe Thatched House in Upminster, remain without a reopening date.

A spokesperson for Mitchells and Butlers, which owns the pub, said: “We are planning to reopen 90 per cent of businesses in England by the end of July. The decision on which of our pubs, bars and restaurants we’re reopening has been made on a site by site basis, taking into account various factors including business layout and expected footfall.

“After reviewing these factors the decision was made not to reopen the Thatched House. We’d like to assure guests and locals that this outcome remains under review and a final decision on when it will reopen will be made in due course.”

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