Drinks all round

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Customers enjoying a socially distanced drink outside the Ship Inn

It’s official, pubs (as well as restaurants and hotels) have been given the green light to open up once more after a long and frustrating wait for both landlords and customers alike. The day of reckoning, 4 July, was nicknamed “Super Saturday” by the media, but nobody knew how the public would react – had the licensees fulfilled their obligation to protect their staff and customers? Would the customers behave and observe the social distancing guidelines? The moment of truth had arrived!

Signs outside The Grapevine couldn’t be clearer.

Locally, some of the pubs chose to, or were able to open, on July 4 and the Ship Inn (featured image) capitalised with a leafleting campaign which tempted customers back with a free drink on production of their flyer, while the Waterworks was operating a table only waiter service and a takeaway selection of ales for customers who either couldn’t or didn’t feel comfortable staying – as bar drinking anywhere was not supposed to be on the menu.

Similarly, signs at The Standard Inn made it quite clear that things had changed and safety of staff and customers was now number one priority – with a lot fewer tables visible through the window.

The Standard, bathing in sunshine and open for business

On Wednesday, July 9 the Ypres opened officially, and it has been providing a takeaway beer service by appointment until now. The Pipemakers and the Crown are now open, the Grapevine and the Globe too, and others will no doubt follow suit when they can and when they feel comfortable about doing so.

The Pipemakers Arms, open once again with plenty of outside seating

Hotels and restaurants are also back in business and Rye News will cover this in the coming weeks – but for now, although there is still a very long way to go before we see things returning to something resembling what we all remembered – it’s clear that our local pubs, shops, restaurants, hotels and businesses are making a huge effort and investment to keep us all safe, and to welcome us all back, and to attract the visitors to Rye who are essential for our ongoing economic survival and prosperity.

The Ypres Castle Inn, tucked away but well worth a visit

Image Credits: Nick Forman .

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