Back in business: Reaction from Scarborough businesses as pubs, restaurants and hotels get the go-ahead to reopen

A huge slice of Scarborough’s tourism industry has been given the green light to open once more.

By Sarah Fitton
Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 8:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 8:50 am

After more than three months of closure, pubs, restaurants, hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks will be able to reopen from July 4.

Making the announcement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said that people should remain two metres apart where possible but the guidance has been eased to “one metre plus”.

The long-awaited move has been welcomed by Scarborough landlords, but they have warned that some pubs still may not re-open.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

Belinda Leppington of the Crown Tavern pub hopes it will be back to business soon.

Tony Snow, licensee at The Courtyard and Chairman of Scarborough Pubwatch, said the area’s pub staff are relieved to have a date and by the easing of the two-metre rule.

“There was a lot of concern that if it stayed at two metres, that a lot of us just would not be able to profit from opening,” he said.

“At least we know when we can open. For a lot of us, even with grants, it was getting to the point where we needed to be open to survive.”

He said with table service indoors and owners asked to keep contact details of customers to help with contact tracing, the pub experience will be different.

At his pub, he plans to have a two-hour time limit to boost safety.

Mark Lepington, landlord at Crown Tavern, has had to pour away more than 3,500 pints of beer that had gone out of date during the lockdown.

He said: “It’s a step in the right direction but we’re not going to say if we’re going to re-open until we’ve read the guidance.

“I’m not going to open if I’m going to be losing money.”

Liam Wildberg, who works at Tunny Catch, said they are hoping to open on July 4.

Restaurants are also busy getting ready to re-open, with Clark’s Restaurant, on Queen Street, saying it is taking bookings to eat there from July 8, and The Cowshed, on St Thomas Street, saying it will open from July 4.

The Crescent Hotel in Scarborough is preparing to reopen from Saturday July 4.

Its restaurant and bars as well as its accommodation will all be open. "We have already had inquiries about Sunday lunch," said Sadie Shard, who owns the business and runs it with her family.

Safety measures are being put in place. These include hand sanitiser stations and Perspex screens in reception and in the bars.

The function room will be opened up as an extension on the restaurant to allow for social distancing at breakfast service and if the restaurant gets busy.

John Senior, Chairman of South Bay Traders Association, said businesses would need to hear more details about the relaxations but he hopes the measures may save those that have been struggling while shut.

“It’s a step in the right direction and we’re hopeful but we’ve got a fair way to go yet,” he said.

Paula Andrew, who runs The Boatshed Hostel on Quay Street, said people will only be able to book the whole place at a time - rather than individual beds - but they are delighted to be allowed to re-open.

“For us, it’s great to be able to open up and we hope to get some bookings in,” she said.

But Lynn Jackson, vice-chair of Scarborough Hospitality Association, said more details were needed about how holiday accommodation would be able to operate now.

“There’s been no guidance. It’s clear as mud,” she said.

“One voice is saying only two households can meet indoors but then another is saying we can re-open.

“They’re leaving us dangling.”