House of Commons Serving Alcohol Again Today

Excited MPs get in touch to tell Guido that alcohol is finally being served again on the parliamentary estate – albeit with a snag. Stranger’s Bar is now not going to open until September due to difficulties with providing table service. A source close to the decision making on the matter said there just wasn’t the will to get it open before the Summer recess, which starts in a fortnight.

Thankfully from today, MPs will be able to relieve their thirst with taxpayer-subsidised booze from a number of parliamentary venues, including the Pugin Room, Strangers Dining Room, Adjournment and the smoking room. All is not lost…

mdi-timer 6 July 2020 @ 12:04 6 Jul 2020 @ 12:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Red Lion Staying Closed for Another Month

After the positive news yesterday that Parliament’s Stranger’s bar is to re-open from Monday, Guido is sad to report that the Red Lion is not to open until around the end of July.

Responding to Guido’s thirsty inquiries, the Red Lion delivered the news:

“Unfortunately we will not be opening on the 4th.

Fuller’s are opening our pubs in stages and unfortunately we are not one of the first ones. It’s probably more looking like the end of July but we haven’t been given a date yet”

In other pub news, it looks like Parliamentary staffers will have to go without a private drinking hole for a while longer, as the Lords officials who run Sports and Social bar aren’t set to meet until the second week of July.

St. Stephen’s Tavern has confirmed it will re-open on the 7th of July; meanwhile, Mitchells and Butlers have confirmed all their establishments – including the Marquis of Granby – are set to open on time on the 4th July. The MoG’s pavement security guard is going to have his work cut out for him…

mdi-timer 25 June 2020 @ 10:20 25 Jun 2020 @ 10:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Westminster Council U-Turn on Draft Outdoor Drinking Ban

In less than 12 hours, Westminster council has u-turned on absurd plans to ban pubgoers from drinking outside on the pavement once pubs re-open. Upon hearing their very way of life was at stake, the proposals revealed yesterday received immediate backlash from the Westminster village. Rarely are Labour, Conservative, civil servant and journalists so united over an issue…

Westminster council’s original intentions gave with one hand and took with the other, with plans to close some roads to traffic at certain times to allow al fresco drinking at outdoor tables; however this would come at the cost of banning “vertical drinking” (standing outside and drinking) to ensure social distancing guidelines were met.

After outcry from pubs and patrons, the council has now updated its guidance to say vertical drinking would now only be prohibited outside venues in these new temporary seated spaces – none of which are in SW1. A reminder that the Tufton Street mafia always get their way…

UPDATE: Westminster Council get in touch to deny there has been a U-turn, because the direction applied only to new post-pandemic outside drinking areas which will have to be sit down. So the pavement drinkers of the Marquis of Granby and the Red Lion are safe. Though apparently this is just customary, not backed by law…

mdi-timer 18 June 2020 @ 10:40 18 Jun 2020 @ 10:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Westminster Pubs to Begin Re-Opening in Five Weeks

Leading Oxford scientist in theoretical epidemiology, Professor Sunetra Gupta, has told UnHerd that pubs and restaurants could reopen tomorrow without posing a threat of a second wave of Coronavirus. If ‘Independent SAGE‘ had put more scientist like Gupta in their group, Guido might have been more supportive of their recommendations…

Similarly getting Guido’s hopes up are the British Beer & Pubs Association who announced the UK has 27,000 pub beer gardens that could re-open with physical distancing measures from July 4th.  The BBPA has also lobbied for the government to ditch the two-metre social distancing rule as it would make it “very difficult” for the remainder of pubs without gardens to operate, citing the WHO’s advice of only imposing one-metre distancing.

Drinking holes in Westminster may, therefore, remain thin on the ground if SAGE continues enforcing the two-metre rule, with only Colonies in St James’s having anything resembling a beer garden. Presumably, the Commons will err on the side of caution and refuse to make use of the terrace to allow Strangers to re-open…

Fullers, the owners of the Red Lion, has been at the forefront of the push to relax social distancing rules, with the CEO telling the FT that a one-metre rule would allow four times as many customers. Hopefully use of the side road will allow the Red Lion to host more customers…

Greene King, owners of the Two Chairmen and Colonies; and Mitchells & Butlers, the owners of The Marquis of Granby, have both been reported struggling due to lockdown, both from loss of custom and having to cover 90% of tenant’s rent

Sadly, the CEO of Young’s – the owner of The Clarence on Whitehall – has said he is not aiming for resumption until August, and then only on a limited basis. Disappointed SpAds and Civil Servants won’t have to walk far, however, as Lord Moon of the Mall opposite has set out a very confident roadmap to re-opening in early July; with £11 million being invested in PPE for staff, safety screens at bars, screens around seating areas and 10 hand sanitiser units per pub. Britain will have to wait for all this to blow over before going to the Winchester and having a pint…

mdi-timer 22 May 2020 @ 15:00 22 May 2020 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Lockdown Plan (Kritikal Mass Mix)

For the likes of Hugo Rifkind who claim that the lockdown wind down plan is too complicated, Kritikal Mass have remixed the plan as outlined by Boris last Sunday, for you. Enjoy it blasting out at your appropriately distanced rave in the sunshine this afternoon…

mdi-timer 17 May 2020 @ 13:06 17 May 2020 @ 13:06 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lithuania’s Lockdown Pub Solution

As part of Lithuania’s phased lockdown exit, strict social distancing measures are still in place making ordinary operation impossible for many small enclosed cafes and bars. Customers are limited to one at a time, tables are required to be at least two metres apart, and mask wearing is mandatory. Capital city Vilnius, however, has a solution that is designed to save hundreds of small firms. Mayor Remigijus Šimašius has announced that public spaces will become outdoor spaces for those businesses to operate in:

“Plazas, squares, streets – nearby cafes will be allowed to set up outdoor tables free of charge this season and thus conduct their activities during quarantine”

Eighteen public squares and spaces have been opened up in the city to facilitate the plan, with additional sites to be added as the summer approaches. More than 160 cafes and restaurants in the city have already joined the initiative. Something the UK could learn from to help save our small pubs and cafes?..

mdi-timer 29 April 2020 @ 14:26 29 Apr 2020 @ 14:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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