Thirsty Britons make 14 million pub bookings in scramble to secure beer garden tables

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We asked dozens of pubs and bars how busy they are - here are the hotpsots


The British over THIRSTY have made 14 million pub bookings in a rush to secure brasserie tables.
One million outdoor bookings are for July.

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Revelers in Soho, central London, take advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictionsCredit: IF
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In Manchester, friends took to the streets for a well-deserved drinkCredit: LNP
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We asked dozens of pubs and bars how busy they are – here are the hotpsots

Many venues in England are booked until May.

Those who don’t make a reservation may have to wait weeks before they can sip a pint in a booze.

The Sun has found that the majority of theaters in England’s biggest cities are on hold for the coming weeks.

Surprisingly, thirsty Britons have made 14 million ad bookings – one million already for July.

The One Eight Six cocktail bar in Manchester is fully booked for ten consecutive weekends starting in May.

In Birmingham, the Craft bar and restaurant said its outdoor pods were booked for six weeks and most tables had been purchased until July.

People having lunch on the seafront at Leigh on Sea13
People having lunch on the seafront at Leigh on SeaCrédit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
People hail the return of outdoor pubs and bars in Newcastle city center
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People hail the return of outdoor pubs and bars in Newcastle city centerCrédit: NNP
Leeds drinker enjoying his new found freedom with a hot water bottle to beat the evening chill
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Leeds drinker enjoying his new found freedom with a hot water bottle to beat the evening chillCredit: NB Press Ltd

The Highfield Town Gastro Pub has confirmed that its punters cannot book a table until April 21.

Bar manager Jake Shipley, 24, said: ‘He’s 100% booked.’

On Monday, revelers filled their tables in London’s Soho as bars across England reopened for outdoor service.

Londoner Adam Bloodworth summed up the situation in the capital.

He tweeted: “I just tried to book a pub, and I can reveal all the pubs opening on April 12th, which can also be an illusion if you don’t have a reservation yet!”

“I have tried about 20 of them and none have room.”

London’s largest beer garden, The Terrace at Alexandra Palace, is booked all day until April 26 with 30,000 seats.

‘FANTASTIC RESPONSE’

After that, every weekend is booked until mid-June.

Boss Louise Stewart said, “We’ve had a fantastic response.”

Only 15,000 of the 40,000 pubs were able to open due to lack of outdoor space. But the surge in bookings was reflected across the country.

Pub boss Brian Whiting, 54, said he welcomes up to 1,000 customers a day at the Chaser Inn in Shipbourne, Kent.

He said, “The phone rang.

“We have a big marquee in the beer garden and we are now booked for three weeks which is fantastic.

“Everyone gets a blanket and a hot water bottle to stay warm.”

Tim Foster, owner of the Wiremil pub near Lingfield, Surrey, said he had booked around 2,500 people for the first two weeks – ad-free.

And Jonathan Fernandes, 39, boss of the Royal Oak in Poynings near Brighton, East Sussex, said: “We’ve been full all week. Everyone is buzzing.

Revelers partied the night away at Birmingham's Arcadian complex13
Revelers partied the night away at Birmingham’s Arcadian complexCredit: SnapperSK
People eating and drinking outside cafes and pubs Soho, central London
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People eating and drinking outside cafes and pubs Soho, central LondonCredit: AP
Most pub chains encourage people to book
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Most pub chains encourage people to bookCredit: Reuters

But as bars struggle to break even, owners urged customers who had booked to show up – or cancel so others can take their places.

Emma McClarkin, Managing Director of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Even though they seem full, the reality is that pubs operate on only 20% of the space they usually would have.”

Six million Britons have either booked or say they will book pub visits this month – with an additional seven million bookings in May and June, and one million in July, according to a survey by Caterer.com.

Most pub chains urge people to book, but generally they accept walk-in tours if space allows.

However, Wetherspoon pubs offer tables on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

The rush to secure the pubs has seen scammers advertise bogus bookings for a South London pub for £ 15 at a time.

Manchester drinkers put on their best outfits to enjoy the new found freedom13
Manchester drinkers put on their best outfits to enjoy new found freedomCredit: Getty
Police on scene try to ensure social distancing rules are maintained
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Police on scene try to ensure social distancing rules are maintainedCredit: AFP
Only 15,000 of the 40,000 pubs were able to open due to lack of outdoor space
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Only 15,000 of the 40,000 pubs were able to open due to lack of outdoor spaceCredit: AFP

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Boris Johnson yesterday urged the British to be “careful” after some scenes of recklessness fueled by alcohol.

The Prime Minister said it was vital “to show restraint” to stop the spread of Covid 19.

Striking a somber note, he added, “As we unlock, the inevitable result will be that we will see more infection, unfortunately we will see more hospitalizations and deaths. People just need to understand this.

Pubs risk shutting down or fined up to £ 10,000 as huge queues threaten to break Covid rules

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