Opinion

Reopening ‘a huge task’ that can only happen ‘when the time is right’

By Kate Stewart, the Sandon, Liverpool

- Last updated on GMT

Reopening delayed: ‘It’s a huge task and one that I’m very excited to undertake but it has to be when the time is right’
Reopening delayed: ‘It’s a huge task and one that I’m very excited to undertake but it has to be when the time is right’

Related tags: Liverpool, Football, Sport, Pub, Finance, Coronavirus

A finalist in the 2019 Great British Pub Awards’ and a must visit on Anfield matchdays, the Sandon Complex in Liverpool hasn’t reopened this week despite relaxed outdoor trading rules.

Despite the recent news that Covid vaccination passports won’t be necessary for entry into pubs, I won’t be opening the Sandon Complex. 

Unfortunately, the current guidelines including outdoor service only, social distancing, seated service and the additional stringent measures that are still required at this stage, makes it impossible for myself and my team to offer the experience that guests want and expect.

As the Sandon is a match day pub, the birthplace of Liverpool Football Club and the club’s official hospitality partner, it’s the place to visit for all Reds’ fans before and after the game.  

Without the fans being allowed into stadiums, and when they are at a capacity that is much less than pre-Covid, it’s not feasible for the complex to open and run. 

Usually, we’ll welcome up to 5,000 people from all over the world including locals from Liverpool to those flying in from Australia, Germany and China. 

If social distancing measures continue to be enforced, we won’t be able to accommodate the amount of people we’re used to and the volume of people we know makes the pub the success it is.

To reopen and fully stock the complex,which has seven bars, will cost tens of thousands of pounds, not to mention the staff and additional overheads we have to pay before we make a penny. 

It’s a huge task and one that I’m very excited to undertake but it has to be when the time is right. 

As we move forward through Boris Johnson’s roadmap, the hospitality industry needs additional support to stay afloat otherwise there won’t be a hospitality industry to come back to. 

I’ve had my doors closed for more than a year now, with the exception of a couple of weeks in September 2020 where I adapted and offered an entire new food menu, and it’s been devastating to say the least.

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