Bar shares photos of its new social distancing revamp complete with private pods

Caroline Allen
·Contributor
The owners have set up pods. (PA Images)
The owners have set up pods. (PA Images)

A Glasgow bar owner has given us a peek into his post-lockdown social distancing plans, complete with Perspex pods to keep customers apart.

Restaurants, bars and pubs have been closed to the public since 23 March and a phased re-opening is expected from 4 July.

Still, stepping into a bar in July is going to feel very different to the pre-coronavirus landscape.

With pods separating customers, one-way signs and social distancing in place, bar owners will be adhering to strict measures when they’re allowed to re-open.

Hand sanitisers have been put in place, too. (PA Images)
Hand sanitisers have been put in place, too. (PA Images)

Licensee of Ardnamurchan in Hope Street, Glasgow, Neil Douglas, has shared a peek into what his newly revamped bar will look like when the restrictions are lifted.

He has created 21 private dining and drinking spaces, all complying with the social distancing rules.

Read more: The UK’s updated ruling on face masks

Each booth in the restaurant and bar is split up with Perspex screens, with screens even lining the bar for extra protection.

The floor is marked with a one-way system and infrared taps and toilet flushes will ensure customers can go to the toilet without having to touch anything.

Customers will still be able to walk in off the street and ask for a booking, but there will also be the option to pre-book online with a contactless payment system in place.

Is this the new normal? (PA Images)
Is this the new normal? (PA Images)

“We’re fortunate to have a large venue.

“We’ve taken out a third of our seating to separate customers and the layout will work whether people have to maintain a one or two metre distance.

“The private spaces work really well and people will be able to pre book the one they want,” Douglas explains.

“Having tried them out with my own children, I know they’re perfect for families – they give the kids a bit more space than usual and naturally encourage them to stay close to their table.

“For those customers wanting to sit at the bar, there’s a discrete Perspex screen to divide them from staff.”

Read more: “Emotional” people more likely to stockpile toilet roll

Douglas, who also owns Basils in Newhaven, Edinburgh, hopes his venues will be some of the first to open when Scotland is given the go ahead.

The staff at Ardnamurchan and Basils have all been furloughed and have been given online training already, helping them to acclimatise to this new normal. They will continue to receive training ahead of the official opening.

“We got on the case and ordered quickly and I’m glad we did as there’s such a high demand it has taken more than a month to get the Perspex in.”

“Our aim is to keep all the character and ambience of the venues and maintain a great experience for customers while providing the safety measures that many will want.

“We’ll be ready whenever the go-head to reopen comes,” Douglas added.