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‘It tasted gorgeous’: Punters welcome return of Stratford bar on ‘Super Saturday’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 19:14 06 July 2020

Donald Sellar and Alan Gorman at Tap East in Stratford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Donald Sellar and Alan Gorman at Tap East in Stratford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

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Punters have welcomed a bar’s reopening following the three month national lockdown.

Tap East in Stratford reopened on July 4. Picture: Ellie HoskinsTap East in Stratford reopened on July 4. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Drinkers at microbrewery and bar Tap East in Stratford welcomed the taste of their first draft beer in a long time on “Super Saturday”, July 4, as pubs, restaurants and bars across England threw open their doors.

Laura Hill, from Essex, said: “It tasted gorgeous. The first time having a draught beer in almost four months went down a dream.”

Tap East’s general manager, David Poole, added the reopening couldn’t have gone better for the venue which opened at Westfield Stratford City in 2011.

The business has brought in a number of changes to meet government guidelines which include doing table service, providing customers with hand sanitiser and taking contact tracing details. The number of tables has also been reduced so people can socially distance and until it is safe to do so there will be no service at the bar.

Adam Cameron, William Knox-Walker, Ginny Carter, Jarad Evans, Yan Feng, Brendon O'Brian and Mel Chang at Tap East in Stratford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture: Ellie HoskinsAdam Cameron, William Knox-Walker, Ginny Carter, Jarad Evans, Yan Feng, Brendon O'Brian and Mel Chang at Tap East in Stratford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

David, 39, said: “Covid-19 has had a massive effect on the business. As long as there is no second outbreak, we will hopefully be okay, once public confidence comes back.”

Most staff are back now, though some remain furloughed as a result of the reduced capacity.

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For the punters, the reopening was welcomed as a sign of things beginning to return to normal as well as a chance to support the venue’s staff and trade.

Laura Hill and Pip Wills at Tap East in Stratford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture: Ellie HoskinsLaura Hill and Pip Wills at Tap East in Stratford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

“It feels just like it always did. They made us feel safe. I don’t think Covid-19 is going away any time soon. People need to be safe, but get on with their lives,” Laura said.

Regular, William Knox-Walker, said: “It was really enjoyable. We were really keen to show our support.

“There was a really nice atmosphere. It was nice to see staff members and friends.”

The 34-year-old project manager from Manor Park added that heading to a nearby drinking spot felt better than travelling into central London.

Pubs started reopening in early July. Picture: Ellie HoskinsPubs started reopening in early July. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

While Tap East has welcomed back customers, other venues across England stayed closed last weekend.

David explained that some pubs could have done so because the way their more traditional buildings were designed meant safe social distancing would have been hard to do.

Wider concerns about social distancing advice being flouted by punters who have drunk too much might be handled in different ways, but the issue didn’t arise at Tap East, David added.


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