Thirsty Brits make 14million pub bookings in stampede to secure beer garden tables

THIRSTY Brits have made 14 million pub bookings in a stampede to secure beer garden tables.

A million of the outdoor reservations are for July.

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Many venues in England are booked up until May.

Those who fail to make reservations may have to wait weeks before they can sip a pint at a boozer.

The Sun found that the majority of venues in England’s biggest cities are chock-a-block for the coming weeks.

Astonishingly, parched Brits have made 14 million pub bookings — including a million for July already.

Cocktail bar One Eight Six in Manchester is fully booked for ten consecutive weekends from May.

In Birmingham, Craft bar and restaurant, said its outdoor pods were booked for six weeks and most tables have been snapped up until July.



The city’s Highfield gastropub confirmed its punters could not book a table before April 21.

Bar manager Jake Shipley, 24, said: “It’s 100 per cent booked.”

Revellers packed tables in London’s Soho on Monday as bars in England reopened for outdoor service.

Londoner Adam Bloodworth summed up the situation in the capital.

He tweeted: “Just tried to book a pub, and can reveal the whole pubs opening on April 12 thing may as well be an illusion if you haven’t already got a booking!

“I've tried around 20 and none have any space whatsoever.”

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

'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 40,000 pubs have been able to open due a lack of outdoor space. But the surge in bookings has been reflected across the country.

Pub boss Brian Whiting, 54, said he was welcoming up to 1,000 customers a day to The Chaser Inn in Shipbourne, Kent.

He said: “The phone’s been ringing off the hook.

“We've got a big marquee up in the beer garden and we’re now booked solid for three weeks which is fantastic.

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

Tim Foster, landlord of the Wiremil pub near Lingfield, Surrey, said he had about 2,500 people booked in for the first two weeks — without advertising

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



But with bars battling to break even, landlords urged customers who have booked to turn up — or cancel so others can take their space.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said: “Even though they seem full, the reality is pubs are operating with just 20 per cent of the space they’d usually have.”

Six million Brits have either booked or say they will book pub visits this month — with another seven million booking across May and June, and a million in July, a poll by the Caterer.com found.

Most pub chains are urging people to book, but generally they will accept walk-ins if space allows.

However, Wetherspoon pubs are offering tables on a “first come first served” basis.

The rush to secure pub places saw fraudsters advertise fake bookings for one South London pub at £15 a time.




Boris Johnson yesterday urged Brits to be “cautious” after some scenes of booze-fuelled recklessness.

The PM said it was vital to “exercise restraint” to stop the spread of Covid 19.

Striking a gloomy note , he added: “As we unlock, the result will inevitably be that we will see more infection, sadly we will see more hospitalisation and deaths. People have just got to understand that.”

 

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