Harrogate bar says reopening was "great success" at the weekend
As Harrogate weighs up whether the partial reopening of some town centre bars at the sun-soaked weekend was a success, the town's most famous bar reports it has been "overwhelmed" by support as customers enjoyed their first pint in nearly three months within social distancing rules.
Simon and Sharon Colgan, owners of the Blues Bar on Montpellier Hill, said they had originally been contemplating opening on Saturday and being the first Harrogate bar back from lockdown.
But they had eventually decided on a safety first approach which paid off when they reopened part of the day yesterday, Sunday with a hugely positive reaction at this tiny but characterful bar famed for its wooden floorboards and relaxed atmosphere.
The Blues Bar was not one of the bars warned by Harrogate Borough Council's enforcement team at the weekend over lockdown rules.
Simon Colgan said: "We decided not to open on Saturday although we had been thinking about it for a while.
"We were worried about negative feedback.
"We took all precautions and limited our opening yesterday to just noon until 6pm.
"We felt it was a great success and the warm reaction of our customers was overwhelming."
The Blues Bar, located on Montpellier Hill just down from Bettys tearooms facing West Park Stray, was intent on reopening within the latest guidelines from the Government on coronavirus.
There were two metre lines for social distancing outside the bar with hand sanitizers, masks and gloves available for any customers wanting to use them.
The bar also allowed only one in one out with only two persons in the premises at one time.
The toilets were not reopened.
Renowned for decades for being the only venue in Harrogate to offer live music seven nights a week, the Blues Bar was set to open again, today, Monday, with opening hours 11am to 7pm approximately, depending on the situation.
But it emphasises that it will follow all Government guidance at all times, as well as any future orders from Harrogate Borough Council.
Sharon Colgan said: "We were very happy with how our first day back went.
"There were so many happy faces it was as if they had won the lottery.
"Everyone was extremely aware about what do to follow the guidelines."
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