Bottle shop’s outdoor seating plans could help customers socially distance after lockdown

By Jordan Reynolds | Staffordshire | Dining out | Published:

A craft beer and coffee shop forced to close its doors during lockdown could offer a new outside seating space when it is allowed to re-open.

An image of what the outdoor seating area at Candid Beer could look like submitted to Stafford Borough Council as part of the planning application

Candid Beer, based at Woodings Yard off Bailey Street in Stafford town centre, had been open for just under a year when venues across the country were forced to close in March as part of Government measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

As well as selling craft beer through a bottle shop and taproom Candid was offering craft coffee, a co-working space and events hub before the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is continuing to supply goods including beer, wine, coffee beans and soft drinks to thirsty customers during the pandemic through an online shop and delivery service. But a new outdoor seating area could help with social distancing when it is considered safe for pubs and other hospitality services to re-open.

An application to change the use of a car parking area has been put forward to Stafford Borough Council.

A supporting statement submitted to the authority said: “Since the application was first conceived -and initially submitted as a variation of condition and then as a full application – the country has succumbed to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) global pandemic that has seen severe lockdown measures come in to place on the 23rd of March 2020 under emergency powers of the Coronavirus Act.

“This saw the immediate shutdown of trading at the premises. As at May 5th 2020 the premises remain closed.

“It is clear that the extent of the deadly virus pandemic is considerable in the UK. One of the key measures in place in those shops that sell food and essential items is two metre social distancing.

“There have been a number of proposals considered as contributory to the urgent need to open bar and leisure premises to prevent the loss of jobs and severe downturn to the economy. These would most likely require a restriction to overall customer numbers and increased physical spacing between them.

“Other countries have allowed measures such as only outdoor seating – eg Sweden – and others are considering seating only as a measure to reduce the spread of the virus in crowded areas. This application proposals would considerably assist the objective of social distancing.”

The Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy, published this week, has suggested that at least some hospitality services, such as food providers and pubs, may be able to reopen from July 4 if it is considered safe for them to do so. Retail outlets considered “non-essential” may be able to open their doors to customers from June 1 if it is safe to do so.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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