What a year. It goes without saying that December 2020 is not a normal festive season for any of us. Throughout this month, all five of our pubs would normally be bursting at the seams with you, our lovely customers, enjoying Gusto hospitality from our teams and looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year with families and friends. So let’s take stock of where we are…
The Beerhouse stayed closed following lockdown 2.0 in November as we don’t serve food there. Last week, The Fox at Bulmer Tye went into Tier 3 with just over 24 hours’ notice meaning another closure (just 13 days after re-opening following lockdown 2.0). Prior to lockdown 2.0, it also suffered 2 weeks trading in the original Tier 2 which meant no indoor household mixing.
We have discussed, reflected and pondered over what to do with The One Bull, The Cadogan and The Crown. Throughout the pandemic, we have focused on protecting our business and our teams when in lockdown and on keeping our customers and teams safe when trading in Tier 1 and 2 (with ever changing restrictions which are often announced at very short notice).
What has become clear is that it isn’t viable for us to trade under the current Tier 2 restrictions at The Cadogan or The Crown. Multiple forced closures and re-openings with no time to reduce wastage or plan just cause us further financial damage. We have therefore made the difficult decision to put both The Cadogan and The Crown into hibernation from the end of evening service on 31st December.
Like a boxer who gets knocked down and keeps getting up again, we can only keep getting up so many times before permanent damage occurs. We believe that pressing the pause button at our rural sites on 31st December will give us the best chance of protecting Gusto and our teams through the rest of the pandemic until we can trade more ‘normally’ again. By ‘normally’, we mean the equivalent of the current Tier 1 trading restrictions where some indoor household mixing is permitted and you can enjoy a drink without the requirement to also have a meal.
The One Bull and our wine shop, Vino Gusto, will stay open (subject to tier conditions). The pub and shop will continue to operate as covid-secure environments (which we take very seriously) coupled with our Gusto hospitality.
We want to thank you all for your support throughout this very difficult year. We also want to thank our fabulous teams.
Our festive wish for you all is that you stay safe, are able to enjoy Christmas in some way and that 2021 eventually becomes a better year than 2020. We look forward to welcoming you at The One Bull, The Cadogan or The Crown before the end of 2020 and to The One Bull in the New Year. We can’t wait to open all of our pubs again when the time is right.
David & Roxane Marjoram