‘A big reunion’: Hartlepool pub and its new dog get ready to give customers a warm welcome

A pub landlady admits “I’m looking forward to seeing my regulars back” and can’t wait until she can finally give him a hugh.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 4:45 am

The Fisherman’s Arms pub, in Southgate, on Hartlepool’s Headland, will reopen at 7pm on Thursday, May 20, after being closed for more than six months due to coronavirus restrictions.

Monday, May 17, will see indoor hospitality and leisure venues such as galleries, cinemas and theatres open their doors once again as part of a further easing of lockdown measures.

Landlady Hazel Whitelock 57, has said customers can expect a “warm welcome” when her pub opens three days later and has added that she is looking forward to giving everyone a hug when restrictions are over for good.

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The Fisherman's Arms landlady Hazel Whitelock and pub dog Sunny are ready to welcome customers back.

Hazel, who is asthmatic and had to shield throughout the pandemic, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing my regulars back.

“They can expect a warm welcome, decent beer and good communication and conversations.”

Safety measures, including table service, track and trace and mask wearing when not seated will be in place, and Hazel has said that the pub is dog-friendly as well.

Customers will receive a warm welcome from Hazel’s Bichon Frise Sunny, who will step in as the pub’s new dog.

The Fishermans Arms landlady Hazel Whitelock with dog Sunny getting ready to reopen on May 20.

Hazel continued: "I’m really looking forward catching up with everyone and seeing all the old faces.

“It’s more like a social night out for me as well. I know everybody that comes in, so it’s just like catching up with old friends. “

"I can’t wait for the social distancing to be over. People back at the bar, being able to hug each other.

"It would be lovely to see the place full again and to see people laughing and talking.

"I’ve really missed all the little dogs coming in because I have quite a few regular dogs.

She added: "I can’t wait to hug everybody and just welcome everybody in.

"I have a lot of older customers who live on their own and they pop in just to meet other people, to talk, different scenery. I can’t wait to see them and make sure they’re okay.

“It will be like a big reunion.

The Fisherman’s Arms is open on a walk-in basis Thursdays–Sundays from 7pm. Last orders are at 10.30pm.

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