See how this Hartlepool bar is planning to keep people separated using 'social booths' in outdoor seating area

A Hartlepool bar is getting ready to welcome customers but it’s all change for this seafront venue due to the pandemic.

Friday, 29th May 2020, 1:59 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st May 2020, 10:24 am
The new-look 'social booth' service at Hornsey's Bar.
The new-look 'social booth' service at Hornsey's Bar.

Hornsey’s Bar’s latest service on the seafront could be up and running within a fortnight as it prepares to welcome customers back under social distancing rules.

But there’s a complete transformation at the bar where customers will only be served in outdoor ‘social booths’ which are overlooking the sea.

To enjoy the new-look service, people will have to pre-book their booth and head straight for their allocated table.

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Another view of the social booths.

Then, their orders will be taken at the table by Hornsey’s staff and drinks will be brought straight to them.

Customers must stay in their booth at all times and when they are ready to go home, they will be escorted through a one-way system to make sure they comply with social distancing regulations.

Owner Spencer Hornsey wants to make sure he has full approval from the authorities before he begins welcoming seated customers for the first time since March 14 to his bar at Seaton Reach.

He’s hoping to be up and running by next month and reckons it could even be within 14 days.

The takeaway service at Hornsey's Bar.

He told the Hartlepool Mail: “Before we even thought about opening, we had to be 100 per cent certain of everything we were doing.

“We researched and we spoke to the authorities about it all. I have always been in touch with environmental health and the police with the whole design.

“We are very much aware of how serious it is and with the protection of the public.”

Around £4,000 has been spent on the one-way segregated booth system which Spencer described as ‘the next step’ in the bar’s return to serving the public.

Hornsey’s opened for business on Sunday, May 24. The hatch service was strictly takeaway only, with nothing being consumed on the premises. No customers were allowed inside.

Two-metre markings and arrows were in place, staff, including security staff, wore face masks, and customers were seen enjoying a drink in the sunshine, with a limit of two alcoholic drinks per person, served with a lid.

There was no seating and the pub said that environmental health were happy with the arrangement. It was the nearest anyone can get to a proper trip to the pub while coronavirus rules are in place.

Now comes the latest move for the planned booths and Spencer added: “This is the next step but we need to get the green light from the authorities. We want to be 100 per cent legitimate and approved.”

To share your own stories of Hartlepool people under lockdown, email [email protected] or message the Hartlepool Mail’s Facebook page.

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