Why Hartlepool bar is not planning another Boris Johnson protest as it gets ready to reopen
A pub owner who staged a festive protest against Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be holding another demonstration when his bar finally reopens next week.
Back in December 2020, Idols’ owner John Gate strung up a washing line of Christmas jumpers outside his closed premises in protest at being “hung out to dry” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It was complete with a banner reading: “Sorry we are closed…….Just like our Christmas jumpers, we’ve been hung out to dry.”
The sign went on to quote Christmas classic Fairytale of New York by The Pogues by referring to Mr Johnson as “you scumbag, you maggot”.
At the time, Hartlepool and the rest of the North East had been placed in tier three, meaning restaurants and pubs could only offer take away services.
But following the third national lockdown and vaccines’ roll-out, restrictions have been gradually eased since March and Idols, in Church Street, will reopen on Monday, May 17, along with other indoor leisure venues in England, such as cinemas, museums, theatres, art galleries and bingo halls.
Mr Gate has said he is looking forward to welcoming customers back and has no plans for another protest against the Prime Minister.
"He’s got the vaccine right, hasn’t he?,” said Mr Gate.
He added that customers can expect “a good night and a good day” when they return to the pub and said: "I really think we’ll be busy on Monday and then the weekend after that.
"I think we’ll have a queue. People would have to come down early for their seats.”
Idols, like other indoor hospitality venues in the country, had to wait an extra month to reopen until the third stage of the roadmap to lifting lockdown gets underway.
But Mr Gate has said that seeing outdoor pubs and beer gardens welcome customers back from April 12 didn’t make him feel left out.
"We were glad to see them getting open,” he said.
Idols will be open on a walk-in basis on Mondays and from Thursday until Sunday from 2pm till late.