Drinkers around England won’t be able to prop up the bars at their regular haunts after Boris Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown.
Despite the prime minster’s plea for people not to enjoy “one last pint” on Friday night, a few establishments reported an influx of customers before last orders.
For others, a quiet week continued as it had started, and their final night of trading was marked by empty seats.
Ryan North has “a lot of beer to use up”
Ryan North, manager at city centre bar The Wardrobe, said staff had been “in limbo” since Monday.
“It’s slowed right down since then when people came in for their last pint.
“Picture says it all really, no point in staying open, but we’ve got a lot of beer to use up.”
Refurbishments and the ban have hit Daniel Force
Daniel Force, barkeeper at the Brunswick Arms in Dawlish, said they had been closed for six weeks for a refurbishment.
“We tried to open up this week just to get some people through the door, and now we’re being told we’re closing tonight,” he said.
“We even had a police officer come in to enforce the closure and make sure we close our doors at midnight.”
“It’s going to be tough, but hopefully with everyone’s help, we’ll be able to knuckle through.”
“Relief” at certainty for The Loft
The Loft, near the city’s Hippodrome theatre, was empty on Friday evening.
Owner Lawrence Barton said the chancellor’s announcement had “actually brought a sense of conclusion and relief”.
“I think the measures the Chancellor announced this evening are going to greatly help business and give us confidence we can support our workforce.
“We’ve been very concerned, the hospitality sector has been decimated, at least now it will give business owners the confidence to take the measure they need to secure as many jobs as possible.”