Aberdeen pubs are vowing to stay open for as long as it’s safe to do so to give people a place to socialise and unwind.
Undeterred by the grounding of flights, postponement of sporting events and bans on large gatherings, city watering holes are keen to keep up business as usual.
Owners and managers at a number of bars have spoken of the benefits and importance of the humble local pub for people’s mental health and mood in times of crisis.
Vincent Allan, manager at The Wig on Castle Street, said one member of staff self-quarantining at home, and people stealing their hand soap, would not be enough to make him close the doors.
He said: “We’re planning to stay open and continue as normal.
“If worst comes to worst, the plan B is to reduce the opening hours to accommodate one-person shifts.
“We’ve been sanitising a lot more and we’ve got blue gloves for everybody to use when handling money, and plenty of hand sanitiser.
“I’m a little bit of a clean freak so we’re always going to be fine.
“They’re places for social gathering.
“Having a place like this to come to and speak to a couple of people is good for their mental health.
“Up until the point it’s advised we do need to shut down, we’ll absolutely be open.”
Colin Cameron, who owns the Kirkgate Bar, The Bridge and Masada Bar, said he expected to lose some business with no football for punters to watch over a pint, but added: “I have no thoughts of closing. I don’t think anybody would want to do that. I’m pleased to say we’ve had a number of things in force to make sure counters and tables are regularly washed.
“There’s plenty of hot water and soap and hand sanitiser.”
Colin said pubs have an “important role” to play in times like this.
He said: “Long may that continue. That’s required, particularly when you’ve got people who are looking at what’s going to happen with their jobs.
“I think the pubs are particularly important. It gives people the opportunity to enjoy a bit of feel-good factor and a chat with colleagues and friends.”
Jono Tosh, manager of the Red Lion on the Spital, said: “We’re sort of sitting on the fence.
“We want to stay open.
“Mental health-wise, you don’t want everyone sitting in the house, but at the same time it’s a virus.
“You don’t want one person getting it and going down the pub and everyone getting it.”
Courtesy of EveningExpress