The owner of much-loved Liverpool pub The Crocodile and Baby Croc has raised concerns over the impact hospitality restrictions will have on those who rely on pubs and bars for conversation.
Natalie Jones and her husband have owned the Harrington Street pub for 18 years and has confirmed it will be closing temporarily this weekend due to the current rules.
Under the new rules, people within the Liverpool City Region are banned from mixing with other households in any indoor settings, including pubs. Natalie says this means her regulars, who sometimes come in alone for the conversation, will miss out.
Speaking to the ECHO, she said: “We get lone drinkers who live on their own but will meet people in the pub sometimes it is the only conversation they’ll have all week. They rely on us.
“I’ve only stayed open this week to let customers know, I didn’t want regulars to travel to us and be met with a closed door. Some of our older customers don’t have Facebook so this is they only way to let them know.
“So I thought lets see this week out and then I’ve know I’ve done the right thing.”
Under the rules customers must also wear a face covering when not at their table and no dancing or loud music is permitted.
Natalie says she feels it became unfair to customers to expect them to follow so many rules which were also causing staff stress.
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She added: ” It’s not nice having to tell people to sit down. They come to your pub to have a good time.
“We were getting customers saying ‘we’re only trying to enjoy ourselves’ and I thought it’s not fair, I don’t want to take their money and then tell them not to have a good time.
“You always want customers to have a good impression of a place and some customers have visited us for the first time in the last few weeks, I don’t want them to have a negative impression of us.”
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The Crocodile and Baby Croc, which are divided by a courtyard belonging to both sites, are known in Liverpool for its karaoke and offering customers a dance and a good time.
With loud music banned and karaoke only allowed if the singer is sat down, Natalie says it is not “feasible” to stay open.
Natalie said: “It’s just not nice, it doesn’t have a pub feel anymore. Until them restrictions change it is not feasible to stay open. Yesterday we only got about six customers.
“The thought of Christmas is daughting. In March we had everything coming up which we will never get back but we always thought we would have Christmas at least.
“Christmas is a big thing but if these restrictions are still in place it is going to be a wipeout.”