Posted: 24.06.20 at 13:44 by Tim Lethaby
A couple who run a pub in Shepton Mallet are preparing to reopen in July by putting a number of measures in place so drinkers can follow social distancing guidelines.
Mike and Net Williams run the King William, and they plan to reopen the pub on July 4.
The measures the pub is initially putting in place include asking people who show signs of Covid-19 to not come in and stay at home for everyone's safety; limiting the numbers of people in the pub; encouraging "safe socialising distance"; a one-way system for entrance/exit and service; new hand sanitisers have been installed at entrance/exit and in toilets; customers to be seated and no standing; no standing/sitting at the bar; encouraging contactless payment; a single serving point; a traffic light system in the toilets with one in and one out; a temporary stop to live music events; and new screens installed for customers to watch sports while maintaining "safe socialising".
Mike, who used to be the branch manager of Williams Self Drive on Charlton Road, said they will be constantly reviewing and changing their measures to keep everyone safe and happy.
He told Shepton Mallet Nub News: "We plan to re-open on Saturday July 4, after the lockdown measures were eased by the Government.
"The King William has always been a wet led locals local pub so no food will be served. We are currently looking at the government guidelines for a safe reopening.
"Safe socialising will be the key to reopening. I have already fitted hand sanitiser dispensers to the entry/exit.
"We have done the same in the toilets. I am in the process of adjusting the pub to safely seat customers with safe socialising measures introduced.
"As a temporary measure we will be removing our pool table and I have bought new tables and chairs to utilise the space.
"As we are renowned for showing live sports, I have invested in new 4K TVs so we can show all live sports in three different areas of the pub on four large screens including the outside smoking area/garden.
"I have installed an outside TV so we can create more space for people that want to watch sports and smoke.
"We have also hosted a lot of live music, karaoke and disco events which will return when we feel its safe to do so.
"While we have been on lockdown my wife and myself have spent a lot of time and money redecorating the pub again and refurbishing the toilets."
Mike and Net have been running the King William since January last year after leaving their last pub in North Lincolnshire to return to Shepton Mallet.
They previously lived in Shepton Mallet for more than 20 years before they took on the pub in Lincolnshire.
Mike said: "We got home sick and returned to Shepton to take on my old local drinking hole.
"When we arrived we started work tiding the pub up to make it clean and welcoming once again."
And Mike and Net will be hoping that the locals return to support their local pub, now the government has given it the green light to reopen.
"During these unprecedented times we may have to turn some customers away or ask them to come back later during busy times - trust me we don't want to turn anyone away," Mike said.
"We must make sure that it is safe for everyone. Please don't fall out with us if that is the case, it's for safety's sake.
"My team and me look forward to seeing you all but please, if you are showing signs of Covid-19, please stay at home until you are better."