During the pandemic, we all got pretty used to drinking and dining on the pavemens and roads as bars and restaurants expanded their outdoor seating in line with social distancing.
Those rules might be gone now, but the continental outdoor set-up proved really popular here in Manchester leading n recent weeks to numerous calls from hospitality bosses to bring it back across the city.
Now, in a boon for Manchester’s hospitality businesses, it looks like temporary rules enabling pubs, cafes and restaurants to expand their outdoor areas during Covid-19 are going to be made permanent.
According to reports in The Telegraph. al fresco drinking and dining are now set to become law as part of the government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
Businesses will be able to apply for al fresco licenses to extend their outdoor space, and pubs could be able to have an off-license extension granted allowing them to sell takeaway pints and meals – something that became a bone of contention for many publicans during the pandemic.
Having recently launched a petition to make the temporary licensing laws for hospitality permanent, Black Milk cafe owner Andy Young described the move as ‘great news’.
“Manchester council have always been wonderfully supportive with pavement seating” he added.
“We are now working with residents, local councillors like Adele Douglas and other businesses to pedestrianise and greenify our little corner of North Quarter as much as possible.
“We can’t wait to serve cocktails, shakes, and bakes in the Manchester sun!”
It’s previously been argued by many in the sector that such a change will bring a huge boost in revenue and help people pay off Government loans.
Some are even estimating that one outdoor seat could be worth up to £6,000 for a business.
Alvarium owner Braddan Quayle said: “For me, it’s an absolute no-brainer.
“It saved a lot of businesses and more importantly a lot of jobs over the pandemic and as we discussed we’re still suffering from a hangover which has been said by people like Sacha Lord could take up to five years.”
Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UK Hospitality, has also reacted posituively to the news and said it will ‘bring life back to high streets and towns’.
‘It is something that customers have really liked’, she added.
Feature image – The Manc