A pint, a coffee and a haircut – Sidmouth residents’ relief as more businesses reopen

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:17 08 July 2020

Customers at the Anchor Inn. Picture:  Mark Eburne

Customers at the Anchor Inn. Picture: Mark Eburne

Mark Eburne

‘People feel as if they’ve been let out of prison’ - just one of the reactions as many of Sidmouth’s pubs, restaurants, cafes and hairdressers reopened on Saturday, July 4, after months of lockdown.

The Anchor Inn's manager Steve Aggett prepares to welcome back regulars. Picture: Mike DearyThe Anchor Inn's manager Steve Aggett prepares to welcome back regulars. Picture: Mike Deary

Customers were welcomed back with strict social distancing measures in place, hand sanitising and other precautions against Covid-19.

At the Anchor Inn, the landlord’s wife Denise Fudge said: “In a nutshell I’m happy with how it started.

“The restaurant was a lot quieter, but there were a lot of people sitting outside, back and front.

“Most people have been very good, they come in and they’re not quite sure what they should be doing really, I think everybody’s looking for guidance.

Jamey D'Amato at Someday Something. Picture: Maria McCarthyJamey D'Amato at Someday Something. Picture: Maria McCarthy

“We’ve got hand sanitisers in place, ’one in one out’ in the toilets, nothing on the tables other than the cutlery which is wrapped with gloves on, paper menus on the tables which are destroyed after each family’s eaten, and they leave us their name and phone number.

“We’re nowhere near as busy as we should be but we’re not a greedy couple and we appreciate and realise what’s going on.

“I think the older people are tending to stay away and that’s a lot of our clients, and I fully understand.”

Jamey D’Amato from the Someday Something tea room in Church Street said she had been ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the number of customers.

Someday Something tea room. Picture: Maria McCarthySomeday Something tea room. Picture: Maria McCarthy

She said: “We have three additional tables outside because we’ve had to remove tables inside, and the weather’s been good so they’re keeping us quite busy.

“I think people feel like they’ve been let out of prison, they’re loving being able to sit outside and have a coffee, although we still have people who want to come in.

“I think it’s a relief, people want the luxury of coming out for a coffee.”

Hotels were also able to reopen on July 4.

Harpers Barber Shop, Sidmouth. Picture: Maria McCarthyHarpers Barber Shop, Sidmouth. Picture: Maria McCarthy

The general manager of the Harbour Hotel, Stefka Csordas, said “We had a lot of bookings, people were really glad to be able to come, and we had an unbelievable amount of non-residents as well who came for food and drink.

“They just seemed really very excited to be back to some sort of normal.”


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