Well-known Doncaster pub set to re-open for first time since lockdown - but things will look very different

One of Doncaster’s best known town centre pubs is set to re-open for the first time since lockdown.

By David Kessen
Friday, 25th September 2020, 12:31 pm

Biscuit Billy’s, on Silver Street, closed the day before the Government officially ordered pubs to close on March 23 – but now landlord Martin Blagden is ready to re-open after making major changes at the venue.

His decision to re-open comes at a time when some pubs are warning they will suffer due to the Government’s decision to force all bars to close at 10pm in response to rising coronavirus infection rates.

The pub will re-open on Friday October 2, and Mr Blagden’s initial plan is to open only on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Biscuit Billy's. PIcture: Google

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He said: “We’re a pub that’s always been there, but we were small and always full, with a great atmosphere. We were a bit like a nightclub

"It was difficult to plan to keep everyone safe, so we initially decided to close early, and that’s why we’d not re-opened.

"We have changed the whole appearance. We were a late night venue. People would stand up and dance nearly until 3am. It didn’t start to fill up until 11pm.

"Now we’ll be shutting at 10pm."We are re-opening again, but things will look different, and feel different.

"We've put in place soft lighting, new tables, and soft seating. We’ve made it nice and comfortable with lots of signage.

“We’ll still have a DJ in on Saturday’s but it will be to play ‘forgotten favourites’ that people have not heard for a long time. It’s going to be sitting down, with table service.”

He said he was aware of some pubs that were closing down until things change, and says there may be fewer options for drinkers in the town centre.

"Especially at weekends, people will come out earlier,” he said.

He plans to open 12noon until 10pm on Saturdays and 4pm until 10pm on Fridays. Whereas in the past he may have had 200 people in the venue, it will now be only 49.

He added: “I’ve been here 21 years and I don’t want Biscuit Billy’s to shut. It’s a town centre institution. I’ve lost some staff already, and I don’t want to lose any more.”