This could be the first pub in Doncaster to re-open – and how's that for a beer garden?

This could be the first pub in Doncaster to re-open – with a covered beer garden decked out and ready.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 7:00 am

While many borough landlords have said that they will not be opening until May or even June, the manager of the Salutation on South Parade had confirmed he plans to be serving on the first day it is allowed.

Under the current Government road map, that would see them opening up again on Monday, April 12.

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Josh Wilsdon, manager, pictured in the Beer Garden at The Salutation. NDFP-09-03-21-Salutation 2-NMSY

Drinkers arriving at the venue will not be able to go inside the pub itself until May – but the venue has put in place a beer garden behind the building which will be covered and also have outdoor heaters in place.

Manager Josh Wilsdon said it was still early in terms of planning, but they would be ready to open. He said he would also speak to the council about the possibility of putting seating outside in the parking bays, which was done in the past for the Tour de Yorkshire and St Leger week.

He said: “It will be table service, and by April there will be more details of the Government plans in place and more guidelines.

"The beer garden was extended and we made it nice, with decking and a covered area. There is a television projector for sport, so we would be looking to show sport as well.

Josh Wilsdon, manager, pictured in the Beer Garden at The Salutation. NDFP-09-03-21-Salutation 1-NMSY

"But I think we will be shying away from live music for now, because we are not sure what we can do as far as that is concerned.

"Obviously things could change between now and April 12, if the Government changes the dates on its roadmap.

“I’m really excited about it, and really looking forward to getting back to work and doing something again after so long away. But I do feel a bit of anxiety, because I’ve not been around people for such a long time. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to talk to people.

"Staff wise, we will bring back as many as we can. But we will be at half capacity of what we could usually seat. All those I’ve spoken to so far are looking forward to coming back

The Beer Garden at The Salutation. NDFP-09-03-21-Salutation 4-NMSY

The initial plan is to open every day, but this may depend on the demand from the public, he added.

The venue does not have to do food, and it has a restaurant upstairs which will still be closed. But they will be serving food out of the kitchen, and will be doing takeaways and deliveries.

If it is able to open on April 12, it will be the first drinks that the venue has been able to serve in nearly six months.

The last day The Salutation was open before the Government put Doncaster into tier three restrictions last year was October 27, closing all pubs.

The Salutation, South Parade. NDFP-09-03-21-Salutation 3-NMSY

Josh has fond memories of that day, and feels that the public showed great respect to him and his staff as they realised that they were set to have to close again.

"It was a happy night to close on ,” he said.

"I think we’re expecting to be busy when we reopen,” he added. “But we may have to turn people away if it is full.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

The Salutation, South Parade. NDFP-09-03-21-Salutation 5-NMSY