Deacons Salisbury reopens just before Covid-19 lockdown ends

AFTER being closed for eight months an independent pub reopened its doors over the weekend, to the delight of customers returning and new.

Deacons on Fisherton Street had been shut since the second lockdown was implemented back in November, but is now ready and waiting to welcome the public back with new products and events in store.

Dave Hancock, director of Deacons, restaurant Tinga and cocktail bar and B&B Caboose, said opening the hostelry on July 3 was “really good”, adding: “We were waiting to open in line with the [lockdown] regulations ending, but when that got pushed back from June 21 to July 19 we decided we were finally on the home stretch and could do it anyway.”

Salisbury Journal: Dave Hancock, director of Deacons, Tinga and CabooseDave Hancock, director of Deacons, Tinga and Caboose

Championing local businesses

As a wet-led pub, Dave said Deacons “just wouldn’t have worked” if the team had attempted to reopen it sooner, due to the curfew and substantial meal rules around Christmas and only accommodating for eight tables.

Now the pub has opened however, Dave has revealed Deacons is going down the “craft beer route”, with a focus on “championing a range of local products” including craft beer from small, independent businesses.

He said: “There are not so many real independent pubs left in Salisbury, but we take pride in being one of them and supporting other local businesses and suppliers too.

“We’ve got Dark Revolution [Salisbury-based beer] – people saw this on social media and wanted to come try it out. People do forget about suppliers and how Covid has affected the food chain of hospitality as well.”

A beer festival, the return of monthly quizzes and a potential gin tasting night with the Tuilagi brothers are just some events on the horizon for the pub.

Salisbury Journal: Inside Deacons in SalisburyInside Deacons in Salisbury

Lifting lockdown is ‘long overdue’

Business owners in the hospitality sector, Dave included, welcomed the Prime Minster’s announcement Monday night, July 5, which confirmed mask wearing, social distancing and nightclub closures are to come to an end on July 19.

“Ecstatic” with the news, Dave said the need to return to normality was “long overdue”, especially in aiding the recovery of the hospitality sector.

“People are sick to death of the restrictions but now they are able to make their own choices,” he said.

“It has been so tough and we have to pay lots back, this will be a two or three year recovery. We were paying thousands to cover everything like rent, bills and subscriptions.”

Dave added: “I do believe however that hospitality businesses run some of the safest and most Covid-secure practices.

“We know what we’re doing now and venues are so safe they must be some of the most hygienic places here.”

Dave added that the return to normality will allow “Salisbury to prosper” with its need for “a vibrant night time economy”.

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