Pub talk: Bar managers in London and Shanghai chat about reopening
Bars and pubs worldwide have suffered amid The COVID-19 pandemic, which forced their doors to close for months and stocks go to waste.
But now, as lockdowns gradually ease, even in the worst-hit countries, pubs are ready to reopen (if they respect social distancing and follow safety guidelines).
Gary Murphy has run the 400-year-old London pub Ye Olde Mitre Inne for 12 years. When the lockdown started, he thought he would have to keep it closed for only a few weeks, but the weeks turned into four months. Now, as the British government has announced that pubs will be allowed to operate again from 4 July, Murphy is getting ready to reopen.
On the other side of the world, Anthony Chiu has only recently reopened the Shanghai-based Guinness Gatehouse, which he manages. He opened the pub in December, at what he describes as "the worst possible time to open a pub in the last 100 years," and gathered quite a clientele before being forced to shut down because of the pandemic.
From London to Shanghai, across 5,711 miles and seven time zones, Murphy and Chiu chatted on Zoom about their experience of lockdown in their respective countries and how to approach reopening.