EAST Renfrewshire residents will be raising their glasses next week as beer gardens reopen after months of lockdown.

Among those who will be welcoming back customers are staff at Barrhead’s Cross Stobs Inn, which will be providing drinks and meals again from Monday.

Jonathan Wengel, manager at the pub, in Grahamston Road, said there has been huge demand from people keen to book a spot in his beer garden.

He told the Barrhead News: “The phone has been ringing off the hook, it’s been crazy.

“We’re really pleased with the response and can’t wait to serve customers again, so I’d advise anyone who is planning to visit to phone ahead and book first.

“The beer garden has been all spruced up and we’ve got a new menu, new umbrellas and even new hutches for the rabbit and guinea pigs.”

It has been a tough time for pubs and restaurants across East Renfrewshire, which have had to remain closed for much of the past year in a bid to halt the spread of Covid.

From Monday, they can reopen until 8pm indoors and 10pm outdoors, although alcohol can only be served outside.

Groups of six people from six different households will be allowed to meet in outdoor hospitality.

However, it will be May 17 before pubs and restaurants are able to sell booze indoors again. This will be allowed until 10.30pm, in two-hour time slots.

Jonathan said: “These lockdowns have had a pretty devastating impact on the pub and I’m beyond relieved that we will now be able to reopen.

“It’s been really hard, as we still have our usual bills, such as rent and insurance, but everyone has been in the same boat, so we just have to get on with it.

“Hopefully, if we have a strong summer, we should be fine but it’s been a really worrying year, as we didn’t know how long this situation was going to go on for.

“I really feel for the pubs that don’t have a beer garden, as they’ve been shut since pretty much October.”

The likes of non-essential shops and gyms are also due to reopen on a restricted basis from Monday.

From May 17, cinemas will reopen, with contact sports also able to take place.
Up to four people from two households will be able to meet indoors from that date.