SUPER Saturday saw pubs and restaurants reopen and punters flock to get their first sip of a pub-poured pint since March.

Although some were still apprehensive about visiting their local, many braved the drizzly weather to support Oxford city centre pubs.

On Saturday afternoon many families kept away for the first day, leaving mostly people out for a drink rather than a meal.

Oxford Mail:

The queues were short, staff were wearing protective face masks and, due to restricted capacity, the tables in the pubs were socially distanced and reserved.

The White Rabbit off Gloucester Green thanked customers for their successful reopening. Staff wrote on the pub’s Facebook page: “So good to hear clinking glasses, volleys of ‘Cheers’, laughter and the general buzz of folk celebrating life.”

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Brigitte Schmidt and Scott Kitto travelled from London to have a pint and meal out at the pub.

Queuing outside The White Rabbit for a table, Miss Schmidt said: “We came here for a day out and to get out of London, we have never been to Oxford before.

Oxford Mail:

"I’m looking forward to it – we weren’t apprehensive about going to the pub.”

In a poll on our website on Saturday, 59 per cent of readers said they did not think it was safe yet to go back to the pub, and 21 per cent said they would wait for a few days before they went back.

Another 11 per cent said they would rather go to the theatre.

Oxford Mail:

However, city centre pubs are doing their best to make post-lockdown visits safe.

The staff at The White Rabbit were wearing visors and had temperature checks on the door.

Nick West, manager of the Holly Bush pub on Osney Island, has put a host of safety measures in place.

Read also: Oxfordshire pubs and restaurants reopen on 'Super Saturday'

He said: “We have taken tables and chairs out, there is no sitting at the bar or ordering at the bar. We have put sanitiser stations outside every entrance and exit.”

He added: “It is a bit stricter making sure the tables are separated, but the customers are adhering to the rules and they are not causing any problems.”

Mr West was also relieved he was not rushed off his feet and said this meant he was able to give customers ‘a community pub feel rather than a city centre boozer’.

Oxford Mail:

Some pubs, including the Holly Bush, had apps for customers to order and pay, to make everything contactless.

But it seems most pubs and restaurants are looking forward to the weeks to come, when things may get closer to the old normal.

The Plough on Cornmarket Street is hoping in the next few weeks to have an alfresco style dining area outside on the street.

This comes after the council made plans for an outdoor café culture in the city centre, with temporary tables and seating areas outside restaurants to help maintain social distancing.

Oxford Mail:

Plough manager Steve Jones is looking forward to when the weather is nicer to launch the outside seating, hoping this will attract more punters to his pub.

The Tap Social brewery has been serving takeaway coffees and pints at its new base, the former White House pub on Abingdon Road, for the past two weeks, but on Saturday it opened an outside space for customers to sit and have a drink before the pub is refurbished.

Tap Social director Tess Taylor said: “ It has been pretty calm so far which is good, we are just getting to grips with how things will work and making sure we are fully in control of what’s going on.

“We are hoping this place will be opening around Christmas time and we figured just having a pop-up would build a bit of the excitement.”

Oxford City Council is warning pub goers to ‘know before you go’ – book ahead and know what the venue's new rules are.