The manager of an independent pub in east Oxford has said drinkers are delighted to be back and have been enjoying beers at 100 outdoor seats.

Under the Government’s latest timetable for unlocking coronavirus restrictions, pubs and restaurants have been able to serve customers outside since April 12.

Now, almost a month on, landlady Beccy Webb said The Chester Arms in Chester Street off Iffley Road has been extremely busy and she is looking forward to the next phase when pubs will be allowed to reopen indoors again from May 17.

The Chester on Chester Street Picture by Ed Nix

The Chester on Chester Street Picture by Ed Nix

While some pubs have stayed shut because they have not been able provide outdoor seating, The Chester has not experienced any difficulties as it has a large outdoor seating area.

“Since April 12, it has been pretty manic,” said Ms Webb, who runs the pub alongside head chef Hamzah Taynaz.

“We have tried to keep the walk-in trade going and people have been very eager to get back to the pub.”

Read again: One of Oxford's smallest pubs has outdoor seating for 95

She added: “The weather wasn’t great over the Bank Holiday weekend but we were still quite busy.

“Customers can scan QR codes when they come in or they can just use pen and paper.

“I think people like the fact that they can walk in and have a drink and we are not putting a time limit on their visit.

Pub of the Week - The Chester on Chester Street Picture by Ed Nix

Pub of the Week - The Chester on Chester Street Picture by Ed Nix

“We are very lucky to have so many tables outside and some of the tables are covered.”

Ms Webb said the independent pub, which is not attached to a brewery, was now taking bookings for when pubs can reopen inside.

She added: “At the moment it’s perhaps a younger crowd drinking outside but once more people are vaccinated more people will feel comfortable about sitting inside.”

Ms Webb said the pub was ‘famous’ for its steak platters and Sunday lunchtime was always busy.

The Chester on Chester Street Picture by Ed Nix

The Chester on Chester Street Picture by Ed Nix

She added: “Fish and chips is also popular and we always try to have a fish, meat and vegetarian option on the specials menu.

“As we are not tied to a company like Greene King we can support local breweries like Loose Cannon in Abingdon.”

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Ms Webb has been running the pub with Mr Taynaz for the past seven years and is pleased it has an important role to play in the community.

She added: “We do feel that the community really supports us.

“The parking situation for customers is not brilliant as residents’ parking was introduced about three years ago.

“There are some spaces where you can park for two hours before 6pm but a lot of people cycle down or get a taxi.

Dave Richardson, of the Oxford branch of real ale group CAMRA, said earlier that the limited reopening on April 12 had created a situation where there were ‘haves and have nots’ in the pub trade.

Read more: Best Oxford pubs with outside heating

One of Oxford’s smallest pubs, The Bear Inn, has been flourishing because although it has very limited space inside it has seating for 95 outside. Pubs across Oxfordshire have been hit financially by repeated lockdowns over the past 12 months.

The Lamb & Flag in St Giles, one of the city’s oldest pubs, was closed by St John’s College in January.