Published: 09:11, 18 June 2020
| Updated: 10:14, 18 June 2020
We could be just a matter of weeks away from some pubs across Kent and Medway opening again as the government’s lockdown restrictions slowly begin to ease.
Despite being unable to open up, many of our much-loved locals have been doing their bit to keep going, and continue to be the hub of their community.
Pubs of all shapes and size have begun to diversify, and started to open their doors for takeaways and deliveries.We want to help out pubs and bars from all across the county and have launched our campaign, Love Your Local.
Each week in your local KM Group newspaper, we are printing free adverts for many of the pubs we’re promoting, to help businesses while the doors must stay shut. We are also writing about as much of the latest pubs news from across the county as possible. Here are some:
The Past and Present, Gillingham
For the Past and Present, lockdown could not have come at a worse time.
Medway’s first miniature boozer was looking to the future and about to move to a bigger place up the road.But lockdown came just as the doors were about to open.
Owner Dave Hallowell said: "We were all ready to go and then lockdown came. We don't really know how things are going to go and we're not really sure when we can open, but we've been working out how we'll do it."
Just some of the pub conundrums include the toilets - Dave has worked out an "engaged" lighting system; whether there needs to be table service, and even, how locals get in, as there could be long queues outside. "We don't really even know how many people we'll be able to have in. We are in limbo."
The pub, which is set to reopen as the Past and Present Ale House, will also be stocking some gins, whiskies and rums once it does. In the meantime, Dave said, it had won Medway CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2020 and Cider Pub of the Year 2020, but had not been able to celebrate it.
In the meantime, it is offering deliveries on Friday nights, or in future possibly Saturday nights of ciders and real ales. To order a delivery, visit the Facebook page here.
The Duke of Cumberland, Whitstable
Whitstable's Pamela Holmes heard our cry for people to love their local loud and clear and sent us pictures of her and her sister enjoying a drink in pastimes at their local, The Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable High Street.
"We miss our local pub," she said, recalling how things were: "With its live music, the friendly staff and lovely cold beer, it's like going to a party every week."
How you can help
We’re offering Kent pubs free ads in What’s On, which is carried inside all KM Group paid-for papers across the county, as well as some features on what pubs are doing. Pick up your copy of the paper each week to see your pub featured, or find out which ones near you are offering takeaways, deliveries, and other services for the community.
If you run a pub, let us know what’s been going on at your pub during lockdown by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell us about how you have been coping and also your plans to reopen - we will then get in touch about your free ad.
If you’re a regular, you can use the same email to support your pub. Tell us how much you’ve been missing your local and your plans to celebrate its reopening later this summer.