Today, 12 April, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars begin their phased re-opening, allowed by law to serve customers on terraces, roadsides, and in beer gardens. It’s mid-April and the sun is shining in London, but this is England and it is cold — at lunchtime, just eight degrees celsius. Customers, for now, appear defiant; chomping at the bit to get out and into restaurants after months of lockdown.
Restaurant dining rooms have been closed for four months; the longest they’ve been empty since the Covid-19 pandemic first turned the industry on its head over a year ago. In those four