The Bull in Highgate is all set for opening day

The Bull in Highgate reopens on July 4 with social distancing in its beer garden

The Bull in Highgate reopens on July 4 with social distancing in its beer garden - Credit: Archant

With a lovely front terrace and plenty of indoor space, the home of independent Gorgeous Brewery can’t wait to welcome back customers

Rob and Sam Laub of Gorgeous Brewery based at The Bull in Highgate

Rob and Sam Laub of Gorgeous Brewery based at The Bull in Highgate - Credit: Archant

When Rob Laub rang loyal customers to warn them there wouldn’t be a full menu at The Bull on re-opening weekend, they replied ‘we don’t care just get me into the pub’.

“I called everyone who had booked, but before I even finished they said they didn’t mind - there’s a real appetite for re-opening. People are desperate to come back.”

Luckily for Rob and his sister and business partner Sam, the pub in North Hill is blessed with two beer gardens and is home to the independent Gorgeous Brewery.

If the outside space is set to be a boon in times of social distancing, then bottle sales from the brewery helped them to survive lockdown.

The Bull in Highgate reopens on July 4

The Bull in Highgate reopens on July 4 - Credit: Archant

“It’s been a challenging and interesting few months,” says Sam, “but the local community has been really lovely and supportive, ordering crates of beer and sending messages of support. Luckily we brewed a lot of bottled beer at the beginning of the year.”

Gorgeous supplies scores of other bars, which were also closed during lockdown, so brewing ground to a halt. But now the barrels are filling up in time for re-opening.

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Rob, who has a background in hospitality, bought The Bull in 2016.

“Furlough was a godsend,” he said. “It enabled us to carry on. Bottle sales have been a great help, but without furlough we would not be reopening now.”

Sam, whose advertising and marketing background has helped to secure Gorgeous as a brand, said safety measures involved pre-booking, table service to avoid queuing, staff wearing masks, and an enhanced cleaning schedule.

“We spent a day walking around with metre-long sticks, arranging the terrace at the front of the pub and the tables inside, but we have 5,000 square feet of space so it’s not been too much of an issue.

“We want to make sure everyone’s safe. I am sure the locals who come here will be responsible. Obviously it’s an evolving situation and we will adapt as things change.”

Rob adds that booking details will be kept on file for 21 days in case of track and trace: “I am not a huge fan of booking because it’s nice to just decide to pop down the road for a drink, but even if people walk in we can just take their details.”

As for the menu, it’s limited to the likes of burgers, fish and chips and chicken wings until July 10, but after that their new chef will be launching a mouthwatering menu including truffle risotto, soft shell crab burger, and roast cote de boeuf.

“We have a lovely terrace at the front and a brewery garden at the back for summer and we can’t wait to welcome people back to the pub,” said Rob.