THE hospitality trade was dealt another blow yesterday when a usually buoyant May Bank Holiday was a washout.

Under Government guidelines restaurants and pubs can currently only serve customers in outside areas.

Heavy rain and low temperatures throughout the day put people off venturing for a drink outside.

Andy Loizou has been landlord of the Lichfield Vaults in Church Street for the last 13 years, he has not known a May Bank Holiday like it before.


Mr Loizou said a usually busy Bank Holiday trade was decimated by the rain and he closed at 9.30pm due to the lack of tade.

“It killed the trade, there was no trade and it was the same everywhere,” said Mr Loizou.

“We’ve got a massive outdoor area but we’re not allowed to have a cover which means we can’t operate when it rains.

“It was the first time I have ever closed this pub at 9.30pm in my life and I’ve been here 13 years. Affectively we can trade but could not trade.

“Otherwise, we have had good trade up until then. When the sun shines and it’s not freezing cold we are busy and people are happy to sit outside.

“Usually on a Bank Holiday Monday you wouldn’t be able to get into the pub, every table would be taken.”

Pubs across the county faced a similar situation and despite having marquees in place to shelter customers from the rain The Bell at Yarpole was another business that chose to close early.

Mr Loizou like fellow hospitality businesses is praying for a warm and dry summer to help boost trade.

“We just need a really good summer to be honest to make up for the eight months without any trade at all,” he added.

“We are grateful for the Government and council giving us grants to survive (during the Covid-19 pandemic).

“We just hope for a good summer, I have already noticed a bit of an upturn in tourism when the sun is out.

“Hopefully as time moves on people will come into Hereford.”