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Britain's smallest pub The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds now back open with outdoor seating





Regulars to Britain’s smallest pub joked it would need to operate a one-in-one out policy to ensure social distancing, but The Nutshell is back serving after owners made an agreement for outside seating.

Up to 18 people will be able to drink outside the pub in The Traverse, Bury St Edmunds , when it reaches capacity after a successful trial last weekend.

Landlord Geoff Page said: “We could not do a lot with the regulations and the pub would have struggled to hold its own (under social distance requirements) as we would only have been able to let four people in. We needed to get the tables out.”

The Nutshell pub in Bury St Edmunds now has outdoor seating Picture by Mecha Morton
The Nutshell pub in Bury St Edmunds now has outdoor seating Picture by Mecha Morton

Approval was needed to licence the outside operation, with street drinking laws prohibiting pubs from offering streetside tables without agreement.

Mr Page said West Suffolk Council was ‘brilliant’ in processing and approving the proposal to allow the Nutshell to serve alcohol outside for the first time under his ownership. The agreement was fast-tracked under legislation used to help the hospitality sector through lockdown.

The first drinkers came back last Friday, with the pub operating five tables with a view to upgrade to six.

The Nutshell is Britain's smallest pub Picture by Mecha Morton
The Nutshell is Britain's smallest pub Picture by Mecha Morton

Mr Page said early feedback has been ‘positive’ although he does admit the venture is reliant on the weather remaining dry.

“People are pleased to come back,” he said. “Everyone has suffered during the period. We have been lucky to have West Suffolk Council grant us the permit. Greene King has been supportive on waiving rent and taking back the old stock.

“Hopefully with this we can catch up by next summer.”

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