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In its nearly 500 year history, Ye Olde Miter in Holborn has served beer under 21 monarchs, survived the English Civil War and emerged unscathed from the Great Fire of London.

But few events have affected the pub business as profoundly as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lockdowns have stifled trade for months at a stretch. Even once venues reopened, social distancing restrictions and work-from-home advice left city centers deserted and ruined the key Christmas period.

“We’re a real brewery, so people come from far and wide for our beers: regulars, office workers and tourists,” said Judith Norman, owner of the historic pub.

“Our regulars tried to support us during the pandemic, but with working from home we were much quieter than normal.”

At Fuller’s, the pub chain that owns Ye Olde Mitre, trade has fallen by 70% in some of the city center venues that rely heavily on after-work drinkers. Some had to temporarily close their doors.

Now, however, as Plan B restrictions in England are eased, hope lies with Ye Olde Miter and elsewhere. Familiar faces are gradually resurfacing, dropping by for a pint after a day at the office here and there.

“They are recovering and hopefully they will be back full time next week,” Norman said.


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