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Business secretary visits Islington pub ahead of reopening

PUBLISHED: 16:44 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:44 01 July 2020

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma visits The Alpaca Pub, Essex Road, Islington on June 24. Picture: Matt Grayson

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma visits The Alpaca Pub, Essex Road, Islington on June 24. Picture: Matt Grayson

Copyright (2020) Matt Grayson, all right reserved

A pub in Islington received a visit from the government’s business secretary ahead of its post-lockdown opening.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma visits The Alpaca Pub, Essex Road, Islington on June 24. Picture: Matt GraysonSecretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma visits The Alpaca Pub, Essex Road, Islington on June 24. Picture: Matt Grayson

Secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Alok Sharma went to The Alpaca on June 24 ahead of its opening on July 4 to get a taste of what safety measures were being implemented.

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They include social distancing signs, hand sanitisers, reduced table numbers and a new courtyard garden.

READ MORE: ‘Fear and insecurity among many small businesses’: Islington Council calls on government to offer struggling firms more support

Owner Lucas Owen said: “We were quick to put measures in place but were surprised when we heard the minister was keen to see what the pub looked like.”

The pub on Essex Road, formerly The New Rose, underwent a £500,000 makeover from January and was only open for about two weeks before the Covid-19 lockdown came into force.

READ MORE: Essex Road pub The New Rose undergoing £500k makeover before reopening under new name

Lucas said he was not going to let the unprecedented circumstances “beat” him and have been offering takeaway drinks and Sunday roasts in the meantime.


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