Flatmates spend coronavirus lockdown in empty pub with beer on tap

Now that’s a lock-in! Flatmates spend coronavirus lockdown in empty pub with free beer on tap and room for barbecues on the roof

  • Dom Townsend, 29, and Steve Pond, 39, have spent lockdown in a London pub
  • The pair moved into the flat above The Prince in Stoke Newington before March
  • They enjoy beer on tap and play crazy golf inside with no customers to serve 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Most people were warned not to head to their local pub and wait for it all to blow over when the nationwide coronavirus lockdown came into force. 

But friends Steve Pond and Dom Townsend had no choice but to enjoy the free beer on tap at theirs, having moved into an apartment above The Prince in north London.

Like all British bars and restaurants, the Stoke Newington pub is closed until further notice as part of government measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  

Inside, chairs are turned upside down on tables, blackboards advertise sporting events long since cancelled and pots and pans gather dust in the kitchen.

Steve Pond (left), 39, and Dom Townsend (right), 29, have enjoyed spending the coronavirus lockdown in The Prince pub in Stoke Newington, north London

The pub is closed like all British bars and restaurants have been since March 23, but Dom and Steve moved in to the flat above before the lockdown came into place

Dom pulls Steve a pint from the bar as anti-bacterial gel and a coronavirus face mask sit above the taps

But the pair consider themselves lucky to be able to enjoy the spacious pub after moving in shortly before the lockdown came into force.

Dom, 29, said: ‘I moved in just a couple of months before lockdown which has worked out well, considering.’

He is the assistant manager at the pub after starting there as a barman and has been passing the time with Steve, 39, by playing improvised crazy golf inside.

They place chess and cook barbecues on the roof when the weather is nice and have been enjoying the fresh beer on tap with no customers to serve.

Dom and Steve play improvised crazy golf on the wooden floors of the pub to pass the time in the days

They also enjoy taking each other on at chess, while being sure to make good use of the plentiful beer on tap

Dom said: ‘We’ve ended up as friends … It’s been nice. We can’t complain. We’ve got fresh beer on tap.’ 

For Steve, the epidemic was a major worry early on because he has an existing lung condition.

He said: ‘So I kind of started to self-isolate a couple of weeks before, but after confirmation from my doctor I found I could go out so that kind of eased it a bit for me.

‘One of the lows I suppose is not having the locals come in. It’s lucky me and Dom get on so well.’

Steve says it is lucky that he and Dom have become such good friends, because it can be tough not having customers coming into the pub

Dom is looking forward to a ‘big party’ with friends at the end of the coronavirus lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is too early for the lockdown to be eased in Britain where the hospital death toll from coronavirus has risen to almost 22,000

For all the advantages of their situation, they are looking forward to a full house once what seems certain to be the longest lock-in in history finally ends.

Some European countries are beginning to ease their lockdowns but Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is too early to do so in Britain, where the hospital death toll from coronavirus has risen to almost 22,000.

On Monday, Johnson said: ‘I know it is tough, and I want to get this economy moving as fast as I can, but I refuse to throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life and the overwhelming of the NHS.

‘And I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe we are coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict and in spite of all the suffering we have so nearly succeeded.’  

The number of people dying with the coronavirus in England and Wales is around 55 per cent higher when non-hospital deaths are included, according to the Office for National Statistics

Dom says he and Steve hope to enjoy a celebration with friends when asked what he wants to do when the lockdown is lifted.

He said: ‘A big party; go out to eat somewhere that I miss; just see your friends. I think you realise that a lot of the superficial stuff …now doesn’t matter as much. 

 ‘You want to see your friends, you want to see your family, you want to live a bit … once this is done.’


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