A change-of-use planning application for The Barrow Boys bar in Hull Marina has been approved.
Lee Kirman owns a number of bars on Hull Marina.

Coronavirus: ‘We had to adapt and take responsibility’, says Hull bar owner

A Hull business owner has spoken of the importance of following public health guidance and how the early implementation of Covid-19 safety measures has boosted his trade.

Lee Kirman is the joint owner of Taphouse, Minerva and Humber Street Distillery on Hull’s Marina alongside his partner Charlotte Bailey.

Mr Kirman said: “We had to adapt and take responsibility. During lockdown we sat down with our managers to devise a management plan for each site, acknowledging that each of our bars are different and welcome different clientele.”

These plans have included the introduction of an app at Taphouse, where customers can order drinks directly to their table, and at all their bars customers are required to register their details on entry before being shown to their tables.

Lee Kirman (right) pictured at the opening of Taphouse Brewpub.

Mr Kirman continued: “We’ve been surprised at how good trade has been, trade seems to be more stretched out with people visiting our bars earlier in the week than they did prior to lockdown. I think part of this is due to people knowing that we have these measures in place and therefore they feel safer.

“The vast majority of our customers completely understand why we have introduced these measures and respect them, although we did have an occasion when someone refused to register their details, so we simply refused them entry.”

Mr Kirman employs 50 staff across his bars and praised them for their response to the changes.

He said: “All our staff are bright, they understand why we’ve introduced these safety measures and the importance of implementing them.

“As a business owner, the health and safety of my staff and customers is of paramount importance, but also as a businessman, I want my bars to be open.

“The more businesses that take the guidance seriously, the more chance we have of keeping our doors open.”

Hull City Council has worked closely with businesses to support them and encourage them to implement covid-19 safe practices.

Advice for businesses is available here.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for regeneration and economic development, said: “The response from Hull’s business sector has been phenomenal, with the vast majority of businesses engaging with the council and putting in place safe covid practices.

“I have no doubt that the exemplary attitude and responsibility shown by our business sector has played an important role in keeping the infection rate in Hull considerably lower than other parts of the country, but there is still a long way to go.

“We want to ensure that businesses remain open – that Hull remains open. As ever, this is a collective effort. Together, we’ve done an incredible job, but the job is by no means finished. As we’ve seen across the globe, this terrible virus is not something you can get complacent with, so let’s continue to stay vigilant, work together and keep Hull safe.”