Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Oh my God we’re back again. Brothers, sisters, everybody sing. -Backstreet Boys

Last year when we re-opened after lockdown we started with a lyric from Jamie T. This time it’s the Backstreet Boys. What can we say, lockdown has affected us all in strange ways.

BottleCraft will re-open for limited outdoor on-sales service between 1pm and 7pm on 14 April, and will be doing so between Wednesday and Saturday each week from that date for at least five weeks. Off sales and home deliveries will continue as normal during that time.

We’re going to be very cautious for these first five weeks, hence the limited hours. This is partly because although all the signs seem positive currently we’re as absolutely certain as anyone else that we don’t want to have to do another lockdown, so we’re determined to do our part to support safe and proportionate re-opening. But it is also because we’ve not run as a bar for nearly six months now (since early November 2020) and us and the team are going to need a bit of time to get back into the swing of things. We think the limited hours we’re proposing is a reasonable compromise to achieve that.

We want to give you an overview in this blog of how things are going to work over the next few weeks if you join us for a drink.


There will be a revision to our opening times as of 14 April, the new hours are below. Please note that hours remain as they are until that date, so everything will be ‘as is’ before then.

Monday Closed Home Delivery Day

Tuesday Closed

Wednesday 1-7pm On/Off Sales

Thursday 1-7pm On/Off Sales and Home Delivery Day

Friday 1-7pm On/Off Sales

Saturday 1-7pm On/Off Sales

Sunday Closed

We’ll keep these hours under review, but we don’t anticipate making any major changes in this first phase of re-opening. There will be additional days over the May Bank Holiday weekend, but we’ll give details of these closer to the time.


We’ll have the same strict rules around cleaning in place at the bar as we did before we closed it back in November. These cover all areas set out in government guidance such as hand hygiene, cleaning schedules, staff distancing and PPE and everything associated with your health and safety. Our full risk assessment has been updated for this re-opening.


It’s been a looong time since any of us were able to drink at a bar (inside or out) so here’s a reminder of the rules that will be in place.

If you’re not happy to follow the rules please don’t visit us while they’re in force, as we will be declining service to anyone who doesn’t comply with them. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s important to be clear on that up front.

Capacity – We’re operating with a reduced capacity and we’ll only serve customers we’re able to seat at a table safely. If we’re at our capacity we’ll not be able to serve you until a table comes free. Please book a table to be certain of service.

Booking – We’ll hold back a limited number of seats for walk up customers, but we strongly advise a booking if you want to be certain of a seat. Please see below for full details of how to book.

Being seated – On arriving at the bar please wait to be seated. We’ll have a member of the team working ‘front of house’ who’ll make sure you’re seated and served promptly.

Maximum group size – We will accept groups of up to six people, but no larger. We will not split larger groups across tables. We know the law allows for larger groups if they’re comprised of two families, but for ease of managing the situation we won’t be accepting any groups larger than six in any circumstances.

Table service – There will be no service for on sales at the bar. Orders and payment will be taken at your table and delivered to you on a tray. We will collect empty glasses when required and for the foreseeable we’d ask you to not return your glasses yourselves.

Track and trace – We will need the contact details of every member of your group to comply with government track and trace requirements, or we’ll need to see you scan in on the NHS App. If you’re not happy to provide this information we won’t be able to serve you. Your data will be securely kept in compliance with all relevant legislation and destroyed after 21 days.

Staying at your table – while visiting us we ask that you remain at your table unless you need to leave it for the toilet or are directed to do so by us in an emergency. We can’t allow customers to move between tables as this will breach social distancing rules.

Social distancing – You must try to remain at least two metres away from anyone who isn’t a member of your group at all times.

Masks – You must wear a mask any time you enter the building (for example to use the toilet) and keep this on at all times while you’re inside.


Tables can be booked in two hour slots, and groups can book up to two consecutive slots on a day. The slots are the same each day as follows:

1-3pm, 3.05-5.05pm, 5.10pm to close.

So, for example, you can book 1-5.05pm for a group, or 3.05-Close but you can’t book all day. We’re trying our best to be as fair as possible to as many people as possible given our limited hours at this stage.

To book you must E-MAIL us on info@bottlecraft.beer with the day and slots you want to book, the size of your group and a contact name and phone number for each member of the group.

We’ll only be taking bookings for a week from the Sunday before that week, to allow us to have a reasonably clear idea of what the weather is likely to be for the days we’re covering. So, for example, we won’t be able to accept or confirm any bookings for May Bank Holiday weekend before Sunday 25 April.

We’re serving outside only at the moment, which means we’re completely weather dependent, so please dress for Stoke in spring. If it gets cold or rains we can’t move you inside like last summer, and most of the tables are not under cover. If it looks like a day is going to be a washout we’ll get in touch with everyone who has a booking.

If you change your mind please please please get in touch and cancel your booking. We won’t mind at all, but it’s incredibly helpful to know in advance if we have tables free.


We said this back at the start of last summer, and we’ll say it again, we’re going to make mistakes in these first weeks, and so are you. The important thing is that we all approach re-opening in an open and supportive way. We’ll learn together, and have some quality beers and fun while we do it!

We also know that yet again many venues are unable to re-open in this first step, or indeed at the second step that’s hopefully coming in May, and it is important to us that we all continue to support those who can’t re-open as they simply can’t comply with the current restrictions. So please folks, keep buying from all those places that can’t currently re-open. They still urgently need your support.

We hope to see some of you on 14 April, and over the coming weeks. We’ve missed your faces!

Much love

Chris, Tom, Rich and all the team at BottleCraft