The Wokingham Paper

How Wokingham’s Hope & Anchor is welcoming customers back safely

hope & anchor
The Hope & Anchor reopened in Wokingham on Saturday morning. Hattie Gutzman (centre) with team members, Ian Manson and Faye Muir. Picture: Steve Smyth/The Wokingham Paper

IT’S BEEN nearly a month that Wokingham borough’s pubs have been welcoming back customers. 

There’s been a variety of ways in which they have been working to keep people safe. 

Hope & Anchor
The beer garden at the Hope & Anchor

From the now familiar signing in routine to table service, extra measures are in place so that the risk of spreading Covid-19 is minimal. 

The Hope and Anchor, in Station Road, is typical: in normal times, it was famous for its live music and quiz night, but currently, the bands are silent and the questions are waiting for new normal times before being posed. 

Landlady Hattie Gutzman said: “We’ve been looking forward to having customers back in again.

“Since we reopened, it’s been great to see old friends come back again. We understand some people are cautious about coming out, but rest assured, we’ve one what we can to make it as safe as possible.”

She quipped: “We’re currently table service only, you’ll get that personal touch but without being touched.”

There is a one-way route around the pub – one way in where group leader’s personal details are taken, past the bar and to a table or into the immaculate beer garden. 

Hope  anchor
The beer garden in Hope & Anchor Picture: Phil Creighton/Wokingham.Today

“The garden looks beautiful,” said a proud Ms Gutzman. “We’ve got socially distanced tables and it’s a nice place to have a catch-up. 

“It’s been really popular and with Sunday’s forecast looking good, we’re looking forward to having people round.”

There is also a breakout room, complete with dartboard. 

“The darts room seats up to 12, and can be hired for £5 an hour which includes complimentary bar snacks and £3 off the second round.

“If you’re coming to play darts, you must bring your own darts, but chalk and an electronic scoreboard can be supplied.”

Hope & Anchor
The darts room in Hope & Anchor Picture: Phil Creighton/Wokingham.today

Ms Gutzman said that the room needed to be booked in advance by calling the pub. 

“There’s no booking of the other tables, customers can just come along,” she added. 

The range of drinks is slightly curtailed, but there’s now Camden Heels on tap, and there will be some special promotions. It’s card only payments for the moment. 

There are some restrictions: children and dogs can’t come in and opening  hours are slightly different. It’s currently closed on Mondays, from 3pm to 11pm Tuesdays to Thursdays, noon to late on Friday and Saturdays, and from noon to 9pm on Sundays. 

For more details, call the pub on 0118 978 0918. 

Hope & Anchor
The dartboard in Hope & Anchor is available to be used – just bring your own arrows Picture: Phil Creighton/Wokingham.Today

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