Update on physical distancing, and a note on groups
Friday 3 July
Yesterday, the Scottish government explained how various sectors can move from 2m down to 1m physical distancing. The overall rule is clear: 2m distancing remains the standard and only venues that adopt a series of mitigating measures may operate 1m distancing. For hospitality venues like our pub, those measures are:
No standing – all customers seated
Face coverings by staff
Clear systems for safe ordering and payments
Clear systems for safe use of toilet facilities
Reduced noise measures e.g. no background music, to reduce need for customers to shout
Clear messaging on need to provide contact details to support Test & Protect
Use of screens between seating areas
We can comply with the first eight of these. However, the use of screens between seating areas causes us a problem.
A village pub like ours is about conviviality between friends, regulars and visitors alike. The move from 2m to 1m has to be about this as much as it is about fitting in customers to keep the business viable. We don't believe that putting in tall screens between 1m distanced tables will create a better environment than having no screens between 2m distanced tables.
So, from 15 July when indoors customers are allowed back in, we will operate with 2m distancing, across all three rooms. We should have enough space to accommodate most of our normal custom, but you'll be spread thinner than normal!
We're hopeful that it won't be too long into the summer before physical distancing restrictions are eased further. We'll keep you posted.
Please also support the NHS Test & Protect scheme by providing your name and contact telephone number upon arrival to the pub.
Lastly, a note on groups and sitting together: current government rules mean that no groups from different households may sit together in the pub. The only exception to this is an 'extended household group' (EHG). This is where one person who lives alone or only with children under 18 joins with another household to form an EHG. The EHG is exclusive - i.e. you can't be a member of more than one EHG. As landlords, there's a big element of trust here. We certainly don't want to interrogate groups who claim to be EHGs. But we do reserve the right to challenge groups, if we believe they do not form an EHG, or are forming a group with more than one household, and to require the group to separate into 2m distanced groups where necessary.
Finally, the maximum size of any group sitting together is eight people.
Tim and Oonagh Findlay-Coulson
We are reopening on Monday 6 July
Updated Tuesday 30 June
We're delighted to say the West End Bar will reopen on Monday 6 July. To begin with this will be for outdoors customers only (Phase 2 of the government's lockdown easing plan). We'll have the boat yard and the upstairs beer garden open, with tables physically distanced. We then expect to open for indoors customers from Wednesday 15 July (Phase 3). There's some uncertainty over what the rules & regs will be from 15 July (e.g. max. group size, 2m distancing), so we'll update you when we're clearer.
Like everywhere else, we'll have some new ways of doing things when we open up, to keep everyone as safe as possible, while still making the West End a warm and welcoming place for people to meet and catch up. We know we can count on you to support us with this.
Phase 2 outdoors customers only: all customers to enter via South Loan, and exit via Boat Yard. Ordering and collection points in main bar will be marked out. Physically distanced queueing will be in place. Re-entry (i.e. for more drinks, to go to the toilet) will be via South Loan, with no re-entry via Boat Yard.
Phase 3 indoors opening: All customers still to enter via South Loan, but customers sitting in the mid-bar and dining room to exit via South Loan. All customers in main bar to exit via Boat Yard.
Hand sanitiser - On entering and re-entering the pub, everyone must use the hand-sanitiser in the South Loan porch. There will be additional sanitisers in customer toilets.
No standing or sitting at the bar - Our bar counter is quite narrow so unfortunately customers won't be able to sit or stand by the counter for the time being. This will remain the case if the current 2m distancing rule is reduced to 1m, for the safety of our staff.
Contactless payment strongly preferred - If you have a contactless card, please use it. Handling cash brings a much higher risk of spreading the virus, so don't use cash just because that's what you've always done, or it's what you prefer. Please use contactless - it's safer for all concerned.
Phase 2 outdoors opening depends on weather - If the heavens open, we can't accommodate customers inside, so everyone needs to bear this in mind. If the forecast is very bad, the pub may not open at all. On the other hand, we plan to move to indoors opening from the 15th so hopefully this won't be much of an issue.
Food service - Food service will restart on Friday 10 July. You'll need to make and pay for your order at the bar, and we'll have a designated pick-up point at the rear of the beer garden for customers upstairs, while food for Boat Yard customers will be brought to their table.
Drinking, eating...it's all one pub! - When we welcome indoors customers again, we will use all three of our rooms at the West End for drinking and eating, to accommodate as many of you as possible while physical distancing rules remain in effect. No matter where you sit, all food orders will be placed and paid for at the bar, and likewise, those in just for a drink, are free to sit in the dining room. We've changed up our menu to suit a more informal style of eating: a great new range of quesadillas, for example, are perfect for sharing, and all freshly made in the kitchen using top quality ingredients. Check out the menu on the website to see what we've got in store.
Takeaway food - Our food menu will be available for takeaway. Please ring us on 01333 311 587 to place your order and have your contactless card ready when you come to collect. We are not offering a delivery service at this time.
Table reservations - We expect to be able to accommodate most customers on a first come, first served basis, and so we're not planning to ask you to book your table in advance. We'll keep this under review. You can of course choose to reserve a table, for eating or drinking: call us on 01333 311 587 or message us via this website. Please note that should we reach maximum capacity, the South Loan doors will shut until space opens up.
Dogs on a lead are welcome - The West End will always give a warm welcome to our four-legged friends. But it's worth reminding everyone that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, and not be allowed to roam around.
Tuesday closure - Once we're into Phase 3, the pub will get into a regular rhythm of opening six days a week, and closed on Tuesdays. Tuesday has always been our quietest day and the realities of operating in the COVID-19 world mean we have to keep costs strictly under control.
Beer supplies - The breweries are ramping up production again but there are real shortages of popular beers at the moment. Please bear with us as we restock - and accept our apologies if we don't have your regular pint in for a short while. (Tennents should be fine!)
That's probably enough for now! We haven't even mentioned that when you come back in you'll see that your pub has a lovely new coat of paint, sparkling new toilets throughout, and quite a few other bits and pieces freshened up. We hope you'll like it as much as we do, and we really hope it's not too long before the place is humming again with conversation.
See you very soon,
Tim and Oonagh Findlay-Coulson
West End Bar
South Loan, Pittenweem
The West End Bar is Pittenweem's cosy village pub, welcoming regulars and visitors alike. We've a roaring log fire in the winter months, and a sunny beer garden when it's warmer. While COVID restrictions operate, we will be serving a simple bar menu: look out for details soon. We're a very dog friendly pub so please feel free to bring yours along. We do ask that you keep them on a leash at all times.
The ongoing COVID-19 situation means indoor events are more difficult to arrange. We'll keep this under review as public health rules develop. Hopefully we'll have another quiz before too long!
No events planned at this time
Bar Hours - w/c Monday 6 July
Mon 6th: 4 - 10pm
Tue 7th: CLOSED
Wed 8th: 4 - 10pm
Thu 9th: 4 - 10pm
Fri 10th: 1 - 10.30pm
Sat 11th: 1 - 10.30pm
Sun 12th: 1 - 10pm
Bar Hours - w/c Monday 13 July
Mon 13th: CLOSED
Tue 14th: CLOSED
Wed 15th: 4pm - midnight
Thu 16th: 4pm - midnight
Fri 17th: 11.30 - 1am
Sat 18th: 11.30 - 1am
Sun 19th: 12.30 - midnight
All hours are subject to change
Tim and Oonagh bought the West End in December 2017. Tim spent much of his career in London at drinks company Diageo, also taking the professional diploma at Leiths School of Food & Wine during a year out from the office. While his job took him to New York for a few years, Oonagh also took the opportunity to spend several years in the Caribbean in hotel management. Running their own place was on the cards for some time, and when they saw the 'for sale' sign at the West End, a conversation over a pint with local Captain Willie started them on the path to buying the place. It's been a rollercoaster ever since, but Tim and Oonagh are delighted to see the pub once again becoming the village social hub, due in equal parts to their hard work, the fantastic team they've built, and the loyalty of their treasured regulars.