Tuesday 21 November 2023

Opening times

No, not the local CAMRA magazine of the same name (edited my my old mate John Clarke). It's lierally opening times, as in when pubs open

Today, I tried to find somewhere to meet up at lunchtime in Utrecht. Using as a guide my, er, old guide to pubs in the city. Suitable candidated were pinging around like crazy. I was spoilt for choice. Then I checked the opening times on the internet. And watched all my choices evaporate.

Ledig Erf used to open at 11:00 every day.Now its 15:00 in the week and 12:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Florin, once a Firkin outlet, also used to open at 11:00. Now it's 16:30 in the week, 10:00 on Saturday, but with a two-hour break from 14:00-16:00. (They claim to be the most authentic British  on the Contimnent. What could be more British than afternoon closing?)

Thankfully, Kafé Belgie still opens at at midday. Just two hours later than before at 13:00.

I've noticed later opening times at some places in Amsterdam, too. What's the root cause? COVID? Lack of demand (hard to imagine the the centre of toursit-packed Amsterdam.) Or is it just shortage of staff.

That's certainly the same in lots of retail in Amsterdam. Either there are appeals for staff in the window, Or they randomly don't open, presumably because there's no-one to unlock the doors and man the till.

Whatever the cause, it's dead annoying for afternoon drinkers like me.


Matt said...

I think it's almost certainly staff shortages. Most of the pubs near me are now staffed almost entirely by teenagers and people in their early twenties who fit their shifts around college or university. Inevitably a lot of them leave (to go back home for the summer, travel, or for better paid full-time jobs) so they're always advertising for new staff. The lower rate of the minimum wage for under twenty-one year olds understandably pushes pubs facing economic pressures towards employing them (my niece had a summer job last year in a Japanese restaurant where she spent most Saturday night shifts behind the bar pouring pints for waiters to take to tables as she was often the only front of house staff member over eighteen - she's now a postgraduate student and despite having that experience is struggling to find part-time shop or bar work as it's a lot cheaper for businesses to employ people younger than her).

The Beer Nut said...

Café Olivier has been my saviour in similar circumstances, but Belgie is a good shout.

Rob Sterowski said...

I don’t think the British culture of daytime pub crawls has ever existed in the same way on the continent. As far back as I can remember a large proportion of German bars have always opened around teatime.

But you are right, hours are getting shorter. In Britain you can't rely on a pub being open at 11am as you once could either.

Anonymous said...

This reminded me of one of Adrian Henri's 'Liverpool Poems'...'Note for a definition of optimism:/A man trying the door of Yates Wine Lodge/At quarter past four in the afternoon.'

Steve D. said...

Ohmigawd. Have (m)any of your readers discovered BRAPA's posts on this very subject?!
His mission of having a beer in every venue listed in the Good Beer Guide has found him at time completely frustrated by said venue not posting its business hours on any World-Wide Web page which it {supposedly} maintains, such that he appears at 'opening' time for the pub, but finding it still closed. Sometimes, there is a paper sheet posted in the door stating it will open at some future time than what was posted. This is no way to do business (IMO).
I have not yet added him to my regular bookmark page, because I am uncertain people not into beer would want to read about his activity. But I definitely follow his posts.