Image description: Benches in the Union Courtyard and a white gazebo with seating inside.
The Oxford Union have announced that the Union Courtyard will be opening in Trinity Term as the ‘Union Beer Garden’, in an expansion of the Union’s existing bar facilities.
The Beer Garden will open from Monday of 0th week, and will have a capacity of just fewer than 200. This will be accompanied by the erection of a Gazebo within the Beer Garden, with a capacity for over 100 in covered outdoor seating.
On the opening of the Beer Garden, the Oxford Union have elaborated that:
“In compliance with the Government’s requirement for patrons to remain seated, the menu will be accessible through unique QR codes at each table – with online payment and table service. In addition to this, the Union seeks to make the Beer Garden a welcoming social space by staging performances, holding socials, and having exciting drinks-of-the-day and cocktail specials.”
This announcement comes in the week following the 12th of April, when pubs and other hospitality venues in England have been allowed to open outdoor seating to groups of up to six. Unlike before the latest lockdown, there has been no 10pm curfew imposed and no requirement for drinks to be served with a substantial meal.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants in Oxford have been adapting to the newest set of regulations. The Bear Inn has opened with outdoor seating for up to 95 people and streets in the town centre will be closed to traffic to allow more venues to open in accordance with government legislation. However, on Monday, as numerous people gathered for the first time since January, many pubs were still busier than expected.
Regarding the new Beer Garden, the President of the Union, Adam Roble, comments:
“The Union has always been a great social space and the buzz of the bar after a lively debate was a highlight of the Union’s week – I’m so pleased to be transforming the ‘Union Courtyard’ into the ‘Union Beer Garden’. Not only will this allow our already wonderful bar facilities to operate in compliance with the Government’s Covid regulations, but it marks a huge expansion of its capacity, and will create a much needed social hub in the centre of Oxford for Union members and their guests.”
Image Credit: The Oxford Union