‘You won’t serve us, so we won’t serve you’: the Manchester bar chain which has banned MPs because of the 10pm curfew
- 10pm curfew heavily criticised for doing 'more harm than good'
- Hospitality industry taking a hit while people gather in homes
- Bars and restaurants fighting to have measures revoked
A Manchester bar is refusing to serve MPs in response to the government’s 10pm curfew.
The measure, which was criticised after its first weekend by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham because it creates an incentive for people to gather in homes, is feared to be damaging many businesses beyond recovery.
Now MOJO, who run five bars, including one on Bridge Street in Manchester city centre, have taken to social media to announce that they would not serve MPs on any of their premises until something was done to help the hospitality industry.
And they are trying to encourage other bars to follow suit.
We call on our friends in pubs & restaurants across the country to join us in putting all the members of parliament on notice. Until they release our industry to trade/provide us with viable financial support, we will not serve them.#cancelthecurfew pic.twitter.com/4zrkp2pqyA
— MOJO (@MOJO_BAR) September 28, 2020
Martin Greenhow, managing director of MOJO, said: “This curfew was a massive slap in the face of an entire industry that put tremendous amounts of work and money into reopening safely.
“We desperately needed to grab the attention of the public, and that’s how we came up with the ‘you won’t serve us, so we won’t serve you’ campaign.”
While the initiative aims to shine a light on the hardships bars and restaurants currently face, Mr Greenhow admits he enjoys the idea of Prime Ministe Boris Johnson being turned away from his favourite pub.
“What power do we have?” he said. “This is asymmetric warfare. But we will fight back in whatever small way we can.”
According to Mr Greenhow, the government need to make up their mind, and fast.
“Either it is safe for us to trade, in which case the 10pm rule doesn’t matter, and the government need to allow us to trade. Or it isn’t safe for us to trade, in which case the 10pm rule doesn’t matter, and they need to support us.”
He said the issue went much further than the hundreds of thousands of hospitality jobs currently at risk.
“What will city centres look like in a year, when all bars and restaurants have closed? What about the money we’re injecting into the economy? What about the people who own the buildings we’re leasing from, who won’t be able to pay their mortgages anymore?,” he said.
“At the end of the day, it’s about more than just us. The government need to act now to make sure we don’t see another 2008.”