'Happy days' after first big weekend back in the centre of Wakefield

It was the first big weekend of 2021 for businesses in the city.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:26 pm
Laura Williamson at Laura’s Beautique

Though pubs, restaurants, salons, shops and other businesses were allowed to open from the Monday before it was the weekend that would really count in getting things back on track.

All week businesses across the city said there was a buzz about the place as the streets filled up again.

Laura Williamson, who owns salon Laura’s Beautique on Northgate, was able to reopen.

Connor Heywood at Sweet Swan

And she took the opportunity to move into the next door lot and open a new tanning salon with four beds.

Her idea was to bring a bit of the sun in a year when people might not be able to go abroad.

She said: “Especially with people not being able to go on holiday it seemed like the right time to open it

“It’s called Tanerife – it’s where the sun always shines.

“I wanted to create somewhere that people can come in and pretend like you’re in Bali for 12 minutes.”.

There’s also a room upstairs that local beauty therapists can rent.

Laura is offering 10 per cent off for new customers and more information is available on the salon’s Facebook page.

And Connor Heywood is another lauching his new venture, a vintage sweet shop, Sweet Swan, in the city centre.

The business is fittingly located in the former Thorntons lot.

The shop sells classic sweets like pick and mix, and traffic light lollies.

Elsewhere in the city pubs and bars welcomed back customers to outdoor beer gardens.

Louise Waters, landlady at Harry’s Bar in Wakefield city centre, said: “The first weekend went really well.

“It’s been a great start back – little bit rusty at the beginning of the week with staff and equipment and we ironed a few teething problems out but overall a steady week and decent weekend.

“It’s been lovely seeing the hustle and bustle and hearing the chatter and laughter. “Everyone has behaved and enjoyed being back. Let’s hope the weather stays kind to us!”

Harry’s installed a huge new outside, covered decking area to accommodate more customers.

The Travellers Inn at Stanley also decided to upgrade its outside with a large decking section.

Landlady Sam Carney said: “The weekend was absolutely brilliant and it’s good to be back.

“The police checked in with us too and it was all good.

“So happy days if weather is kind to us, it’s the boost all closed businesses needed.”

Gemma Woodhouse from the Fox & Hounds at Newmillerdam said: “It’s been a mad experience.

“So unbelievably busy, tonnes of five star reviews from people online, loads of fantastic feedback about how well organised we are.

“We practically ran out of everything in the kitchen, people were loving our food all weekend, we hardly ever run out of things because we like to be over prepared but the build your own burgers went down a storm!

“Grant and the kitchen staff have done record numbers for sure which is fantastic and they excelled to say the least.”

If your businesses has reopened or you are launching a new venture get it touch and let us know.

How did you spend the first weekend as lockdown restrictions lifted?

Welcome back: Laura Williamson at Laura’s Beautique, Connor Heywood at Sweet Swan, the outside area at Harry’s Bar, and, inset, Wakefield city centre