Scrambling for a spot at the bar to order your drink at pub is a quintessential British experience but now a strange phenomenon has taken over seeing punters form an orderly, single-file line to get their tipple of choice.
Infuriated punters have branded the strange sight the ‘worst side effect of lockdowns’ blaming Covid-19 for ‘breaking the ancient understanding of pub etiquette’.
A hilarious campaign has even been launched to bring queueing at pubs to an end, telling pubgoers ‘we queue for the bus or for the checkout not bars’ and encouraging them to return to the natural ‘scrum’ at the bar to order drinks.
A stream of photographs posted on social media have shown hoards of people queuing in establishments up and down the country from Manchester to London, Cornwall to Leicester, with some lines even winding onto the street.
Regulars at pubs have been told to ‘join the back of the line’ when they approached the empty counter, with some left questioning ‘Did everyone forget how pubs work during lockdowns?’
Do you now have to line up in a single file line at your local? Email your pictures to [email protected]
LEEDS: A stream of photographs for all over the country have showed pub goers queuing in an orderly single file line to get their drinks
LONDON: Some confused punters have been left questioning ‘did everyone forget how pubs work during lockdowns?’
CORNWALL: Rob Truan, who set up the pub queue account, said ‘It’s like a hundred years of tradition have been swept away overnight’
LIVERPOOL: Infuriated punters have branded the strange sight the ‘worst side effect of lockdowns’
An online campaign, run by the Twitter account @pub_queues, has called out people for queuing, telling its followers ‘we queue for the bus or for the checkout not bars’
One amused social media user blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for breaking ‘the ancient understanding of pub queue etiquette’
Yesterday columnist Madeline Grant reignited the debate asking her followers: ‘ Just me or have people started queuing in weird little lines for drinks in pubs rather than just crowding around the bar? I hate it, feels clinical.
‘Proper pub etiquette is clearly crowding around the bar, however if you get picked before someone who’s been there for ages you can offer to let them be served first. Much more convivial and spontaneous than a soulless Covid marshal queue.’
The post led to an onslaught of people agreeing the new convention that ‘runs against the very concept of a bar’ – with a few adding they prefer it.
One said: ‘It’s the absolute worst side effect of lockdowns. Shows you the casual drinkers from the experienced bar-goers. I just stand at the bar and tell them “don’t worry, the staff are good, they know who’s next”.’
Another added: ‘Yep, it’s a real thing here in Liverpool. People have forgotten how to stand at the bar to be served. The wide bar designed for people to stand at to be served. My tip: see a queue walk to the bar.’
Regulars have even spoken about how they have been told to get ‘to the back of the line’ at their local establishment
HAMPSHIRE: Some people, however, have said they enjoy the process of queuing at the bar
Many on social media have said they have observed the strange phenomenon while others called for it to be stopped
A third said: ‘Sometimes, when I’m standing at the bar drinking, a slightly confused queue forms behind me.
‘I find it endlessly amusing, especially as, when they realise their mistake and move next to me, they feel compelled to ask me if I’m waiting before they proceed to order their drink.’
Others disagreed and said they preferred the post-pandemic pub atmosphere.
One said: ‘I like it. And I’m a pub veteran. It’s fair and stops big, loud people getting their drinks before those who have less presence. Saw it in Holland a few years back, and saved so much stress. Hope it stays.’
Another added: ‘As a former bartender I fully endorse this behaviour.’
NORWICH: Regulars at pubs have been told to ‘join the back of the line’ when they approached the empty counter
DEVON: Some have said they prefer the post-pandemic pub culture
Others, however, have said they enjoy the single file line, one former bartender adding they ‘fully endorse this behaviour’
The excessive lining up in breweries and bars across the country has even prompted a Twitter campaign called ‘Pub Queues’ where people are encouraged to send in photos of people queuing single file at pubs.
The man behind the campaign is Rod Truan, a secondary school teacher in Cornwall who had become fed up with constantly queuing.
‘It seems to have started because of Covid,’ he told the Guardian. ‘It’s like a hundred years of tradition have been swept away overnight.’
He added: ‘It’s unique to British pub culture, that when you go to the bar, you meet new people, you have conversations, you have banter, it’s about public spirit, and that makes it worthwhile.’