Bar bosses at a popular Manchester venue were riding the crust of wave after staying open because they were selling slices of pizza.
However, it all turned sour-dough after police came knocking and were told to stop serving slices of 22-inch pizza as they don’t class as a ‘substantial meal’ under the newly-introduced Tier 3 lockdown rules.
Staff at Common, based in the city’s trendy Northern Quarter, claim officers visited the bar on Friday afternoon (October 23) during a patrol checking if venues were following the new restrictions, reports the MEN.
According to the official government guidance, in Tier 3 areas – which now include Greater Manchester – alcohol may only be served alongside a ‘substantial meal’, which it defines as ‘like a main lunchtime or evening meal’ or a main course.
But it appears the pizza slices, which Common described as ‘f*****g massive’ on its Twitter feed, don’t fit the bill.
The bar said cops told them the slices ‘don’t fit the substantial food brief’, but claimed they ‘couldn’t tell [them] what substantial food was’.
Common boss Jonny Heyes told the Manchester Evening News : “It’s just a bit of a joke.
“I don’t want to say anything bad about the officers because they had obviously been sent round to check everyone was serving food and adhering to the guidelines.
“But they don’t have any information about what actually constitutes a substantial meal.
“They’re just winging it.
“As far as I can tell there is no proper guidance. The government policy is just so woolly, there’s no clarity.
“It says a lunchtime or evening meal.
“Our pizzas are 22 inches, so a slice is 11 inches long. It’s probably as big as a 12 inch pizza.”
Common has remained open by promising to serve full pizzas.
It’s estimated nearly 2,000 venues have had to close in Greater Manchester since the region went into Tier 3 on Friday.
Many of those which have remained open have come up with some inventive ways of following the new rules.
An unnamed council official told the Sunday Times: “We’re finding [the rules] impossible to interpret.
“We’ve been having some ludicrous conversations with bar owners about pasties, beans on toast, toasties, bowls of chips with gravy.
“What is a substantial meal? Surely that depends on the size of the person? What if they’re skinny and they like salads?”
Greater Manchester Police have been contacted for comment.