Nearly 3 months into lock down and we are beginning to see shops and schools adjusting to the new normal, following strict guidelines and opening to more customers and pupils. However, with the continued closure of the hospitality sector, including pubs, bars and restaurants, what has become the hottest new way of socializing at home? Understandably there is a clear struggle to balance safe re-openings against the cost of profit but with many of us missing the social aspects of fine dining and packed pubs, how have we adjusted at home and taken matters into our own hands.
The concept of the Man Cave is not a new one, for years, men have desired to create a space outside of the home for ‘man things’. Gaming areas, dart boards, a pool table, workout areas and so forth. But they are not alone. Whilst we continue to move into a more balanced society, women too have been inspired to create their ideal ‘She Sheds’. Fast forward to 2020 and a worldwide pandemic and the idea of having another space outside of the confines of your house becomes even more appealing. A place where you can feel like you are drinking ‘out’ and leave at the end of night provides a perfect escapism within your own land.
Whilst the cost of creating the perfect area can differ significantly, the end goal is still the same. Some prefer to source as many free materials as possible, using pallets to produce a rustic finished bar, or off cuts from finished jobs that allow for a home bar on a budget. Following You Tube tutorials and discovering a hidden talent through lock down. Others may get carried away in their design and lavishly decide to install real pumps in their brick built outbuilding, employing tradesmen to help create the flawless sports bar feel.
The design of these areas comes in many different forms but one thing they all have in common is the ability to provide a social, communal area. The home bar has become this summer’s hottest new feature in gardens across Great Britain and perhaps even the rest of the world. Social media allows for this hot new trend to become a competition as we post our before and after pictures for our followers to eye up with envy. The promise of invites and parties as soon as possible filling up our inbox.
Since the announcement that from Monday 1st June people across England can meet with up to six people in outdoor spaces or in private gardens, those of us that have spent the last few months working hard and detailing the beloved Home Bars, Man Caves and She Sheds, now have the perfect opportunity to open their doors to friends and family and reap the benefits of this dedication.
Whether your ideal bar has optics on the wall, a Gin palace or a cozy seating area, this new way of socializing at home has not gone unnoticed in the consumer world. Online stores such as Ebay, Amazon and Etsy are offering numerous personalized merchandise to fill your bars with. beer mats, signs, bar cloths and wall mounted bottle openers to name but a few. All offering finishing touches at reasonable prices.
Embracing this new way of living has also seen an increase in sales for other luxury items such as hot tubs and ready built swimming pools as we get ready to holiday at home this summer. With the increase in these popular features potentially putting halt to jobs being completed in the house. Is the half completed bathroom waiting for a rainy day as we swap the indoor projects for the more appealing outdoor ones?
As stated by the BBC, in the government’s recovery strategy document, published on 11th May, the date was set for a possible reopening of parts of the hospitality industry, no earlier than July 4th. With this date just weeks away, it begs the question to how much confidence customers will have in returning. A divided opinion on safety against economic loss might see many choosing to stay home and utilize their newly designed social areas. On the contrary, others may be desperate to get back to their favorite haunts. The future remains uncertain and the concerns over a potential second wave are very real. Thankfully for many, their attention they have given to getting those home improvement projects completed during lockdown has meant that the home is now a place where they are happy to spend time relaxing, socializing and enjoying the good weather. So for now, let’s raise a glass to all the hard working men and women out there as we steadily ease ourselves out of lock down together.