Pubs ran dry across England on Wednesday evening after revellers gathered for one last drink before a second national lockdown came into force at midnight. Large groups of drinkers packed into bars and pubs across the country before 10pm to enjoy a drink ahead of the new restrictions being introduced. They took advantage of cheap drinks, with pints costing just 99p at Wetherspoons after the pub chain decided to sell real ale at cut prices to avoid pouring them away. In the capital, Soho was packed out with groups of friends, with long queues outside pubs also seen in Camden Town. Even before Wednesday, data from restaurant bookings service OpenTable showed a surge in demand for London eateries during the run-up to the new lockdown. In the north, revellers hit the bars in Leeds in a party-like atmosphere, many dressed up in their glad rags. Birmingham, Hull and Reading also saw large groups gather for a last night on the town for at least four weeks. In Newcastle, drinkers braved the cold weather and flocked to the city centre for drinks just hours before new restrictions came into force. There was a heavy police presence in the city with many pubs and bars fully… Read full this story
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