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UK bar applies to become a ‘church’ to keep serving its guests to bypass tier 3 lockdown

James Aspell, owner of bar, said it was a tongue-in-cheek response to highlight the "unfair" rules faced by hospitality venues.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 6, 2020 10:02:02 am
While they are grateful for the support, the owner said that hope people realise they’re not entirely serious with it.

The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the global economy and financial markets. Right from small, medium and big businesses have had to either throw in the towel or painstakingly absorb unprecedented stress to their financial assets due to the pandemic. But some businesses are devising creative ways to say afloat, like this one tequila bar in the United Kingdom.

400 Rabbits, a bar in Nottingham, has applied to be classified as a place of worship to get around the Covid-19 restriction rules and rescue its business given that festive season is around the corner.

The Aztec-themed bar re-christened itself as ‘Church of 400 Rabbits’ as it is currently waiting for its application to be granted by Nottingham’s registrar general to ‘become a church’.

Sharing the pictures of their application, the owner wrote: “With places of worship allowed to open in all tiers we thought f**k it lets start a religion! Can’t be that hard can it! ‘The Church of the 400 Rabbits’ launching as soon as we get the green light!”

The application is currently pending for approval from the Registrar General of Nottingham. (Source: 400rabbits/Facebook)

James Aspell, owner of bar, said it was a tongue-in-cheek response to highlight the “unfair” rules faced by hospitality venues. The United Kingdom on December 2 entered a new system of tiered restrictions to check the spread of Covid-19 infections. Nottingham will be a tier 3 zone, where restaurants and bars are only allowed to sell takeaway or delivery drinks.

“It could be months before we’re allowed to open again,” Aspell told BBC News. “We looked at the list of every business or venue that’s allowed to open under the new system and it said pretty much every other type of business apart from bars and restaurants,” he added.

Continuing his argument about the discriminatory restrictions, he expressed frustration especially about the Christmas market. “We feel like we’ve been targeted unfairly, to an extent and it seems wrong. Everything from gyms to massage parlours can stay open and even the Christmas markets are happening – that was the point when I thought, this is ridiculous,” he told Nottingham Post.

The owner said he hopes people realise they’re not entirely serious with it and just see the humour in all this. (Source: 400rabbits/Facebook)

As they grabbed international headlines, the pub also launched a website asking people to join their congregation — either as a a ‘Bunny Believer’ or become ordained as a ‘Reverend of the Righteous Rabbits’.

Although they don’t think their “completely ridiculous application” would be granted, if by chance it gets through, there are some offers as well. “Thanks to everyone for showing your support and helping us highlight the plight of hospitality businesses under the government’s batshit new tier restrictions,” the pub wrote online while sharing their sign-up link.

While the membership for the Bunny Believer is completely free, if one signs up as a Reverend it would cost £10. For both categories one will receive a certificate of affiliation to the ‘Church of the 400 Rabbits’ and get invited to “attend worship”, the website stated. However, people signing up as Reverend of the Righteous will get specially-designed T-Shirt and be first to be invited to such session, if permission is granted to stay open.

“Unlike the regular church we’re not in this for the money so all profits will be donated to the Emmanuel House Support Centre Winter Appeal,” the website added. The Centre supports homeless, vulnerable and isolated adults in Nottingham.

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