Pizza offering! Police confirm Manchester bar’s ‘massive’ 22-INCH pizza slices DO count as a ‘substantial meal’ – after officers told staff they were breaking Tier 3 Covid rules
- Staff at Common bar said police told them the huge slices were not ‘substantial’
- The gigantic slices of pizza are cut from 22” slices and measure 11” in length
- The bar in Manchester said officers were ‘winging it’ as there was ‘no proper guidance’ and that they could not answer what constituted a ‘substantial’ meal
- Police have since backed down and the bar is allowed to serve slices individually
Bosses at a Manchester bar say police told them to stop serving slices of 22-inch pizza as they don’t class as a ‘substantial meal’ under the new Tier 3 lockdown rules before the force backed down.
Staff at Common in the city’s trendy Northern Quarter claim officers visited the Edge Street bar on Friday afternoon (October 23) during a patrol, checking if venues were following the new restrictions.
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.
Staff at Common, in Manchester (pictured), said police initially told them the large slices of pizza which measure 11” in length were not substantial before they did a U turn on the decision
The bar’s manager said officers could not tell them what constituted a ‘substantial’ meal
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 officers 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 said: ‘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.’
The incident meant Common began only serving full pizzas while the issue was clarified by the police.
The bar made the announcement on their Facebook page, writing: ‘The head of Greater Manchester Police Licensing got on the blower to let us know that Slice Gate has been revisited and our Nells Pizza slices (cut from 22 inch pizzas) are now officially deemed substantial.
‘Back on the menu today from 12pm with limited supply. This means you can have a slice with a beer then toddle off. Full 14” and 22” pizzas are available as standard.’
It’s estimated nearly 2,000 venues have had to close in Greater Manchester since the region went into Tier 3 on Friday.
The bar announced today that police had backed down on their initial enforcement and that they had been told they are allowed to start selling the huge pizza slices individually again
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.