Downtown Richmond pub sees biggest crowd since before COVID-19 for soccer match

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Penny Lane Pub in downtown Richmond had a packed house Sunday during England’s game against Italy in the European Finals.

But, it wasn’t all fun and games over the past year with the trials and tribulations that the COVID-19 pandemic brought for the pub.

There wasn’t an empty seat at the pub, starting at 11:30 Sunday morning, with fans finally able to enjoy the game together in a packed house. It was one of the first times that’s been able to happen since the height of the pandemic.

Terry O’Neill is from Great Britain and has owned Penny Lane Pub for around 45 years. He said the last couple of months of customers coming in to enjoy their brews and games is what’s kept them alive financially.

“Everyone is relieved. And everyone is tipping ridiculously. You know, they’re so pleased. A fella gave me $20 just to get in,” O’Neill told 8News on Sunday.

Englander Kevin Tully was one of dozens of fans inside the pub Sunday and said seeing everyone finally come together to watch the game makes it feel like home.

During COVID-19, the pub lost four waitresses, three workers in the kitchen and two bartenders. They couldn’t pay them because they weren’t doing enough business.

Amid the financial difficulties, O’Neill said his wife, son and daughter-in-law have chipped in to help run the business.

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