Many businesses have unfortunately been forced to close their doors during the pandemic.

But others have opened during this unprecedented time.

Mick Barnes and his wife Angie opened micropub The Pont Tap in Ponteland last August, after the first lockdown put a stop to their opening plans.

“We put everything on hold,” Mick said.

When they opened, in August, restrictions had been eased.

“The first few weeks we were doing better than what we had projected,” Mick said.

“It was really good, then business went down a little bit when mix of households was stopped.”

The micropub, which is on the West Road in Ponteland, now offers a takeaway menu with a variety of cask, keg and bottle beers available for delivery or click and collect.

Mick said the takeaway menu has been well-received.

“We’ve got good, loyal customers.”

“We have just diversified,” Mick said on running a micropub during a pandemic.

“We are surviving, we are doing ok.”

“The customers appreciate the fact that we are open,” he added.

“What we are doing at the minute is better than being closed.”

This is the first time Mick and Angie have ventured into micropubs, previously Mick worked at Mercedes Benz and his wife had worked in retail.

Mick said they decided to open the micropub in Ponteland as they often visited the town for food and drinks and thought the building was “perfect”.

“Micropubs are all about the location,” he said.

“They are part of their community.

“People want to buy quality and they like the fact they can get it on their doorstep.”

Mick said they have not regretted opening The Pont Tap at all.

“We don’t regret it, we are looking forward to when we are able to open again and get the atmosphere back.”