The lockdown restrictions may have made life hard for a lot of people, but it's also caused some of them to become more creative when it comes to skirting restrictions.
During this pandemic, certain shop owners have been finding it harder to stay afloat while they have to wait for the lockdown to be lifted in phases. But one particular bar owner in the UK tried to lighten the mood by registering his tequila bar as a place of worship so that he can stay open despite the lockdown restrictions, according to NY Daily News.
James Aspell, who owns the 400 Rabbits bar in Nottingham, UK, has officially filed papers to register as The Church of 400 Rabbits and is currently on the hunt for a congregation. For those who are interested, a website was set up in order to allows worshippers to join as "Bunny Believers" or become "ordained as a Reverend of the Righteous Rabbits" by donating 10 euros which will be handed over to the Emmanuel House Support Centre Winter Appeal.
This was an attempt at getting around the upcoming coronavirus restrictions in the area which was scheduled to enter Tier three on December 2, because it meant that bars would still remained closed while places of worship are allowed to remain open in all tiers.
The site reads, "Join us as we begin our journey to answer absolutely none of life's big questions. Such questions as why are we here, what's the meaning of life, why didn't they just fly the eagles to Mordor and why did Dominos stop making the double decadence pizza base?! Our aim is simple, to offer a place of worship to our deity the mezcal bunny. A place where you can drink mezcal without having to order a carvery dinner alongside it, a place where you aren’t kicked out into the cold heartless night at 10pm, a place where you can get away from the busy gyms, supermarkets, shops, beauty salons, massage parlours, cinemas, theatres, sports venues, xmas markets, schools, universities, betting shops and literally everywhere else that will be allowed to remain open while pubs and bars will remain shut."
They added, "Our application to be recognised as an official place of worship and open our doors has been submitted to the registrar general. You can support our application by joining our congregation," before directing viewers and interested parties to where they could sign up. To make things more... realistic, they even shared their "Rabbit Prayer" which is essentially the lyrics of the song Sexy M.F. by artist, Prince & The New Power Generation.
Speaking to Leading British Conversation, Aspell explained his decision. He mentioned that while the bid to become a place of worship is “a lighthearted joke... it is coming from a serious place” given that the hospitality business is still reeling under the force of the coronavirus restrictions.
According to the stricter 3-tier system in England, which will follow the national lockdown, pubs and bars must remain close in Tier 2 and 3, unless they can operate as a restaurant. Nottingham is currently in Tier 3 and Aspell added that his bar “will probably be closed for the next few months with the new regulations, as even if we drop down into Tier 2 we don't serve food, we don't have the capacity to do it so we still wouldn't be allowed to open."
“This is despite the fact that all around us we have got gyms, massage parlours, places of worship, they're even going ahead with the Christmas market in Nottingham city centre," the 34-year-old explained. “Two minutes outside our door, which is closed, there will be a whole Christmas market going ahead, full of crowds of people."
Though the bar owner said that he expected his application to be “refused straight away," he “wanted to shine a light on the ridiculousness of the regulations and how targeted they seem towards hospitality venues like ours." "Obviously all our staff have had to go on furlough, we have had to close numerous times,” he added.
When the guidelines came out for the new tiers last week it was just such a massive kick in the teeth. We were ready to open, we followed all the guidelines exactly as they have been laid out for us all year by the government.” He also mentioned that the bar had “no intention of opening unless either we are allowed to via hospitality rules being relaxed or if get to the point where we are accepted as a place of worship and then again we will fall all guidelines that are laid out for a place of worship."