THE cost of opening up the Creepy Wee Pub with social distancing measures in place would be “financial suicide”.

The popular gothic-style pub on Dunfermline’s Kirkgate hasn’t been able to open its doors since March 20 and there are fears it may never open again.

Chloe Elliot, leaseholder, says that implementing safety guidelines and reducing capacity would cost the business thousands of pounds.

She said: “We did a risk assessment at the start of lockdown and if two-metre social distancing was put in place, we’d be able to have six people inside.

“If it was one-metre distancing, we’d be able to have 12. Our usual capacity is 60, so we’d be running at a financial loss. We would need 12 people in all the time from morning to night to make it viable. The outgoing costs to make the pub COVID-19 secure would be £1,000 to £2,000.

“It would also be another £4,000 to get all of our stock back in to replace anything that had went out of date. With no further help from the government or the landlord that would be financial suicide for us.

“We have the choice of letting people in and them potentially not being safe, or staying shut. So we’re staying shut, basically. Unfortunately, I think we’re coming to a bit of a stalemate with the landlord so we don’t know whether we’ll be able to open at all.”

The fee of up to £2,000 for safety measures includes buying PPE, perspex screens, hand sanitisers, face masks for staff, gloves and safety signage.

Implementing an online app for customers would also take around £100 a month to operate.

“We’re wishing all the best to everyone else that’s able to open going forward,” Chloe said.

“It is our final year on the five-year lease so we were hoping to have a great final night on Hallowe'en. That was going to be very fitting for the Creepy Wee Pub. It’s a bit gutting that it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to do that.”

Monty's Bar in Guildhall Street is also staying closed for now with a post explaining: "We do not believe that it would be safe to do so at this time for you or ourselves and that is our primary concern. We will however be working behind the scenes over the coming weeks to make it safe for all of us to the best of our ability, based on the information available in the coming weeks."

The Creepy Wee Pub has won a plethora of awards over the years and also offered essentials and food on their doorstep to anyone in need at the start of lockdown.

Morag Douglas, licensee and a director of the Fife Licensed Trade Association recently sent a letter to MSPs on bringing pubs out of lockdown.

She said some pubs were at a disadvantage compared to larger operators that could afford to bring in social distancing and expand into beer garden spaces.