PUBS and the hospitality industry served customers indoors yesterday for the first time in months, giving Darlington venues without beer gardens a much-needed boost in custom.

Some pubs may have had a relatively slow start as they welcomed punters inside - for the first time in at least four months - at midnight, while others saw large numbers turning out through the day and into the evening as people finished work.

The spread of the highly transmissible Indian variant has placed plans for Stage 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown in jeopardy, but Stage 3 was given the green light by the Prime Minister in a public briefing on Friday. 

Some venues have been fully booked since reopening in the last round of lockdown easing but now with them having greater capacity, you may be more likely to bag a spot at your favourite bar or restaurant. 

Everywhere should be doing table service and abide by the rule of six indoors. 

But what about those doing walk-ins?

Here are six pubs in Darlington where you don't need to have a booking:

Grange Bar 

Grange Bar is split over three bars, outside, inside and upstairs with a DJ and dance floor, with resident drag queen Miss Ann Bag returning each Monday alongside £1 shots.

It is open Monday to Saturday 12pm till 3am and there is no time limit on tables. People heading here should be prepared for a temperature check at the gate.

Avalon Bar and Terrace

Avalon Bar and Terrace is a late-licence bar with an outside area, including an additional bar. Customers can expect DJ's playing indie, house, disco and soul and funk as well as dedicated nights like Discobox Saturdays. 

Avalon is also on the lookout for bar staff, table servers and glass collectors. 

Hash Bar and Kitchen

Hash is a family-owned cafè bar offering up comfortable surroundings from early until late, from breakfast to evening drinks.

Writing on Facebook, bosses said: "We are VERY pleased and excited to be back open inside - no more looking at the rain forecast, no more having to get totally wrapped up to enjoy your drinks."

Opening times differ each day, but the cafè bar is generally open from midday with the exception of Tuesday and Wednesday when it is closed. 

Number One Bar

Number One Bar jumped straight back in last night with guest host and drag queen Tess Tickle, who looked after customers for 'Mon-Gay drag bingo'. 

Number One is made up of a cocktail bar, lounge, dancefloor and outside area.

It is described as a "deeply theatrical space" with comfortable areas to sit where the lighting and music can evoke different feelings. 

The Model T Darlington 

Family and dog-friendly pub The Model T was also keen to welcome people inside.

Writing on Facebook, bosses said: "It's here!!! Put those big coats, gloves hats, waterproofs AWAY!! our doors are OPEN!! The heating is on and we're ready!! Ready to welcome you all back safely!!"

The pub has a jukebox, pool table and a dartboard for those of you who have missed classic pub games. 

There is also a street food truck each Saturday.