The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

UK tequila bar registers as a church to remain open during lockdown

A British tequila and mezcal bar has applied for religious status in order to stay open during the UK’s lockdown.

The owner of 400 Rabbits in Nottingham, England, sent an application to HM Passport Office to register the bar as ‘The Church of The Four Hundred Rabbits’, according to Drinks International.

By law in the UK, places of worship are allowed to remain open at any of the COVID-19 levels.

According to the bar’s owner, James Aspell, the new religion needs people to sign up to its congregation and members can choose to become a ‘bunny believer’ or a ‘reverend of the righteous rabbits’.

“The intention of this is to be a joke but it comes from a serious place,” he told Nottinghamshire Live.

“With the new restrictions we’re forced to close and it could be months before we can reopen. We don’t have a food offering so even if we were in [level] 2, we couldn’t open.”

Aspell says he feels as though the hospitality industry has been targeted unfairly.

“Everything from gyms to massage parlours can stay open and even the Christmas markets are happening – that was the point when I thought, this is ridiculous,” he said.

This week, The Church of Four Hundred Rabbits will be signing people up to its congregation through a new website.

“We have no intention of opening unless the application is granted or when restrictions are lifted. If we were to open, we’d follow government guidelines and I don’t think we’d be selling alcohol. We might be able to adapt in a different way and have some fun with it.

“We’re not doing this to offend anybody or break any rules.”

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