The Crobar, the much-loved rock and metal establishment formerly on Manette Street, London's Soho, has launched the world’s first online pub to bring together a global community to help each other navigate through the pandemic.
The company has so far raised almost £74k via Crowdfunder to reopen The Crobar at a new location in Central London. A second round of funding has just been launched.
Until then, owner Richard Thomas saw an opportunity to help his customers and anybody else who wants to join in by creating a secure and controlled space where anybody is welcome to have a natter, lift their spirits and be themselves.
Having listened to the conversations where many have suffered with isolation and a great deal of loss, there is trepidation about being around other people as we come out of the third lockdown, which has exacerbated insecurities.
This is why the online pub will be the stepping stone towards steering people into feeling more comfortable as we adjust from lockdown and recalibrate into more social settings.
Thomas continued, “My customers are my priority and without them we’d not have reached the fantastic amount of £70K- that’s £30K since January 29 – which is no mean feat!
“But since we closed down our physical location and started this crowdfund, the amount of people who have shared how much loss they’ve felt since that fateful facebook post is immeasurable.
'It’s why, with the help and hard work of some techy fans, we were able to set up an online pub to recreate that ‘safe zone’ where people can chat, giggle and share stories – without judgement – and reattune their social skills again! They are free to create their own tables or float around other tables with groups of up to 8.
Thomas concluded, 'Our three pilot tests before the launch worked so well because we’re all dealing with practically the same struggles. I am so grateful to be of some service to the punters who require this outlet; furthermore, the feedback I’m getting is that it’s fun and people are making new friends!'
The Crobar Virtual Party Room is a free global event that runs every Friday from 15:00 GMT – 15:00 GMT Saturday. Customers only need to register once which will give them unlimited entry to any Friday event.
Even when pubs reopen, the Virtual Bar will stay open for those who still feel the ramifications of the ongoing pandemic.