Swingers club with ‘family atmosphere’ reopens with socially distanced socials

A swingers club in Weston-super-Mare will remain open despite the strict new rules, its owner has vowed.

The venue – named Route 69 W-S&M –  has reopened with new coronavirus rules, according to Bristol Live.

And the private members club says there will be no sexual activity until the strict coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.

It has a fully licensed bar with complimentary tea and coffee also available.

But the website notes that it has stopped serving a buffet due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Following advice from the council, the venue's saucy playrooms are now being used as social areas.

Previously, Route 69 hosted events such as  'Sensual Sunday' and 'Midweek Mischief' but these have been dropped in favour of 'Socially Distanced Socials.'

But members insist that they are still enjoying what the club has to offer – despite capacity being slashed from 55 to 25.

One regular, who asked to remain anonymous, told Bristol Live: “It’s more safe than the local supermarkets, probably.

“There are no activities going on down there. People are just going down to chat and meet up with others.

“Last night one of the conversations was about varifocal glasses. I don’t know what sparked it.

"That was a conversation between my partner and a couple of others.

“We’ve been down there many times and talked about things like Donald Trump, politics, nature, animals, different costumes and where we’re going on holiday.”

One 50-year-old regular said he has visited twice since the club reopened its doors.

The aviation worker, who visits with his fiancé who works in the NHS, discovered the club about five years ago.

He said: “We went on the website because we were looking for something different from mainstream pubs and clubs.

“I don’t go to many pubs in Weston because there are too many a*******s.

"They’re too crowded and you’re more likely to see trouble and violence there. You can’t enjoy the night.

“We thought we’d give it a go at Route 69. The owners made us feel very at home.

“It has a family atmosphere, even though the people who go there probably aren’t related, unless they’re husband and wife.”

Asked if him and his partner engaged in swinging, he said: “Before lockdown, yeah – I have played with my partner, and my partner has played with others down there.

“But it won’t bother us if that doesn’t return. We will come here just to socialise.

'It’s somewhere you can get away from everything, where no one takes offence at what you think. It’s very relaxed.”

The man said he had been impressed by the new measures designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

He said: “There are at least six or seven hand-sanitising stations down there," he said.

“It’s been nice to go down there and meet people I haven’t seen in months. It’s been a laugh.

“Some complete rubbish was being spoken down there, but it’s been nice just to have someone else to speak to about anything.”

Now the owner has vowed to keep the club open – despite the strict restrictions halting much of the venue's usual activities.

She said: “Things might never be back to ‘normal’ for any business, but provided we can still do the social aspect of it, we should be fine.

“I am gloomy about it, and I worry every day, but I still have to run my business in whatever safe way I can.

“We are still a members’ club, not an open pub or bar. We do have regular customers who do come in and they have adhered to social distancing.”

Since reopening, guests face new safety measures including reduced capacity.

The owner added: “We have a maximum of 25 people in at once, including staff.

“We have two staff members working at any one time.

“Customers are temperature-checked before they come in.

"Areas are marked off for social bubbles of six people. We have markers in place so people don’t sit too close together.

“Everything is cleaned to probably a better standard than a restaurant.

"I’ve reduced numbers by the guidelines the council gave me.”

On the website, Route 69 is described as a "small, friendly and
welcoming club."

It continues: "Its intimate size and character makes it easy to mingle and get to know other guests."

There isn't a strict dress code, with a club FAQ stating that customers can wear what they like "so long as it's clean" and not work clothes.

A North Somerset council licensing officer spoke to the club after learning it had reopened.

He said: “The premises is licensed for the sale of alcohol under the Licensing Act and has been since 2014.

“Full risk assessments will be in place and the licence holder has advised these will be made available to myself or colleagues from other responsible authorities should we wish to view them.

“Pre-Covid the venue was being used as a meeting place for members of the swinging scene but as sex is not a licensable activity (nor when consenting couples allow others to watch in private) this does not require permission from the licensing authority.”

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