A NORTH-East pub has set up what could be the smallest beer garden in the country in its bid to reopen to punters.

The New Inn, in Yarm, may not have a traditional garden but owners Ross and Sally Buchanan have managed to squeeze in a single table and two chairs into a small square in front of its premises in High Street.

The couple opened it to the public on April 12, when pubs and restaurants were permitted to open outdoor spaces for table service, after getting permission from the council.

The micropub, which even without covid restrictions only has capacity for about 30 people, is also offering a takeaway service.

Mr Buchanan, 39, said: "It only has space for two people but I think every day we've been open someone has always been in it.

"It's just good to be open again. We're doing takeaway as well and we're just waiting to let people in in May.

"Half the reason we put the table out was because we're allowed to do it and it shows we are open and we are here.

"It's nice to have people who do want to come in and have a drink. People have supported us.

"It's not quite the same but people can still have a drink.

"It's mostly people who have been before so it's nice to see some familiar faces and serve drinks to people who want them."

The tiny pavement drinking spot also earned the couple some radio time, after it was crowned the UK’s smallest beer garden by Capital Breakfast.

The pub only opened in February 2020 and had just four weeks before the first lockdown shut its doors for the first time.

It is the couple's first pub and they converted the space from a former chocolate shop.

Mr Buchanan, who has a background in brewing in distilling, says the venue focussed on beer from local breweries in the North-East and North Yorkshire.

The couple are looking forward to opening the pub properly next month. Mr Buchanan added: "It's a funny period between now and then but we're really looking forward to it.

"It's hopefully the next step to getting back to normality.

"We're very excited. We're small inside as well so we have limited space and seating but we did it last year when we were able and it was almost like having a proper pub back."

He added: "It's our first venture so it's exciting but its been a strange old year.

"We've been here for a year now but because we've been shut so much a lot of people still don't know that we are here."