This will be the first weekend of the hospitality 10pm curfew, requiring bars, pubs and restaurants to lock their doors hours earlier than usual.

But after spending thousands of pounds to become Covid-safe, some operators feel like their bars are among the safest places to be.

Jobe Ferguson, one of the directors of the Liar's Group that is behind some of the city's most popular late-night bars, echoes the concerns of many that the curfew will drive people towards house parties.

He's also forecasting an 'incredibly difficult time' ahead for the industry, labelling the decision to impose a curfew a 'disappointment from every angle'.

Jobe, along with Lyndon Higginson and Ross Mackenzie, runs venues including Crazy Pedro's, Liar's Club, TNQ, Cane and Grain, Bunny Jackson's, and The Bay Horse Tavern.

The familiar artwork of Crazy Pedro's

Between them, their venues cover entire lengths of the Northern Quarter and dominate the post-midnight bar scene.

Thanks to the new curfew, Jobe says that operating hours will be cut down by a third in almost all of his venues - and revenues might follow a similar dive.

He said: "At TNQ we normally close at half 10 anyway, so that might not seem so severe. But our second sitting on a Saturday night is often 9pm or 9.30pm, and that's just gone - it's a huge chunk of revenue.

"We opened Liar's Club for the first time in six months yesterday [Wednesday September 23]. It was open for one night until 4am, and now it's back to 10pm.  

"A lot of our bars are real sort of party bars and that's kind of gone now - you can't mingle, you've got to sit down, our capacity's hugely reduced.

The bar only re-opened on Wednesday - one day before curfew began

"We've lost easily six hours of trade in some of our bars, which is like a third of the day just gone .

"Liar's and Crazy Pedro's, a big part of our income would come from those between 11pm and 4am and that's been absolutely decimated now."

He added that his overheads have 'rocketed' post-lockdown, with the group employing more staff to manage the restrictions, more PPE, and a more labour-intensive way of working.

It's all been done in the interests of keeping the public, and his staff, as safe as they can possibly be - which is why the curfew announcement is such a massive blow.

Jobe continued: "Our bars are immaculate, people will be more unsafe anywhere else than they would be in our bars.

Jobe is also behind the Bay Horse Tavern on Thomas Street

"We thought about selling take-out drinks, but we don't want to start that because we just want to be responsible.

"People still want to go out and have that release, and we can still provide that.

"Unfortunately for us, this curfew is going to make it an incredibly difficult time for us from a business perspective."

Despite this, though, Jobe is diplomatic, and understands why the curfew has had to come into play.

"People getting annoyed about it, I do get it, I really do," he said.

Pedro's is one of the city's most popular late-night bars

"But I think people dying and being seriously ill and losing loved ones is the really unfair thing here. If this is what we have to do to stop that, so be it.

"I've been in my bars every weekend after 10pm, and it can be difficult to make people follow the rules at that time of night when they've had a drink and have relaxed a bit.  

"I also think there are some other operators spoiling it, because they'll bend the rules and then people expect it to be the same at ours.

"We've been so strict and so rigid, with contact tracing and making sure people are from the same household.

Bunny Jackson's on First Street is one of the group's newer openings

"Then we've had quite a lot of people kicking off calling us jobsworths. It's not pleasant. They seem to forget that we're in a global pandemic.

"So I guess from that side of things it's not a bad idea!"

These are venues that aren't just popular with people enjoying a night out, but also with other workers in the hospitality industry looking to get a drink after their own bars have closed.

Pedro's would normally be open - and busy - until 4am, seven days a week, serving cocktails and beers and pizza by the slice.

Pizza served by the slice at Crazy Pedro's

With a blanket curfew imposed on the whole industry, it will leave thousands at a loose end when they clock off for the day.

Jobe said: "Not everyone works nine-to-five.

"It's nice for your own sanity to go for a beer after work and reset, chill out, catch up with work mates and wind down, whatever time that is for your work.

"Now everyone's going to finish at 10 and there's nowhere to go. That's out of the window."

Looking to the future, there'll be plenty of changes afoot for the city's nightlife.

Inside the Liar's Club on Bridge Street

At Liar's Club, there's no more standing at the bar waiting for your flaming Zombie cocktail to be ignited - it's now full table service, with the option to order a Crazy Pedro's pizza to your table.

TNQ hopes to launch takeaway desserts so that people can still have a late dinner, and just take their last course home with them at the end of it.

Cane & Grain has been able to expand its footprint by adding seating to the Liar's Lounge above, adopting a more 'chilled out' atmosphere.

Science and Industry will be the only venue to remain largely the same - it was already a fully seated, table service speakeasy.

Jobe said: "I hope it will be a message to people to stick to the guidelines. The last thing we want is a total lockdown again. 

"At the end of the day, we're in a real crisis here. It's an absolute s***storm for people. People have died, lives have changed.

"We've just got to remember that and do what we can."