Everyone knows that when the lights dim and the music heightens at 9 p.m. in the pub, socializing and laughter begins. The beers and ciders flow around a bar lined with youth.
Ever since London welcomed the entire world and its Olympic games, however, this party starts much earlier and lasts all day and night, said Hillary Barkwith, bartender at the Lincoln Arms.
“This place is drawing in way more people who want to watch Team GB with their friends,” said Barkwith. “It won’t be empty all day.”
Television screens throughout the Lincoln Arm captured customers’ undivided attention as the 1500-meter race finished. For most, their eyes focused on Great Britain’s runner.
“You should be here when our country wins a medal,” said Barkwith. “This place is packed and people start cheering, hugging and ordering more drinks.”
Pubs provide an opportunity for strangers to become fans together.
Joe Ashwitz, 32 of London, walked around the Lincoln Arm igniting energy and cheers for Great Britain.
“I see it as I live in London, why watch it from home?,” said Ashwitz. “The pubs are fun and you know they have the games on all day long.”
British people are known for enjoying a casual pint, said Barkwith. The difference, however, is the energy and community a pub forms during the day.
“Before the Olympics, people would sit around at their tables or stools and chat,” said Barkwith. “Now people are all cheering together and talking about the games.”
Walking into the Lincoln Arm, customers felt the unique Olympic atmosphere.
“Everyone comes out here when there is a big event on for Great Britain,” said Ashwitz. “If you aren’t going to watch, don’t come.”
With the Olympics winding down and Heathrow Airport preparing for madness, Barkwith said she thinks the pub atmosphere will return to normal.
“I’ve enjoyed celebrating with people all day long,” she said. “I usually only see the bar this packed at night. I’m going to miss it.”
Olympic fans raising their pints one last time for their country during tonight’s closing ceremony will send the games off with one word.