Some restaurants and cafes are set to reopen across the Tablelands this weekend, after the first stage of restrictions were lifted under the current COVID-19 lockdowns.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as simply throwing open the doors and returning to business as usual. Venues will be limited to serving just 10 patrons at any one time, which means some are choosing to reopen, while others are waiting until restrictions are further eased in June.
The Kairi Hotel near lake Tinaroo is one of the venues that hs decided to reopen regardless of the 10 person limit.
On Saturday the pub’s restaurant reopened for the first time in weeks by doing three hourly sittings at 6, 7 and 8pm.
While some hotels are choosing not to open, The manager of The Kairi Hotel Marianne Muoio says that 30 people a night would be a great start “It’s not going to cost us any more because we are still running the bistro and bottleshop for takeaways and deliveries.’ she said
“We have to start somewhere with rebuilding our business, we just want to get going so that we can keep our employees in a job.”
“We want to show the community that we are operating again.”
Marianne does admit that they can’t go back to operating at 100 percent straight away “So that we don’t need extra stock, we will be offering a shorter menu of what we were offering before COVID-19,” she said
“We are also now going to be open for meals from Wednesdays through to Sundays and we will continue that until stage 3 is lifted, and then we will open 7 days a week.”
Marianne said that the restrictions have hurt their business significantly.
“Just selling takeaway food and bottleshop sales only hurt us a lot,” she said
“So far the local community has been very good and we still need as much local support as we can get.
“Lifting restrictions on Lake Tinaroo last week was a good start, as the lockdown of Tinaroo was a big hit for us to take.”
While the Kairi pub has reopened their bistro, up the road the Tolga Pub has decided to remain mothballed until further restrictions are lifted in June.
Owner Steve Heslin says that only allowing 10 people in at a time “would not be worth it at the moment”