Cold brews and water views as icon reopens
FOR months, Gladstone's iconic Yacht Club Bar and Restaurant has sat empty, waiting for the day COVID-19 restrictions eased and the community could once again enjoy a cold beer on the water.
The wait finally came to an end last Wednesday as the doors reopened, with many keen locals heading down over the last week to enjoy some time with friends and family.
"I'm very excited to be open again, we can employ our staff so people can have a job and the people of Gladstone have somewhere to go out," operator Salesh Ramswarup said.
"It's been a fairly good response so far, and people just need to understand we can only have 20 people in sections and adhering to social distancing."
However, with so much space, the restaurant has multiple defined spaces as per Queensland Government requirements, each seating up to 20 people at a time.
The restaurant has a COVID-safe plan in place, which sees drinks taken to tables, constant sanitation of furniture and menus, and the recording of customer information.
"We want to make sure everyone is safe," Mr Ramswarup said.
"Keeping records is a lot of extra work and we're hoping it gets lifted soon so people are a bit more free to move around."
Mr Ramswarup said most people understood things were a bit different under social distancing measures, but some got "carried away" after not seeing their friends for months.
"They can't help themselves and go and say hello to their friends at other tables but we try and control it as best we can," he said.
Pub goers can still enjoy a cold tap beer, but Mr Ramswarup said they were still missing a few of their usual items.
"The announcement that we would be able to open earlier than planned meant the brewers weren't ready for the demand and are playing catch-up," he said.
But apart from a few items, the bar and restaurant is offering its full dinner menu.
Mr Ramswarup said bookings were preferred to avoid disappointment.
"There's limited space but if we do have space and someone walks in, we will accommodate them," he said.
"We're trying to do two sittings for dinner so people have some time to enjoy their meals but also maximise how many customers we can have through."
To book for lunch or dinner, call 4972 2294.