Mitch Brennan at the Miriam Vale Hotel on February 21, 2020.
Mitch Brennan at the Miriam Vale Hotel on February 21, 2020.

Pubs busy on first weekend of relaxed rules

PATRONS were happy to be back in pubs and clubs around the region over the weekend, enjoying a refreshing tap beer, having a punt and consuming some of the delicious food on offer.

From noon on Friday, licensed venues enjoyed rolled back health restrictions with up to 100 people allowed in venues, restaurants reopening, and gaming facilities proving popular.

After more than three months of dismal trading due to COVID-19, punters came back in droves, with venues reporting extremely busy trade since Friday.

Miriam Vale Hotel publican Mitch Brennan said since the new restrictions were announced things had been going really well.

“It’s been good, it’s been really good to have people back,” he said.

“People are loving the renovations and from midday Friday up until today trade has been pretty good.”

Having planned renovations for years, Mr Brennan took advantage of the lockdown restrictions to change things at the pub.

“I’ve made a sports bar and moved the pool tables out the front of the pub, plus I’ve enclosed the pokie room and its airconditioned and heated, he said.

“We’ve put the dining room out the back, so it’s nice and quiet and warm and cosy, for people to enjoy a meal,” he said.

“We’ve got a great menu of meals available in the restaurant, so people should come down and try them.”

Miriam Vale Hotel publican Mitch Brennan inside the renovated pub. Picture: Jodie Healy.
Miriam Vale Hotel publican Mitch Brennan inside the renovated pub. Picture: Jodie Healy.

Railway Hotel Calliope assistant manager Darlene Mackenzie said their restaurant and bar area had been extremely busy since Friday.

“It’s been a very positive weekend for everyone here,” she said.

“We’re really excited and happy that the locals have come back and supported us and embraced the reopening of the hotel.

“Everybody is just so excited that the hotel is open and they can come and have a beer or a drink, or a meal.”

Many locals have been taking advantage of their first chance in months to go out.

“It has been quite consistently busy, with our very loyal customers,” she said.

“The hotel is very family orientated, so families have been happy to come back and we have done extremely well in the restaurant.”

Tannum Sands Hotel Duty Manager Kelly Meiers said they had been flat out since the restrictions were wound back.

“It’s been such an awesome atmosphere and everyone has been super compliant with the restrictions and understanding the rules,” she said.

“People are really excited that we’re back open and they can come and have a tap beer again.

“Since Friday we’ve had really positive vibes, it’s almost like it never happened.

“Everyone has been doing the right thing and having a really good time.”



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