Cautious optimism as hospitality opens up again

Posted on 17th May 2021 | in Business News , Community

May 17 got out to be a beautiful sunny day, ironically, as it was the first day restaurants, cafes and pubs could open indoors after the January lockdown.

Generally, the feeling from the business owners was cautious optimism; relief that at last some sort of return to normality was on the way, but tinged with a sense of concern over whether restrictions may return.

Above: Angela and Yaz at 1911 Coffee Co

Staff and customers at Kayleigh’s Kitchen

Customers were on the whole delighted to be able to go into the cafes and pubs. One customer in Coquet Tea Rooms said “It’s lovely to be back in.”

Staff at Coquet Tea Rooms

In the Dock, there was a lively atmosphere, with Adam Brown and Norman Herriman providing laughs and banter in the lunchtime crowd. “I’ve been ready since half five this morning!” laughed Norman, while Peter Young told me he’d even taken a couple of days off work so he could enjoy being back in a pub.

Above: Adam Brown and Norman Herriman, happy to be back in the Dock

Angie (in facemask) and customers at Angies Tav

Some premises had changed hands over the winter. At Radcliffe’s Bar, new owner Mark Aberdeen said he had had a good few weeks of outside customer service, and was optimistic for a good season ahead.

Mark and Martin at Radcliffes Bar

At the Sand Bar, owner Suzanne Carroll who took over last Autumn, had just finished giving the place a thorough spruce up, and was looking forward to greeting customers again.

Suzanne and Jack at the Sand Bar

Martin Charlton at the Old Boat House said he was relieved that they could at last open back up. “It’s such a good feeling, and we’ve done the best we can to provide a safe environment for our customers. We are still in the middle of a global pandemic and some people do need to remember that. The hospitality trade is doing the best it can. But it’s great to see customers just happy to be out.”

Martin Charlton and staff at the Old Boat House

Anna Williams

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