PUBS SERVING food have reopened their doors to the public for the first time in six weeks from today – but anyone hoping to book a table could be left disappointed.
Under the newly-eased restrictions, anyone wanting to enjoy a drink in a pub must book in advance and attend in groups of no more than six.
More importantly, any drink must be accompanied by a substantial meal in a move that has forced many so-called “wet pubs” to remain closed until further notice.
Those that have reopened, however, are in serious demand with Extra reporting that gastro pubs and restaurants across Ireland are already booked up for the busy Christmas period.
Barry and Kate Donovan, who own Trieste Café and Wine Bar in Galway, told the news provider that they have next to no availability left for any Friday, Saturday or Sunday before Christmas.
Barry Donovan explained: “Once the announcement went out that the restrictions were being lifted, the phone didn’t stop hopping.”
Restaurants in Dublin and Cork have reported similar levels of demand with customers reportedly desperate to enjoy a meal out with friends and family despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Anthony Smith, who owns Mr Fox’s in Dublin, told Extra that online bookings have been flooding in since the reopening was announced.
Smith has also spoken to many customers calling up to ask about availability and have sounded “really excited to come back.”
“People are just happy to get back out.”
The surge in demand is likely to leave many pub-lovers disappointed over the new year with wet pubs unlikely to reopen anytime soon.
According to an unnamed government source, pubs that do not serve food could remain shut until a vaccine is found.