Bars, pubs amongst last businesses to re-open

By D'Angelo Martin

With the country set to move into Level 2 on Thursday, you can expect to see the doors of retail stores, malls, cafes, and other places reopen for business.

But for bars, they will have to wait an extra week. Lu Lu's Bar and Eatery is one of many bars preparing for the challenges ahead.

Public opinion

"I think it is a good decision to delay it you know, we've come so far and we don't want to go back."

"We will just see how our government goes that's what I have to say. I think it's too early to open pubs and bars."

"I think it's a step in the right direction for sure, we've got Jacinda you know - she's dynamite."

"I don't think another week or two on her making that call will impact too much on people that weren't into the social scene but I can also identify with how much they want to be social again with everything that's out there, including bars."
 

Restrictions

Bars will have very strict guidelines in place and will have to follow the three S's, customers will have to be seated, separated from one another and only one single server to a group.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says delaying the opening of bars for one more extra week was the right call to make considering the circumstances.

"If you look back again on the areas where NZ has had trouble with COVID it's been weddings, it's been bars and social gatherings and so that's where we've put the limits in place."

But for Louise and Keith Waho, owners of Lu Lu's Bar and Eatery in Christchurch, they say being closed for six weeks was more than enough.

"It's been hard, it's been a rollercoaster! We're a family, we're a whānau and we treat our staff the same way, you know, so we feel their pain."

The couple is no doubt excited for their bar to re-open but for the next weeks and months ahead they say the money going out will be outstanding to the money that will be coming in.

"Any opening where we are now is a cost, it is not an income. You know we're only trying to show our resilience and that we can do it."

Louise says "Being able to just try and open, just our food our kai and promote that and get it out there and bringing people together is a real challenge. We have staff who are wanting and just dying to get back."

They look ahead to what the future holds for their business.