UNLOCKED & LOADED
JULY 3 BEERS AT THE BAR JULY 10 BORDERS REOPEN
GC joy as Premier eases restrictions a week early – but locks out the Vics
GOLD Coast airport and tourism bosses say the locked-in July 10 border opening and fast-tracked business relaxations will have an immediate economic impact but warn it is just the start of the recovery. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, under pressure to free up the city’s crippled economy, yesterday set a July 10 Queensland border opening, excluding Victorians where coronavirus outbreaks are occurring. She pleasantly surprised operators by bringing forward Stage 3 relaxations a week early – allowing bar service, higher patron limits plus freeing up club sport, weddings, casino and pub gaming from Friday. Queensland Airports CEO Chris Mills tipped 40 per cent of Coast airline traffic – slashed by 99 per cent – to return by August: “But this isn’t the end of it, this just gets us to the starting line in terms of recovery.”
BLACK Hops Brewery is celebrating a return to normalcy as the Gold Coast prepares for more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions earlier than planned.
From Friday, thanks to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk bringing forward some stage 3 easing, the Burleigh Heads brewery can have 30 patrons inside, double its previous limit.
The Premier has also greenlighted small businesses of less than 100sq m being allowed one patron per 2sq m instead of the existing 4sq m rule.
For Black Hops, which opened a Biggera Waters location last year, it means it’s almost back to pre-COVID capacity, according to Burleigh tap room manager Cayle Lutas. “We have such a strong regular base, and with 15 people as the max it was really disheartening to have to turn people away,” he said.
“Since we reopened, we’ve been pretty much at capacity for 80-90 per cent of the day, every day we do trade.”
Patrons will also be allowed to order drinks and food from the bar again. Mr Lutas said while it was a welcome boost to have over-the-bar service again, Black Hops plans to continue table service.
“But a lot of our patrons are barflies — they’re the people you want standing at the bar having a chat before they’re on their way. It does make things more efficient,” he said.
Bartender and manager Cayle Lutas from Black Hops Brewing Burleigh welcomes the news.
Cayle Lutas from Black Hops Brewery.