The Ivory Tavern, Tweed Heads, will stay closed until restrictions ease. Picture: Supplied.
The Ivory Tavern, Tweed Heads, will stay closed until restrictions ease. Picture: Supplied.

Pubs and clubs: Who’s opening in Tweed this weekend

THIRSTY patrons who miss drinking a beer at their local pub have been left confused by the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Pubs across the Tweed were inundated by phone calls and people walking through the front doors thinking they could sit at the bar and have a drink on Friday.

The NSW Government on Tuesday night announced pubs and clubs could open to 10 patrons.

Under the new restrictions, venues can host a maximum of 10 people in the restaurant for table service only.

<< RELATED: Reality of COVID-19 impact on Tweed's hospitality industry >>

 

Tumbulgum Tavern customers will have to wait until coronavirus restrictions ease further before enjoying a meal. Picture: Kerri Shaw.
Tumbulgum Tavern customers will have to wait until coronavirus restrictions ease further before enjoying a meal. Picture: Kerri Shaw.

However, Tumbulgum Tavern owner Aaron Kelly said locals were confused by the message and were arriving at his pub on Friday thinking it was "business as usual".

Mr Kelly, like many other licensed venues across the Tweed, will not be opening despite being allowed to.

He said it was not financially viable to restock the cool room and fire up the kitchen for 10 customers.

"Saying pubs can open for 10 patrons was a token gesture for bureaucrats to look good and say, 'this is the day we started opening pubs'," Mr Kelly said.

"It's not financially viable for any average-sized venue to open up for 10 people, not even 20, it would take 50 (people) to break even.

"We fully understand why, and agree with what they've (Federal Government) done … but it was a waste of time adding pubs and clubs to the list."

<< RELATED: 20+ Tweed eateries to open for dine-in options >>

Instead, Mr Kelly and his staff have used the shutdown to complete renovations to the riverfront pub.

It was a similar story for the Ivory Tavern and Marina at Tweed Heads who will also stay closed until there's a further lift in restrictions.

Manager Scott Oakley told the Tweed Daily News the team would discuss their options in the coming days and in the meantime would complete renovations to the pub's kitchen and outside deck.

The Riverview Hotel in Murwillumbah opened its restaurant on Friday. Picture: David Clark.
The Riverview Hotel in Murwillumbah opened its restaurant on Friday. Picture: David Clark.

In Murwillumbah, patrons flocked to their local pubs expecting to have a few beers and a punt on the races, according to one hotel manager.

Riverview Hotel's Tony Foran said staff had to turn customers away because they didn't realise there were still restrictions on patron numbers.

Courthouse Hotel manager Mark Dundar had a similar experience and said people were "getting their wires crossed".

Tyalgum Tavern opened to the public on Friday, however, owners Paul McMahon and Leonie McMahon have been providing locals with takeaway meals since the nationwide shutdown on March 23.

Mr McMahon said the business's takings were down 50 per cent but they were "pottering along" because the bills hadn't stopped.

"We had people in to eat lunch today. But we've been open as a bottle shop and for takeaway food since the start of it," Mr McMahon said.

"It's not as if we're firing up the kitchen for the 10 patrons."

Tweed pubs that are open

  • Tyalgum Hotel, Tyalgum
  • Courthouse Hotel, Murwillumbah
  • Riverview Hotel, Murwillumbah

Tweed pubs staying closed

  • South Tweed Tavern
  • Ivory Tavern and Marina
  • Chinderah Tavern
  • Tumbulgum Tavern