Gundy Pub bar manager Katy Rivette was all smiles as she welcomed patrons back to the hotel in Gundiah. Photo: Alistair Brightman.
Gundy Pub bar manager Katy Rivette was all smiles as she welcomed patrons back to the hotel in Gundiah. Photo: Alistair Brightman.

Country pubs raise a glass to better days ahead

THE amber hue of frosted beer glasses at country pubs across the Fraser Coast offered more than just a well-deserved drink to locals at the weekend.

Publicans and staff are hopeful their businesses will begin to turn around after more COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.

As of Saturday, pubs, cafes, restaurants and RSLs in the state were allowed to offer ­dining-in services provided the number of patrons did not exceed 10 at any one time.

Owner of Gundy Pub Dan Hourigan said he was thrilled to wake up on Sunday morning knowing there was money in the till again.

The well-known Gundiah watering hole served six lunches and 14 dinners to groups who chose it for their first feed out in weeks.

"We are hopeful things will begin to pick up again," Mr Hourigan said.

The pub closed its doors and turned off its beer taps in line with Government health directives on March 23.

"We were lucky because of the caravan park and the permanent residents staying there, but it has been really tough on the industry," Mr Hourigan said.

He encouraged locals to eat out at local businesses to help them find their feet again.

"It's great that people can get out again, they must just do so sensibly and with caution," he added.

Meanwhile, Mel Stonebridge was one of the first patrons to order lunch and a cold one at Gundy Pub on Saturday.

"It was awesome to be able to eat out," she said.

Ms Stonebridge said the staff did all the right things to make sure the venue was safe and clean.

"They were definitely playing by the rules," she said.

Mick Jordan (seated, left), Mel Stonebridge and Shane Shuffie from Gundiah were the first customers at the Gundy Pub for a meal and a beer as restrictions were relaxed. Publican Dan Hourigan and bar manager Katy Rivette were all smiles as they welcomed patrons back to the hotel. Photo: Alistair Brightman.
Mick Jordan (seated, left), Mel Stonebridge and Shane Shuffie from Gundiah were the first customers at the Gundy Pub for a meal and a beer as restrictions were relaxed. Publican Dan Hourigan and bar manager Katy Rivette were all smiles as they welcomed patrons back to the hotel. Photo: Alistair Brightman.