Reopening after months of closure giving Cork publican 'peace of mind'

Reopening after months of closure giving Cork publican 'peace of mind'

Publician Michael O’Donovan, chairman of the Cork branch VFI serving up a pint at the Castle Inn, Cork the first since March the 15th when the pubs were ordered to close. Picture Dan Linehan

Publicans across Cork have been reopening their doors for the first time since Covid-19 forced their closure back in March.

Regulars visited their locals for a pint of the cold stuff and the Murphy’s and Beamish taps were flowing again after over five months out of use.

On what is the fourth date that publicans have been given to reopen, some publicans were hesitant to order a large amount of stock as a precaution.

Cork City Chairman of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) and owner of The Castle Inn in the city centre, Michael O’Donovan, said that he ordered stock levels for what would be a quiet week and will gauge the amount of stock required over the coming weeks.

Mr O’Donovan was welcomed with car horns and well wishes when rolling in the kegs in preparation for reopening on Monday morning at 10.30am.

About half a dozen regulars were welcomed back through the doors with some popping in to simply wish Mr O’Donovan all the best.

Mr O’Donovan said that it was “peace of mind” to be able to reopen and trade again after 190 days of closure having shut its doors on March 14.

 David Walsh, Ben Shorten, Michael O’Sullivan, Shane Nolan and Silvia Mossenta enjoying an early morning pint at the Castle Inn, Cork the first since March the 15th when the pubs were ordered to close. Picture Dan Linehan
David Walsh, Ben Shorten, Michael O’Sullivan, Shane Nolan and Silvia Mossenta enjoying an early morning pint at the Castle Inn, Cork the first since March the 15th when the pubs were ordered to close. Picture Dan Linehan

With a capacity of 32 people, the pub has implemented a strict table service policy where people are only permitted to leave their table to use the toilet or upon departure during which masks must be worn.

“You can still talk to people at other tables you just can't go over to the other table, you have to remain seated and that’s different because in a traditional Irish bar people go over and strike up a conversation so it’s going to be a bit of getting used to but I’m sure the public will be able to follow the guidance we give them over the next few weeks when they come in,” he said.

He said that leaving home at 7.30am this morning he felt nervous because it was “like the first day of school or the first day of a new job” but that one he started rolling in the kegs and welcoming customers that it was “fantastic to be back”.

“Now we have to just get on with it and work with the public on it and see how it goes for the foreseeable future,” he said.

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