Pints are being pulled in pubs across Cork for the first time in over three months, as many got the green light to reopen from the Government on Monday.
Some pubs in Cork city decided to take advantage of a couple of extra days to prepare for reopening closer to the weekend, but for those that have opened trade was brisk.
Revellers gathered outside Clancy’s Bar on Prince’s Street on Monday afternoon, to drink in the atmosphere and a few pints, along with a substantial meal.
Paul Montgomery, who runs the pub said they were blessed with the weather so people could avail of the al fresco experience if they wished.
“It’s a real casual experience because it’s outside. I was talking to my friends in Lahinch and they have dreadful weather. Cork is getting the weather so we have had a great start,” he said.
Clancy’s, who have a machine checking temperatures at the door, were also recently given permission to open a rooftop garden, and with their expansion into seating alongside other businesses on Prince’s Street, Paul said that people were very comfortable.
“Prince’s Street is one big venue now. I think this is a go-to area now. You can even feel the atmosphere.”
Reg and Grace Connolly and their daughter Matilda were some of those soaking up the atmosphere. Reg said that having to have food costing €9 “makes no sense” and “is absolutely pointless” but was still delighted to be able to enjoy a pint and with dinner.
“You couldn’t say you missed the booze because there’s plenty of that around.
“Because we live in town, we’d often come down and sit outside one of the restaurants on Oliver Plunkett Street and have a pint on a Saturday afternoon. You miss people watching and general banter,” he said, with Grace adding: “It’s like being in Spain.”
Elaine Browne, who works in retail, met her two friends, nurses Holly Lowry and Niki Harris for a pint after work. Holly and Niki said they were “de-stressing” after a long couple of months.
They were also supposed to move to Melbourne this year, but their plans have been scuppered. They hope to go next year instead, but were happy this week to enjoy the food, drink and the weather.
“It’s really nice to be outside socialising. We don’t really have any idea what it was like to be isolating because we were working the whole time but it’s lovely to actually sit outside. The people watching is so nice. We’re happy out!”
Meanwhile, Rearden’s on Washington Street also reopened its doors, and bar manager Rob Slyne said weeks of preparations have gone into reopening. Their main clientele would have been later in the evening, but they have changed tact to focus more on food to adhere to Government regulations.
“It’s good to be back to it. On a management level we were a little bit nervous. We’ve got full-time housekeeping every day. Doors, tables, chairs, everything is being wiped down,” Rob said.
Ally and Lily Fitzgerald and Abbie Murray weren’t back to work in Rearden’s until later in the week, but popped in to see their work colleagues.
“We’re excited to be back, because it’s better to get back into a routine. We’re all friends here as well.”
Meanwhile, Laura Heffernan and Naomi Ryan both travelled from Tipperary for a day out in Cork, and decided on Rearden’s for a bite to eat and a pint.
“We came shopping but we knew the pubs were open so it was the first place we wanted to go to!”