The road back to dining-in not that simple for local eateries



With the easing of NSW’s COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, locals revelled in being able to eat-in at Gumnuts Café once again. Pictured are sisters Donna-Lee Fugar and Carol McDonald having lunch in the courtyard on Friday.

While Coronavirus restrictions may have eased last week with regards to dining-in, only three local venues have re-opened their doors to dine-in patrons.

Since NSW restrictions were eased last Friday Gumnuts Café’s regulars have enjoyed being able to dine-in again in the courtyard, Subway is seating diners and Ma’s Chinese Restaurant at the Cobar Bowling & Golf Club has welcomed back customers for sit down dining in the restaurant.

The Great Western Hotel, Empire Hotel, Cobar Thai and Cobar Services Club however have opted to continue with only offering take-away service from their restaurants.

Services Club manager Linda Carter said it’s not financially viable to reopen the club as the restrictions still do not permit them to open the bar or offer any gaming.

“At this stage it’s only permitted for us to serve alcohol in the restaurant to diners,” Linda explained.

She said at most they could only expect 30 diners per night and, if they were to order two schooners each (at a cost of $11), that would only bring them an income of $110 an hour.

“That won’t wont pay the wages, for the product nor enable us to turn the power on.

“We’d need a minimum of 50 or maybe 20 if they were also to open it up again for gaming.

“You can’t make money from 10 people in an area the size of our club,” she said.

Great Western Hotel licensee Rachel Warren agrees.

“The 10 people limit is not viable or practical so we are continuing take away meals only,” Rachel said.

“By law, the bar and pokies are still closed.

“There is no tap beer in Cobar. The kegs that were on hand at the time of closure have passed their use by dates and breweries have not produced or delivered more,” she said.

Linda said she hopes that when the time comes to re-open they will get enough warning so they can be organised to re-open.