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Cautious welcome for indoor dining

August 4th, 2021 11:55 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Enjoying indoor dining once more this week, at the Lifeboat Inn in Courtmacsherry, were locals Des and Sheila Cannon.

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SEVERAL West Cork eateries have opted not to offer indoor dining to their customers for the time-being.

Budds in Ballydehob opted not to go with indoor dining and asked people on their Facebook page to respect their decision ‘not to want to check your credentials and private decisions.’

‘We will not  be doing indoor dining until there’s a more equal and humanitarian way of doing so.’

It’s a similar story at Rolfs in Baltimore, who have decided not to offer indoor dining to non-residents, but added that they will ‘review this ongoing’.

In Bantry, the West Café and Wine Bar have said they will not be opening for indoor dining until they decide it’s safe to do so. While in Bandon, Cracked posted online that they have decided temporarily to refrain from opening inside dining.

Meanwhile, several West Cork publicans welcomed back customers with open arms this week, with many closed since March 15th of last year.

Cllr Danny Collins of The Boston Bar, Bantry said while it is good to be opened, he admitted that it’s a complicated process getting extra staff in to check vaccination certs with customers.

‘I would say that the atmosphere isn’t there – you’d normally have your customers around the counter having the banter. But we have to work with what we have now and hopefully things will come back to normal in a few months’ time,’  he said. William O’Brien of The Corner Bar in Skibbereen had literally counted the days down until he was allowed to re-open on Monday.

‘We were closed for 497 days so it’s good to be back meeting everyone and catching up with customers that I haven’t seen since last year,’ said William, who also offers an outdoor facility to his customers at the side of his bar on Ilen Street.

In Ballydehob Barry O’Brien is re-opening ‘The Irish Whip this Friday and it’s an exciting time for him.

‘I am looking forward to getting back behind the bar and seeing all my customers and locals for a bit of banter, but it is a small bit technical having to check who is vaccinated or not,’ said Barry.

In Clonakilty, O’Donovan’s Hotel has opened an indoor café and restaurant, but is still serving outdoors in the ‘Alleyway’.

• See also, Business p12

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