Enjoy the food and the space
Saturday, 21st March, 2020
By Emily McInerney
Every restaurant in Broken Hill is now an exclusive club, especially now with a federal government announcement late yesterday afternoon about restrictions on gatherings in indoor spaces.
Thankfully, for our outback town, we have a lot of space and so do plenty of our restaurants, pubs and clubs.
Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that indoor gatherings of over 100 people would be banned until further notice.
But late yesterday, he made another announcement with an adjustment to the rules about non-essential indoor gatherings.
“What we are now moving to is an arrangement for gatherings of less than 100, is that they would be four square metres provided per person in an enclosed space, in a room. So that’s 2m by 2m,” Prime Minister Morrison told media.
“So for example, if you’ve got a room ... that’s 100 square metres, then you can have 25 people in that room.”
The Musicians Club had already put measures in place with taking half of their tables out of the bistro to increase the space between dining members.
The dining room is now partitioned, clean cutlery will arrive with every meal and eftpos use is encouraged.
The same can be said for the Democratic Club with restrictions on numbers in each area of the club.
“Our staff will be monitoring the numbers of each area to ensure compliance with the new legislation,” general manager Karren Howe said.
Social distancing also requires that people remain 1.5 metres away from others.
“The club has relocated all furniture within the venue to cater for these requirements.”
She said by following basic personal hygiene practices, such as hand washing, coughing and sneezing into tissues and staying away if you are unwell, it would continue to ensure that their venue remained a safe and healthy precinct for members and staff.
“We ask that you continue to visit our club and staff as you have always done; now is the most important time for you to support your club and the businesses in Broken Hill to help us survive this hurdle that is in front of us.”
The Junction Hotel said they are finding more people are willing to sit and eat in their open areas.
“We’re finding that the restaurant actually has very few people in it,” manager Grant Williams said.
“But people are moving outside to our more open areas to eat.
“They are spreading themselves out.”
Mr Williams said things have been going well, except for one tiny issue.
“People are stealing our toilet rolls, we’ve had to stop putting spares in,” he said.
“The world has gone bonkers.”
He said they get a lot of stock from wholesalers and most of them are doing okay.
“I have been told there isn’t much on the shelves at the supermarkets though.”
Mr Williams encouraged people to still come and enjoy a nice meal.
“We have such a large area, we can spread people out among our multiple areas.
“We can have people down the back and 20 or 30 around the bar.
“We have seven different areas to put people in.
“My advice would be; do not panic.
“We’ve had a few big cancellations and there is a number of events we won’t be getting but we are all in the same boat.”
The Sturt Club’s Mandy Turley said they have seen a drop in numbers for meals.
“We have put all the measures in place that we can, to ensure hygiene is at its highest level.
“We have the outdoor and indoor eating areas - so there is a bit of room.
“We are going alright.”
She said it was getting harder and harder to get stock.
“It’s hard to find hand sanitiser; it’s a crazy time.
“But we are operating as usual and if we run out of something we have many lovely meals to take its place.”
Most importantly, she said trivia would be running as usual but there would be limited numbers.
The Mulga Hill Tavern offer takeaway meals through their drive thru and the Tydvil Hotel is now offering takeaways with eftpos at your car.
The Tydvil has thinned out their bar stools and bistro seats and bookings are essential due to limited seating.