A long time between drinks

Nick Christie and chef James Sadler. (Joe Mastroianni). 208941_02

By Alesha Capone

The Park Werribee hotel owner Nick Christou is looking forward to pulling a beer for the first time in more than two months.

From June 2, The Park Werribee will be among pubs, restaurants and cafes across Wyndham to open after the state government began easing some COVID-19 restrictions.

But while happy to have customers back through the door, Mr Christou said strict social distancing restrictions would mean his business, and many others, would not make a profit.

Under the relaxed restrictions, venues will be able to seat up to 20 patrons per eligible space. Tables must be at least 1.5 metres apart from one another and each person must have four metres of space.

Alcohol can be served with meals only.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday said the number of patrons could be lifted to 50 by June 22, depending on advice from the state’s chief health officer.

Mr Christou said even allowing 50 patrons might not be enough to cover operating costs.

“We understand why the government put the restrictions in, but we need to get back to normal,” he said.

During the coronavirus lockdown, Mr Christou was forced to stand down 30 of his staff, but had been able to keep some on with support from the JobKeeper allowance.The Park Werribee has been offering takeaway meals and home delivery, between Wednesdays and Sundays.

Mr Christou thanked customers for their “fantastic support”.