Ricks Garage at Palmwoods will be able to have 145 people at the venue from Friday, July 3.
Ricks Garage at Palmwoods will be able to have 145 people at the venue from Friday, July 3.

Bar service, increased capacity: Pubs welcome new rules

Sunshine Coast pubs which have had queues of people out the doors can from Thursday welcome more patrons inside venues, and allow bar service.

This week Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk brought forward some parts of the stage three easing of restrictions to July 3, instead of July 10.

From tomorrow Queenslanders can buy a beer at the bar, and the limit of 20 people per space has been lifted.

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Now there will be no caps on numbers of patrons, as long as businesses abide by the 4sq m rule.

Smaller venues can have up to 50 patrons, as long as they can follow a 2 sqm rule.

Plans for the Brisbane Road carpark at Mooloolaba have been released. Taps owner Steve Barber is glad restrictions are easing.
Plans for the Brisbane Road carpark at Mooloolaba have been released. Taps owner Steve Barber is glad restrictions are easing.

Mooloolaba’s Taps and Blackflag Brewing owner Steve Barber said it was a relief the pubs would no longer be restricted to table service only.

From tomorrow Taps can have 70 people, up from 56, and Blackflag can have 50 instead of 40.

“Standard operation at Taps is 200 so we’re a long way off of what we normally are,” he said.

“But everyone’s been really accepting.

“Standing on the door taking names is a good chance to communicate with people what’s going on.

“Everyone will be stoked to get back to the bar though.”

Taps Mooloolaba will be able to have increased capacity and bar service after the relaxation of Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Taps Mooloolaba will be able to have increased capacity and bar service after the relaxation of Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Rick’s Garage general manager Ben Jamieson said the Palmwoods bar and restaurant had completely changed how it operated in response to the new rules.

Online bookings and orders are now offered and staff have been retrained for the new technology and table service.

As of midday tomorrow its capacity will increase from 84 to 145, which Mr Jamieson said was a relief after having people queued out the door everyday.

Of the 57 staff who worked there before the forced closure, 45 are back and Mr Jamieson said they hope to put more back on soon.

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“With bar service now allowed it means we’ll have free flowing movement of patronage within the venue so we don’t have to operate away from our original business model,” he said.

“People being able to order and pay at the counter is going to be really beneficial for us.”

Mr Jamieson said the forced closure during COVID-19 had a massive impact on the business and welcomed any changes which would make it easier to operate.

“We were shut for seven weeks and going into COVID the business was going really well,” he said.

“It was like turning the tap from 100 per cent to zero when we closed.”

Nightclubs can also reopen with COVID-Safe plans, but dancefloors are not allowed.

Ms Palaszczuk encouraged nightclub patrons to “listen to the music” while exercising social distancing.



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