Manly MP James Griffin celebrated the easing of restrictions today by pouring the first beer at the Jetty Bar at Manly Wharf Hotel.

Bad weather aside, Mr Griffin arrived at the Manly Wharf Hotel at 9.30am (Monday, 11 October) to celebrate the reopening of local hospitality venues with Manly Wharf Hotel licensee Lou Edney.

James Griffin

James Griffin

“I’m thrilled to be here with Lou, who looks after Manly Wharf Hotel. To be open today is a real milestone for not only the people of the Northern Beaches, but obviously people across NSW. I think we’re all incredibly grateful for the work of the NSW Health team, and equally to the people on the Northern Beaches who went above and beyond and got vaccinated in droves.

“The weather might not be as good as it needs to be but I don’t think that’s going to stop people getting out enjoying the things that they’ve missed for so long,” said Mr Griffin.

Asked whether the reopening of licensed premises might help avoid scenes like the unruly party atmosphere that developed at East Esplanade on Saturday evening (09 October), Mr Griffin said he felt for younger people who had been restricted from seeing friends but hoped people would still exercise caution.

“I think without doubt you’ve got to feel for younger people who made up the bulk of what happened down here on Saturday night. Nonetheless, it’s great to have licensed venues back open again. They’re all going to take their responsibilities very seriously and make sure that people can get back to having a beer and a meal with family and friends,” said Mr Griffin.

Wharf Bar Hotel licensee Lou Edney said she was extremely happy to be able to welcome customers back after multiple shutdowns.

Lou Edney

“It’s been a tough four months for everyone in hospitality and especially in the Manly area where this is the third shutdown. It’s nice to get all the staff back in action again and see all the locals really excited to come out and enjoy the week ahead, even though it is raining today.

“It means a lot for the staff, especially for some of the young ones who are studying as they may have moved away from home, some come from different states. For them to get back into the swing of things, it’s good that they get a bit of income again and get their life back on track.

“I think it’s been really hard for anyone who is in their late teens or early 20s who have missed out on certain aspects of their life. For them to get back into the workforce to then continue with their careers and their life, it’s quite nice to see them again,” said Ms Edney.

Ms Edney said the lockdown was not all bad news for the Manly Wharf Hotel, which took the opportunity to do a renovation.

“The owner Ben May thought we could give it a revamp. It’s underway now and should be ready by the end of October, it’s not far off. For now it will be the Jetty Bar open to the public, and hopefully not too long after the inside will be open as well.

“After lockdown last Christmas, it’s nice to get all the inquires for Christmas parties coming back again and people for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day because we were in lockdown for those last year. Hopefully 2022 will be a lot better than 2021 and 2020,” said Ms Edney.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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