Monday, July 26, 2021

John Aylward, The Wander Inn, putting up the new rules as indoor hospitality reopens. Photo: Joe Evans

AS indoor service resumed today (Monday) publican and owner of the Wander Inn, John Aylward was busy tacking up a laminated sheet of all the new rules customers have to follow before he pulled some cold, fresh pints.

Back behind the bar after almost seven months of closure this year, John joked that he used up two ink cartridges printing out the new Government guidelines, while a customer helpfully laminated them in time for opening.

The first couple of hours were quiet with only five customers on stools at the time the Waterford News & Star spoke to a delighted John. “It is great to be back. I missed the craic with all the customers,” he said.

Even though the period of closure was much longer this time round John enjoyed spending the time off with his wife Mary.

However, the fact that all his customers are all vaccinated provides extra reassurance as he re-opened the doors of his Johnstown pub. “They are all bringing in their Covid passports, but I’ve no way of scanning that,” he said. Despite this John asks every customer to present it and then takes all their details to comply with regulations.

Speaking about the lack of notice about new guidelines, John went on to criticise the Government for not providing them sooner than they did, but he was lucky to have a supplier that could deliver on short notice.

One of John’s customers Aidan perfectly summed up everyone’s delight at the re-opening of indoor service by saying it was “like being in heaven” to be allowed back in his favourite pub.

“The banter is great, you would miss that. Drinking at home is not the same,” he added.

Numerous other pubs and restaurants across Waterford, including The Hub and The Kasbar, were also delighted to resume indoor service for their customers this afternoon.

Gale Slattery with customers at the Hub as indoor hospitality reopened. Photo: Joe Evans

Staff at the Kazbar ready to welcome back customers as indoor dining reopens. Photo: Joe Evans

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