26 Sept 2022

Laois restaurateur hopeful to reopen for indoor dining

Laois restaurateur hopeful to reopen for indoor dining

Eddie Phelan outside his restaurant in Mountrath, Laois, which remains closed to walk-in customers

A Laois restaurateur says he is "one of the lucky ones" to be able to keep business going despite having to close his doors to customers since last December.

Eddie Phelan owns Phelan’s Restaurant in Mountrath town centre. It is still closed to customers but Eddie is hopeful of reopening soon.

“We have all been badly hit the last 12 months but maybe delaying opening is a blessing. If they let us open on July 19 we might be able to stay open. 

“Thank God I’m one of the lucky ones in that we have the catering to keep us going, doing parties and weddings, supplying to halls and houses. 

“We normally employ about 25, it’s half that now with the rest on the PUP payment. If I had used the parking spaces for outdoor dining there would have been nowhere for people to park to collect food. And its only good when the sun is out, they can't just run inside if it starts to rain. 

“I look forward to getting all my staff back, it’s a small place, we’re like a family. We all work together relying on each other," Eddie said.

The easing of restrictions on indoor activities, such as organised events, return of service in bars and restaurants, group training, exercise and dance was due to happen today Monday July 5, but the Government has delayed it over a rise in Covid Delta strain cases in Ireland.

"It will not yet proceed, pending the implementation of a system to verify vaccination or immunity. Government will devise an implementation plan by 19 July, following further consideration and consultation with relevant sectors," the latest statement from Government said this week. 

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