The bars and restaurants are open again! 86 days after closing their doors, publicans and restaurant owners can finally invite us back in to take a seat, and serve us beer and food at our table again. There will be some restrictions, of course, but at least we can go out and enjoy a draught beer with (nine of) our friends!
Where will you go first?
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been updating you about where to get your beer, and how to support your local bars and breweries. Starting today, you can do it again as you did before 13 March 2020: by visiting them and having a drink right there and then!
A lot of bars and restaurants had to decide whether to invest in screens and other separations—which can be quite expensive, apparently—to maximise the number of seats, or lose some seats by just providing the obligatory meter and a half between the tables instead. Even though it’s nice that—quite unexpectedly—even groups of ten persons are allowed. However, it does complicate things even more for the staff! Because of the distance requirements, it will require even more moving around of tables than usual, to cater for those differently sized groups.
Luckily, lots of bars and restaurants received permission to have a larger terrace than usual, thereby gaining at least a few extra seats. That is if the weather will cooperate a bit…
No sitting at the bar!
It might be a Belgian thing, not particularly bothering others, but sitting, standing, or—unless there’s only one staff member—even ordering at the bar counter is not yet allowed. Especially for people used to going to a bar by themselves, sitting at the bar and chatting with staff and people that just happen to sit at the bar as well, it will be a rather unsettling experience, having to sit at a table, sipping their beer all alone…
Don’t let this keep you from going though! Also, keep in mind the staff didn’t invent the rules, they’re just trying to keep you and themselves safe, and avoid fines by not abiding by them. Just follow the staff’s instructions—even if you think their interpretation of the rules is a bit off—and try even harder to keep doing so after a couple of beers as well.
And don’t forget to check which of your payment cards can be used for contactless payments!
So, like all of you have been supporting the bars and breweries during this lockdown by continuing to buy beer, please keep supporting them now, by visiting them to eat, drink beer, and be merry!