PENARTHIANS have been able to enjoy a pint and a coffee indoors for the first time in five months this week.
Pubs and hospitality were able to open their doors to have customers indoors on Monday, May 17 following a relaxation in coronavirus rules in Wales.
Business owners in the town spoke of their joy at seeing regulars return, after not being able to for so long.
Alison Jones, owner of The Crepe Escape, said her and the staff were “really excited but also apprehensive”.
“You’re concerned that people aren’t going to come in,” she added.
“And you’re really anxious about making sure everyone is safe – our staff and customers.
“It’s been lovely to have the tables set out again and see the restaurant the way it should be.
“It’s been a real pleasure having people in. It’s a lovely feeling being part of a community and really lovely to see.”
Throughout the last lockdown, The Crepe Escape were doing deliveries for birthday treats and special occasions, or for just a pick-me-up.
“It’s been hard and I’m pretty exhausted by it all, but we’ve come out the other sire of it and we just have to keep doing, adapt, and change.”
Kyle Rowbotham, who took over Pier and Piano in March of 2020 at the height of the pandemic, agreed.
“It’s been lovely to be honest,” he said.
“People are back in, the trade has been good and people are comfortable inside as the weather is still a bit up and down.
“It’s been nice to be open again and have that sense of normality. We had three weeks outside which was good, wasn’t nowhere near as good as it could have been because of the weather, but it allowed us to brush back up and get re-used to the tills, where drinks are.
“It’s just been nice and we’re glad to be open.”
Mr Rowbotham used the period where the business couldn’t trade to get refurbishments done both inside and outside the Pier and Piano on Windsor Road, having recently done up the inside with new décor and began building a beer garden in February this year.
Customers at Pier and Piano John Jones and Steve Faulkner were taking advantage of the sunshine and opted to have their pints outside in the new beer garden – but were happy to have the option of both.
Marcus Hill, co-owner of The Galley, said: “I’m feeling positive. Everything seems to be relaxing now. We’ve been looking forward to having customers back and a sense of normality.
“It’s just nice to welcome people back and have a chat, rather than ushering them off your property as soon as they’d bought something [as takeaway]. We’re social people who work in this business.”
Sian Fox, owner of Foxy’s Deli, said the week so far has been “really good” and the business has gotten “busier and busier”.