Local pub owners remain on alert of potentially having to close their doors again, should there be a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
Two weeks ago the Treaty City, and County, teetered on the edge of Level 3 restrictions, however numbers of cases have begun to ease somewhat.
“We’re kind of relieved to be getting back to business, but at the same time were a bit apprehensive,” offered Aengus D’Arcy, owner of JJ Bowles pub, regarded as the city’s oldest pub.
D’Arcy has reduced capacity from around 100 “to about 40-50”, which “will change the whole atmosphere”.
“It’s kind of good news for Limerick at the moment, but that could change very quickly for the worse for us,” he said.
For the first time since the riverside pub opened in 1794 customers must wear masks entering the premise and while walking to the toilets or smoking area.
Despite the restrictions, D’Arcy remained upbeat, and “looking froward to a bit of craic again”.
Mike McMahon, who runs Mother Mac’s, on the opposite side of the River Shannon, said he’d invested “up to €30,000” on making the premises covid-friendly.
After opening the doors at 10.30am, trade was “slow but steady”.
McMahon has installed Perspex screens, created eleven new snugs, and even (upgraded) “air extraction and air handling“.
“We are moving dirty air out of the premises and clean air in a more efficient manner,” he went on.
He agreed the situation remains “very fluid”.
“If I am asked to close again, I will do it without question.”
Donal Mulchay, proprietor of Nancy Blakes, and Tom Collins bar, was thrilled to be open again.
“It’s fantastic, and it’s great to see some of our oldest regulars coming straight back into us,” he said beaming.
Mulcahy said he hoped to start booking live music acts in the near future but acknowledged the reopening could be short-lived.