GOREY LATE BARS took the decision to host events earlier at the weekend in response to new restrictions which saw all pubs, nightclubs and wedding venues to close at midnight.
The 02 Nightclub at The 64 opened at 9 p.m. and advertised that all drinks would be just €2.50 while Paddy Blues began its live music at 9.30 p.m. nightly and at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Owner of the 02 Sean Doyle said that there was a positive response from customers to the new opening hours.
“When we got the news last week having only been let open for three weeks we were deeply disappointed to be closed again. We had to consider our staff and keeping them in work, we knew we couldn’t just close the door.
"We decided to open from 9 p.m. but even at that, being open for just three hours, there’s not a lot in it for us but it wasn’t bad for the weekend.
“Who knows where we’ll go from here as it’s completely out of our control but it’s very important to us that we do comply with every regulation to keep our customers and staff safe but that said, we have to make a living as well so that’s where the decision came from.
"We didn’t tell any other publicans, and we went ahead and did our own thing”.
Speaking about the Upton Court Hotel and Sean Ógs, Mr Doyle said that the hotel had been busy for weddings and that the restrictions came as an “awful shock” to brides and grooms.
“The new restrictions are going to have a big impact, it’s disappointing and it’s a further kick. It’s all hitting us in hospitality big time and we seem to be paying the price for everything”.
Gorey publication Jim French said that he understood the reason for the new restrictions and that all his customers would comply.
“The weekend worked reasonably well and we understand the background as to why they’d restrict the hours. My typical customers will respect it so we have no concerns at the moment”.
Gardai carried out local inspections late on Friday and Saturday night and reported compliance to 12 a.m. closing across the board.
Sgt Stephen Ennis encouraged all licensed premises to abide by the new restrictions.