With the first weekend of hospitality reopening after the coronavirus lockdown falling on the May bank holiday weekend, it is no surprise it was a busy one for the industry.
And despite the changeable weather, customers and tourists flocked to the local bars, pubs and restaurants to support the range of venues now open for business.
The May bank holiday weekend is usually one of the busiest for hospitality in Tayside and Fife, and despite the restrictions and the weather, hundreds of people turned up for their pre-booked reservations to indulge in hospitality’s offerings.
With many venues across the area erecting gazebos and marquees to keep customers dry, the occasion was one that saw friends, family and colleagues reunite face-to-face for the first time in months.
The Brig in Brechin has done a lot of work on their outdoor area, while also making improvements indoors as they prepare for the future.
And, despite the weather, they had a great response from revellers who took the opportunity to get out over the weekend.
Owner Scott McNeil said: “It was good apart from the weather. We had snow on Sunday which was interesting – amazing!
“We were very busy considering our reduced capacity. We were fully booked all weekend.
“We have just revamped it. We have moved the bars about and freshened the place up. It was a wee bit dowdy. We have put in new patio windows and invested a lot in our outdoor area.
“We have always had a huge beer garden but it didn’t really do much. It has been kind of lacklustre, so that is where the investment has gone. The money has been best spent outdoors as it looks like it is going to be like this for a while.
“Everything we have done has been well received and we are quite pleased with what we have done. We have managed to create more ventilation and a lot more space inside as well, and we have taken a little bit of our lounge and spaced the place out more.
“Although the numbers inside are never going to be great it’s hopefully a more spacious place that we can get a few more folk in.”
Check out our photo gallery of just some of the busy places across the city centre this weekend and see if you can spy yourself, your friends or family.
Out for a pint
Food and drink team member Brian Stormont ventured out to enjoy a drink for the first time in more than four months.
He said the experience was a good one at the Kinloch Arms Hotel in Carnoustie.
“I had pre-booked a two-hour slot earlier on in the week so turned up at 6pm with my mum and dad when on entering the hotel we were asked to scan the test and protect QR code with my phone for Track and Trace. As I had used it before all my details were saved so that was perfect,” he said.
“I set it up on my parents’ phones, too, so they are sorted for the future.
“I was then directed to our table and with the business operating only table service it was a very enjoyable evening, albeit a little cold.
“The Kinloch Arms has an excellent one-way system in place for moving around the premises, visiting the toilet, and for entering a leaving. The tables are all spaced out for social distancing measures, there is hand sanitiser at entering and exit points, and I really enjoyed the experience.
“Everyone was following the guidance and it was clear that a lot of planning had gone into their set-up – even to the point that middle urinal is blocked off in the toilets to help with social distancing, and only two people can be present in the toilet at anytime.
“It was great to see people out again, and many had even come prepared with their own blankets!”