'Brilliant week' for Weston after April 12 ease in restrictions
- Credit: Archant
Pubs, shops, restaurants and attractions across Weston are celebrating a busy first week after an ease in lockdown restrictions.
Non-essential shops and outdoor attractions were able to reopen on April 12, alongside pubs and restaurants with outdoor seating - and many enjoyed a huge boost in trade.
The seafront and town centre were bustling with life over the weekend, as people enjoyed their new-found freedoms.
Bistrot Pierre manager Miguel Martinez said the first week was ‘crazy busy’, with the restaurant fully booked for most of the weekend.
He said: “People were pleased to be dining out again. We are doubling up our forecasts for the next couple weeks and months. Bookings are getting out of control. We are trying our best to accommodate as much as we can.”
Seafront restaurants and diners said they were busier than pre-Covid times in spring 2019.
Liam Giddings, manager of Brunello Lounge, in Beach Road, said: “It’s been a lot busier than expected. It’s been great and the response from people has been really good.
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“It’s been nice to see people out. Lots of regulars have come back and there have been lots of smiles. We’ve also had lots of day-trippers.”
Funland at the Tropicana was open all last week due to the Easter holidays. Marketing manager Thomas Griffin said: “Not many fun fairs have opened and a lot of people who enjoy fun fairs were excited to see us back, so we’ve had people come from all over.
“It’s been a good week. We were very glad to be able to open again.”
The theme park It is now back to just opening at weekends, but it is holding a special event on Friday from 4-9pm, when all rides are £1.
Weston’s shops and cafés were also delighted to open their doors to customers once again.
Sam Walker, owner of Walker & Ling, said it had been an ‘emotional few days’. He said: “We are relieved to be back.
“It’s been exciting, nerve-wracking and a big relief. Some customers hadn’t been out for an entire year and one person came in and bought a whole new wardrobe.
“Customers are very keen to support their local stores. We were very pleased to have a normal April week, which is amazing considering.”
Nicky Ellis, owner of The Coffee House, in High Street, said people became more confident about venturing out as the week progressed.
She said: “We have been busier every day as people have got more use to it. People are still nervous, and because they can’t come inside, it’s still affecting us a bit.
“It was nice to see customers we haven’t seen for a while and know they are OK. We are feeling pretty positive about May 17.”
The Walnut Tree, in Winterstoke Road, had to put indoor furniture outside to cope with the huge demand for tables. The pub has also been selling blankets to keep guests warm in the evenings.
Owner Frank Sprackman said: “Monday was absolutely insane, everybody and their dog visited. It was lovely to see so many new faces and families visiting.
“All the new furniture I bought was full within an hour and we turned tables around very quickly, doing a first come first served basis, rather than a booking system as we felt this gave everyone an opportunity to visit even if it was just for a quick drink.
“The week then continued very similar, day in, day out. So come Friday we decided to put out all our indoor furniture outdoors to allow us double the amount and once again it all filled up.
“It’s been an absolute brilliant week. We have decided to purchase some more outdoors furniture to cater for all the new guests visiting.
“It’s been an absolute delight to have customers back in our venue, especially with everyone following all the rules as they should. It seems everyone is just happy to be back out and socialising as such, even if it is at a safe distance. “