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Rotorua bar staff get ready to serve

May 20, 2020

Rotorua bar staff get ready to serve

The sound of clinking glasses will be heard as New Zealand bars open tomorrow. Photo: Gordon Preece

Rotorua bars reopening this week will bring a much-needed boost to local hospitality - and are looking forward to getting back to business.

Several key watering holes are ready to do so following the government’s Level-Two announcement that bars can open Thursday (May 21) for customers who aren’t dining.

Ruck ‘n’ Maul sports bar manager Tony Moore says reopening is “extremely” important to provide service and employment for their loyal staff.

“We have some people who come in up to five times a week for lunch so will be happy to see them back,” he said.

“We got given the opportunity to reassess our business model and make changes to embrace the new norm,” said Mr Moore.

"It’s been nerve-racking times but certainly exciting.”

Hennessey’s Irish Bar operator Reg Hennessey says he is excited to “turn the tap back on” and have “the old Hennessey’s back.”

“Hennessey’s is known in Rotorua for live sport so looking forward to customers getting to watch Super Rugby games again,” Mr Hennessey said.

Mr Moore and Mr Hennessey say their bars host many functions for all major sports events and when sport comes back on, it will bring back customers.

“Live rugby and boxing are huge drawcards for our bar and will be a big part coming into winter,” Mr Moore said.

Both bars will resume their events once restrictions ease.

“We’ll be tapping into our darts, pool tournaments, poker clubs quiz nights which we haven’t typically done previously, as well as our TAB, gaming and private functions,” Mr Moore said.

Rotorua is currently experiencing no international tourists which will have a “large effect” on the bar’s atmosphere, said Mr Hennessey.

“Whenever the All Blacks play the pub is always chocka with travellers,” he said.

Another popular bar on Rotorua’s Eat Street said in a statement they have no plans to reopen at this stage but wouldn’t comment further.

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