Julia Bryce was out on the town to find out what the next two week’s may have in store for hospitality businesses under new restrictions.
The streets of Aberdeen’s city centre this evening set the scene for the hospitality sector over the next 16 days.
While many people were on the streets, it was clear most were there to shop rather than eating out.
However, those who were dining left their venues swiftly as the rules kicked in.
Venues that were usually busy with teatime customers – like Poldino’s, Amarone, and The Wild Boar – lay empty.
Many revellers who had been forced out due to the 6pm curfew took to the benches and outdoor seating at venues including The Tippling House, Soul Bar and The Draft House Project, to enjoy some alcohol – albeit in the freezing cold.
Takeaways also seemed to prove popular queues forming outside as customers socially distanced while waiting for orders.
However, the hospitality industry also took a stand against the Scottish Governments new imposed restrictions this evening, taking to the street of Union Bridge to show their support in a nation-wide protest.
From 6.30pm one side of the street was laden with ice, with staff and owners of the restaurants, bars and cafes affected by the latest restrictions, making their way to the bridge to dump the ice they would have been using for tonight’s service.
Peacefully protesting, many passers-by took the opportunity to applaud the movement which was organised locally by Nick Gordon general manager of Orchid and Adrian Gomes of The Tippling House.
The new restrictions imposed by on Wednesday sees restaurants, bars and cafes banned from selling alcohol for the next 16 days, up to and including Sunday, October 25, with indoor venues having to close at 6pm. Those operating outdoors must close by 10pm, but, can serve alcohol.
Since surviving a two week long local lockdown in August, the hospitality sector in the city centre has struggled to regain customer confidence and was only just starting to see a rise in diners eating out.
Many businesses have been forced to temporarily close as a result of the new restrictions, with more potentially lined up to follow suit.