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Luke Many had only just taken over ownership of the Lawrence Tavern, when his business, along with others in the hospitality industry, were forced to close due to COVID-19. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Supporting local businesses – Lawrence Tavern are working through COVID changes

The hospitality industry was just one of the many industries which was forced into closing its doors to the public due to the onset of COVID-19.

For Lawrence Tavern owner Luke Many, it wasn’t the best timing for him, after having just taken over the business, on September 30 last year.

“We got through the spring and summer period in their new business when COVID-19 hit,” Luke said.

“Up until then, it was going really well and then this (COVID) turned up.

“We were shut for 10 weeks and we kept going by doing takeaways and deliveries – five nights a week. People weren’t allowed to come in.

“We still stuck with our $10 schnitzel night on a Thursday, which is huge, and we were doing 150-200 schnitzels every Thursday night while we were shut, which was really good.

“We opened back up to the public on June 1 and it’s going as good as it can at the moment, with the way the restrictions are,” Luke said.

Luke said that like everywhere else, the locals were keen to get back to their local for a schooner, a play on the pokies and a bet on the horses and just to catch up with each other.

“It’s still very hard for everyone to catch up with their mates, because you’ve basically got to get your beer and sit on your backside,” he said.

“All these rules are tough, and most people are good although a few people get a bit ‘narkie’. They’re not our rules but we have to enforce them, or we cop the fine.

“It’s hard, but at least we’ve got the doors open,” he said.

Many businesses are advertising specials to help entice patrons to return to their local pub, club or restaurant.

Luke’s business is only one of many in the valley, which have been hit hard by COVID, so as a community we need to support these local establishments to help get them back on their feet.