WHILE the reintroduction of a number of COVID regulations is not how people hoped to start the new year, Knickerbocker Hotel publicans Craig Lusby and Scott Maguire are not getting downbeat about it.
Mr Lusby, who only took over ownership of the pub six weeks ago, said COVID has stopped a lot of people from eating out and he hopes to change this attitude in a safe way.
"People have just got to learn that we have to live with it, really, we've got no choice," he said.
"We're lucky, we've got a big entertainment area outside here [at the Knickerbocker] and it helps with the airflow.
"That's where we have to aim for now out here - they all want the airflow."
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The publicans plan to utilise the Knickerbocker's outdoor barbecue area to host small events in an open space, hoping to encourage locals back to the pub.
Though business seemed to pick up a bit prior to the reintroduction of COVID restrictions, Mr Lusby found people are still nervous to go to town.
To try to encourage locals to get out and about again, the Knickerbocker will have a small event this Sunday, January 9.
Following lunch, locals will be treated to Elvis impersonator David Cazalet and special guest, cricket icon Len Pascoe.
The event is free and will begin at roughly 2.30pm.
In compliance with COVID restrictions, spots are limited, so Mr Lusby encourages locals to arrive from noon.
"We've got an outdoor function where we'll be complying with all the rules and it's something a little bit different," he said.
"Elvis and Len Pascoe, he's coming too, so a few of the cricket buffs might be interested."
Mr Lusby is hoping the event on Sunday brings more people to his pub and that everyone enjoys the day.
Masks must be worn indoors and all customers are required to QR code in on arrival.
Mr Lusby said he asks for everyone to be understanding of the rules and to follow the government regulations so a great day can be had by all.