OPEN, SORT OF: Rob and Jenny Thompson at The Caves Country Pub. Picture: Vanessa Jarrett
OPEN, SORT OF: Rob and Jenny Thompson at The Caves Country Pub. Picture: Vanessa Jarrett

Country pub opens beer garden for limited dine meals

IT WAS a different scene looking around the beer garden at The Caves Country Pub on Saturday night with only seven customers in a space that can fit 120 – but it’s a taste of what is to come.

Publicans Rob and Jenny Thompson are rejoicing in the news of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions being eased.

The couple were forced to close the pub on March 21, and instead only be able to offer takeaway meals and drinks.

Last Saturday, they opened the dining with the new restriction of 10 persons at a time.

While ideally, they would have 10 per hour, the way the bookings fell with various numbers, for Saturday dinner they had 22 people over the three hours.

“When you can seat 120 and you’re down to 10, that is a challenge,” Jenny said.

“On Saturday night there was seven in the beer garden you can sit 120 in it, and there was two in the lounge that would normally have 12 to 15.

“It’s a little taste of getting back to it.”

The couple said all of the customers were really happy to be back out having a meal.

The Thompsons have been at the pub for 28 years and know the locals well.

Some of the customers were new people, just going for a drive out of Rocky to escape town – as the pub is only a 20 minute drive north.

Prior to the restricted dining, the couple said they have had a lot of support from locals with takeaway meals.

Pizzas are their speciality and many customers order them and sit in the park across the road and have them.

In the meantime, they have been doing some renovations, redoing the deck, sprucing up the furniture and putting down new flooring.

They both admit it has been quite lonely still being at the pub with no one around.

“It takes a lot of adjusting from having people in the place all the time to no one,” Rob said.

THE CAVES COUNTRY PUB

1 Buch Square, The Caves

Tues – Sat: 10am-9pm, Sun: 11am-8pm

Takeaway meals, pizzas, burgers and pub style main meals

Open for dine-in with a 10 person limit

Bookings essential, phone 4934 2769