Major Respect to the Restaurants and Pubs Moonlighting As Convenience Stores


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There’s no denying the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the Sydney hospitality industry.

While many of the nation’s beloved venues and restaurants have closed their doors in hibernation against the crisis, a select few are weathering the storm and taking steps beyond just takeaway and home delivery to stay open.

A handful of venues around town have begun operating as convenience stores, installing temporary shelving and selling essentials usually found in supermarkets and corner stores.

Harbord Beach Hotel in the Northern Beaches is one such venue. The beloved pub in Freshwater is taking the new social distancing laws seriously, and has transformed into a drive-through supermarket to cater to its customers’ needs in these unprecedented times.

“We wanted to provide our local community with a convenient way to shop, so we converted our drive-through bottle shop into a mini-mart,” co-owner Jade Cottee tells TheLatch—.

“In addition to alcohol and beverages, we’ve got pantry staples such as bread, milk, rice, pasta, meat, eggs, frozen vegetables and ready-to-go lasagne.”

What’s more, the hotel has is making its experience contactless in a further effort to flatten the curve and reduce cases in Australia.

“There’s no need to get out of your car — we’ll pick your order, place it in your boot and you can tap and pay through your window. We’ve increased hygiene protocols to ensure our payment system is thoroughly cleaned between customers.”

We see this as a huge win to both the local community and the venue itself. By finding an alternative way to operate, the venue is continuing to employ staff while simultaneously helping locals go about their shopping and secure items many supermarkets are stocked out of.

The Harbord Beach Hotel is even prioritising patrons over the age of 65, and asking them to call ahead of swinging by.

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DRIVE THROUGH FOOD & ALCOHOL SERVICE (NOW AVAILABLE!) ✔️⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Many of us will be going through uncertain times due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. With such a challenging period it requires us all, as a community, to adapt as best we can.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ We want to provide our local community with a convenient and safe way to shop, so our drive-through Bottle Shop will now be offering a DRIVE-THROUGH FOOD & ALCOHOL service.⁣⁣ ⁣ What’s NOW available ?⁣ • Wholesale bulk meat⁣ • Frozen vegetables⁣ • Bread⁣⁣ • Milk⁣⁣ • All of your kitchen staples⁣⁣ • Of course the alcoholic beverages you love⁣⁣ ⁣ When ?⁣ • Everyday 10am – late ⁣⁣ ⁣ Healthy & Safe Option ✅⁣ • We as a community are all concerned about our health and safety, so please if you are ill, have been travelling, or have been in contact with suspected cases, avoid visiting⁣⁣ • Let’s all contribute to a healthy environment by washing or sanitising hands before visiting⁣ • Our payment system is cleaned after each use. You can even tap and pay through your car window⁣⁣ • If you are 65+, please call in advance for priority⁣ • No need to get out of your car, you can drive through and we will pick your order and place it in your boot⁣ ⁣ By practising social distancing, embracing the Aussie spirit and enjoying the occasional drink, we will get through this. And then, when the time is right, we will start planning the next celebration at the Harbord Hilton. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ Questions?⁣?⁣ 02 9905 3434⁣⁣ ⁣ Again, stay safe, stay well and thank you for your continued support during this time.⁣ ⁣ The Harbord Beach Hotel Team⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ❤️⁣ ⁣⁣ #drivethrough #takeawayfood #alcohol #northernbeaches #sydneyfood #sydneyfoodie #whatsonsydney #manly #freshwater #manlylocal #freshwaterlocal #covid19 #localbusiness

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Another venue adapting to this new way of operation is Bar M in Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay. The Italian restaurant says it is “not taking this lying down”, and in an effort to keep staff employed, the venue’s owner Paola Toppi has shifted the way his restaurant services the community.

While restaurant dining is on hold, patrons can still pick up delicious items from the menu or have them delivered. What’s more, the venue itself has now been set up as a marketplace with essentials that include olive oil, passata, flour, dried pasta, cheese and deli meats, plus home-made pasta, chicken soup, soup, and more.

Cocktails and wine are also available to be delivered locally, and yes, there’s even toilet paper.

In the Inner West, two venues in the W Short Hotels Group have transformed into corner stores: The Tudor Hotel in Redfern and The Royal Hotel in Leichhardt, the latter even announcing additional drive-through plans.

Both pubs have been temporarily stocked with pantry staples, toilet paper, and alcohol plus fresh foods and produce from local bakers and butchers as part of an effort to support other local businesses.

At this stage, the offering is pick-up only, but the pubs are working to develop online ordering soon. “Avoid the crowds and panic at the larger supermarkets and come support your local!” the pubs say.


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