Kylie Bell, Carmen Munday, Julie Smith and Emma Hogan from Proserpine Pies and Pastries are happy to be opening their doors to dine-in customers this weekend as coronavirus restrictions are eased.
Kylie Bell, Carmen Munday, Julie Smith and Emma Hogan from Proserpine Pies and Pastries are happy to be opening their doors to dine-in customers this weekend as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

‘Beginning of the end’: Prossie businesses ready for dine-in

PROSERPINE cafe owners and business leaders have said they're ready to welcome people to dine in once again and commended the community for their dedication to small business.

From Saturday, people will be able to have gatherings of up to 10 people including outdoors in parks and national parks, and recreational travel is now allowed up to 150km from home.

Ten people at once will also be allowed to dine-in restaurants, cafes, pubs, RSLs, clubs and hotels.

One Proserpine business owner who couldn't wait for the change was Proserpine Pies and Pastries' Kim Hogan.

"I know it's only 10, but I will be laying out those 10 chairs with pleasure," she said.

"To me it's the beginning of the end, I'd prefer to have more but you've got to be positive and I honestly cannot wait to have people in here."

Proserpine Pies and Pastries owner Kim Hogan is happy to be opening her doors to dine-in customers this weekend as coronavirus restrictions are eased.
Proserpine Pies and Pastries owner Kim Hogan is happy to be opening her doors to dine-in customers this weekend as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Mrs Hogan said she was worried when the first announcements had come through and business suddenly came "to a grinding halt".

But she said the Proserpine community had been more supportive than ever and this week was the first where she had welcomed a full team of employees in the store.

"We had to cut hours at first as we didn't know what was happening. My husband and I were working six days a week, darkness to darkness to begin with," she said.

"It's slowly been getting better though and that's because the people of Proserpine have been amazing.

"We held on during Cyclone Debbie, we'll hang on during the coronavirus too."

22 Buttercup Lane owner Amanda Yuskan was also positive about welcoming people to dine at her business once again, however, she said more clarification needed to be given surrounding the rules.

She said thinking outside the box had been her saving grace during the pandemic.

The owner of 22 Buttercup Lane Amanda Yuskan welcomed the chance to have customers dine in again but called for more clarity around the rules.
The owner of 22 Buttercup Lane Amanda Yuskan welcomed the chance to have customers dine in again but called for more clarity around the rules.

"We were closed for about 20 days as we assessed our way forwards, but then we looked at ourselves and went 'let's tell the town we're here, let's get through this'," she said.

"We started offering more takeaway and take-home meal options to feed the whole family and Proserpine completely embraced us.

"I'm happy to have people inside again, but the new measures have some grey areas, which no one seems to be able to give me an answer for.

"We're a very large cafe, we have a lot of floor space and we also have an outdoor terrace area.

"With people allowed outside in groups of 10 under the measures, would that mean we could offer 10 inside and 10 outside? No one has a straight answer.

"I think stage two of the plan when we can have 20 people will be where we really hit that home straight."

Proserpine Chamber of Commerce chairman Bob Bogie appreciated the cautious approach to reopening businesses and commended the Proserpine community for following social distancing.

"Obviously going to 20 or more to begin would be ideal, but we don't want to see our community go backwards," he said.

"The cautious approach I think is the right move and Proserpine needs to be commended for taking this seriously.

"The message has to be out there, we're not out of this yet, it's still precarious so rather than open the door wide and let everyone in, let's do it gradually and continue forward."


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