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Three weeks ago, Ms Sullivan told the Otago Daily Times her popular Moeraki restaurant would not open until alert level 1.
She was concerned the restaurant’s size and style of service would make it impossible to function under level 2 restrictions.
But with the number of people being allowed indoors increasing to 100, and being faced with the disappointment of a group of women who planned a trip from Southland especially to go the restaurant, Ms Sullivan consulted her staff and held a soft opening.
‘‘We opened and gave it a try, and it worked,’’ Ms Sullivan said.
She was glad it did.
‘‘We were really missing the company.’’
The restaurant was operating at reduced capacity and was adhering to the guidelines without a hitch, Ms Sullivan said.
She was particularly impressed with some of the creative face masks people were donning, even if it took her a moment to recognise who was under them.
The sun had been shining, the fishing boats were out and staff were enjoying face-to-face connections, she said.
‘‘Customers are enjoying it so much. It feels great, we are all really happy.’’
Before Covid-19, the restaurant attracted many international customers. An increase in the number of New Zealanders exploring their own backyard made up for the loss of overseas visitors.
‘‘There are still people really enjoying travel in New Zealand and finding places to go to.’’