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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard gives an update on pub restrictions due to COVID-19

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard gives an update on pub restrictions due to COVID-19

As the two month mark has passed since the lockdown of pubs across Victoria, finally there has been some welcome news greeting our hospitality industry.

Announced on the weekend just past, restrictions have been eased to allow some limited trading from June 1, with a review due mid June to extend capacity of venues.

Of course it is not straightforward – it never is – but pubs are allowed to have 20 patrons in a designated area at one time, whilst strictly observing the social distancing rules and the pub providing the requisite space of 4 square metres per patron.

More than one area meeting this requirement, the more permitted to attend.

At this stage, it is table service with a meal (the working definition at the moment is a meal using knife and fork) so if you and some friends want to go down for a few around the bar then it’s not going to happen.

There will be other measures in place such as collection of some personal details so as tracking of this virus can continue.

Whether all pubs reopen with these restrictions on June 1 is up to them, but as I have said in these updates, the social media in every form that a pub has at its disposal should be up to date and clearly indicating what its intentions are.

Everyone hopes for a seamless transition from June 1.


This program that has been rolled out by CUB has been brilliantly received by patrons and close to $900,000 has been distributed back to publicans, nominated by you. The deal is a beauty, which involves paying $10 or $12 to a pub you nominate, they get the money directly and you receive two pints for the price of one when pubs reopen. (Sit down, have a meal, and enjoy one on the house per voucher).  All the details are set out at;

And there is loyalty in pubs. The Red Lion in Ballarat clearly has a clientele that loves the place and over 1000 vouchers have been taken out and the money in excess of 10k – has been sent to the owner/operators.

Best is that there are a stack of stories like this so why not take up the offer.

Great Story: Employee Assistance Directive and Hotel Lincoln

The hospitality industry has been hit as hard as any throughout these times but a great story has emerged. Henry Lee , himself an operator of a bar in Melbourne started up the COVID 19 Employee Assistance Directive to help many workers who have been laid off by providing meals to those in the industry who have no income. Hotel Lincoln in Carlton has jumped on board providing the kitchen to prepare meals and along with the generosity of food providers are helping fellow workers get by. This Brilliant video was commissioned by The Age. Find a couple of minutes and have a look below.

Belgian Beer Café

It may be locked down but the Belgian Beer Café is happy to come to those in Southbank and for those who know the place and faces, their ever wonderful barman Fletcher, will happily deliver the drinks to you. No 3rd parties, just someone who works at the venue.

North Fitzroy Arms

Percy Jones is a Melbourne pub legend, at least 3 decades in the Astor in Carlton. He now runs a ripper pub of great standing, the North Fitzroy Arms, aka Haskins, in Rae St., North Fitzroy. For $12, 7 days a week from 4pm, a range of takeaway meals are offered. Full whack and only $12. Take home an ale as well and support a local. Hop onto their twitter page.

Please contact me at – if I can assist in promoting what’s taking place at this time in your venue.

Bring on June 1!

Neil Mitchell