Four out of every ten pubs in Dublin are planning to reopen as restaurants on 29 June, according to the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), which represents the capital’s publicans.
Under a roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions published by the Government, restaurants are allowed to open on that date, which marks the start of phase three, with pubs not down to reopen until phase five on 10 August.
An LVA survey carried out earlier this week showed that 44% of Dublin publicans who responded planned to open on 29 June. With 750 pubs in the city, the association says this could mean around 330 pubs resuming trading.
“These pubs have restaurant certificates and accordingly are licensed restaurants,” the organisation says. An even greater percentage, 72%, of the pubs surveyed said they served food on their premises.
As a result of the figures, the LVA has called on the Government to engage with the sector about the future of pubs.
The association wants all pubs that serve food to be allowed open on 29 June on the same basis as restaurants, saying they should not be treated differently from other venues serving food and alcohol.
“We made it clear this would happen when the roadmap was announced, but we are still awaiting a meeting with Government to discuss the future for pubs, despite their public comments that they will meet the vintner organisations quickly,” said LVA chief executive Donall O’Keeffe.
“Our members cannot remain in limbo and are now actively planning for re-opening on the same basis and at the same time as restaurants,” he said.