At least two Orange hotels have revealed they plan to allow in-house dining from Friday following an easing of government restrictions.
Cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs will be able to open for up to 10 diners at one time in the first stage of relaxing coronavirus lockdown laws announced by the state government this week.
The Central Western Daily contacted pubs and clubs across Orange and found most will stay shut, mainly because they are concerned it would be uneconomic to open for such a small number of customers.
However, the Great Western Hotel and the Royal Hotel owners have indicated they are willing to have some in-house dining.
Great Western owner Matt Hardman said they had the benefit of a separate entry and area for their restaurant.
"Yes we will be [opening] for dining for 10 people," he said. "We can open the bistro separate to the hotel."
It's a step in the right direction.Nelson Kelly, owner Royal Hotel
Mr Hardman said they would continue to offer takeaway meals.
Royal Hotel owner Nelson Kelly said they would provide tables for limited dining for up to 10 people.
He said that would largely be for people who bought takeaways to be able sit and eat their meal onsite.
And he said it would also allow guests staying at the hotel to eat in the dining room rather than in their rooms.
He said while it was too costly to open the dining room properly for just 10 people he welcomed the relaxation of rules.
"It's a step in the right direction," he said.
Hotel Canobolas licensee and owner Phil Tudor said they would wait until restrictions were further lifted.
"You can't half open the Hotel Canobolas," he said.
The Ophir Hotel's Tim Ireson said they might consider opening once the limit rose to 50 people.
Hotel Orange owner Vijay Bohra said they might look at opening for 20 people but it would be uneconomic.
Metropolitan Hotel licensee and chairman of the Orange Liquor Accord Mark Murphy said there were too many complications. "The laws are too vague. I'm better to wait until there is more clarity in the laws," he said.
Mr Murphy said while pubs "were hurting big time" it would be difficult to administer social distancing.
A spokeswoman for the Orange Ex-Services' Club said they would also wait for further easing of restrictions.
"We're going to allow some of the smaller cafes and restaurants to start trading first," she said. A spokeswoman for Duntryleague said: "It's not financially viable for us to open for 10 people."
Waratah Sports Club president Darren Sinclair said: "Ten people for a club our size, it would be a bit too hard to open," he said.
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