Commercial Hotel general manager Steve Colley is looking forward to welcoming back customers

June 4, 2020

The doors of Kingaroy’s Commercial Hotel will be back open from 10:00am on Friday … but customers will notice some temporary post-COVID changes.

First of all, diners will be greeted at the main Haly Street foyer entrance, where they’ll be escorted to their seats and given a menu.

Second, there will be just six stools at the main bar, set 1.5 metres apart to maintain social distancing, and no one will be allowed to stand at the bar and drink.

The TAB will be back in action but punters will have to request betting slips from staff.

There will also be no Keno (although this may come back within days) and the poker machine room will still be closed to patrons.

General manager Steve Colley said under the hotel’s COVID Safe plan, the Com Pub would basically be operating as an a la carte restaurant, with table service.

Hand sanitisers will be in every area and all surfaces will be wiped down with disinfectant hourly.

Customers will be encouraged to use “tap and go” payments rather than cash.

All this extra work means extra staff. Steve said he would now require six people working at times when he usually only needed two.

The Com Pub’s bottleshop has been operating throughout the pandemic shutdown but Steve said staff were now very keen to welcome customers back inside.

He admitted the State Government had “put a cat among the pigeons” by bringing forward the Stage 2 reopening from June 12.

The new owners of the Commercial Hotel, the Waymark Hotels group, had taken advantage of the temporary closure to remodel the kitchen, install a new refrigerator and do some re-painting.

New ovens are also on the way.

“It’s all been a bit hectic,” Steve said. “It’s been all hands to the pumps to get everything ready now for Friday.”

There will be a slightly abridged winter menu in place for lunch and dinner, but Steve promised all the old favourites would be on offer, including steaks, fish and chips, chicken parmigiana, sausages and mash, and hamburgers.

The hotel will be open from 10:00am on Friday and Saturday but from Monday will trade from 11:00am to 9:00pm, with last food orders at 8:00pm.

Under Stage 2 restrictions, 20 people are allowed in each discrete area, ie. 20 in the bar, 20 in the TAB room, 20 in the beer garden and 20 in “The Nest”.

Steve said he believed the government had done a tremendous job in minimising the spread of the COVID-19 virus and minimising the number of deaths.

If there were no setbacks, Stage 3 – due in July – would mean even more people would be allowed in hotels.

Stage 4 would see life back to the way it was before the pandemic began but there is no date for this as yet.

Steve said he could normally fit 80 in the beer garden but under Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions only 20 people can be in this area at the same time

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