Covid-19: Wellington theaters, restaurants celebrate increasing number of customers
Wellington’s theaters, bars, restaurants and cafes have celebrated a doubling of the number of patrons they can accommodate.
The number of people allowed for indoor gatherings rose from 50 on Wednesday to 100.
Matthew Wilson, co-owner of Seashore Cabaret Cafe on the Esplanade in Lower Hutt’s Petone, said despite the rainy weather in the Wellington area, people have come out.
“It’s been a pretty average day, but I’m far from complaining. I am very happy … everything looks bright for us.
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The cafe was aimed at the region’s next sunny day. Her busiest day this week was Monday. “The 100-person cap is much better, especially for large venues,” Wilson said.
His other small businesses, including two cafes, both had limited seating and therefore weren’t as affected by the limit. At the Seashore Cabaret, with 100 diners almost representing the capacity of the locals, things were returning to normal, he said – “aside from the masks and social distancing”.
Seashore Cabaret had implemented a one hour turnaround time for diners, which most people adhered to. An advantage of the 50 person cap is that the kitchen is much faster to cook food.
Tim Ward, co-owner of Wellington’s San Fran bar on Cuba Street, said the 50-person limit also has one advantage: a more intimate setting for performances.
San Fran would continue to cap its audience at 50 despite the 100-person maximum because the setting was safer, Ward said. “The chance to see incredible musicians seated in a truly intimate place is truly magical. We will certainly stick to this format of small shows up to level 1. ”
He had concerts on Fridays and Saturdays and would hold performances next week. “Those 50 years old are so intimate and beautiful. “
San Fran envisioned a model where artists who would normally hold performances would produce a “little show” or concert, and share the door with San Fran in order to support the business.
Meanwhile, at the Circa Theater on Wellington’s waterfront, actors and theater staff were busy rehearsing for 100 performances of Hir, directed by Katherine McRae and written by Taylor Mac, scheduled to open on October 9.
Producer Eleanor Strathern said the team rehearsed for the show hoping it could open, but the company was unsure if the limit would be increased. “It’s great that this is now possible,” she said.
The BATS Theater was also busy rehearsing for White man, which is due to open on Thursday.