'It makes no sense' - Mayo pub displays socially distant tables and asks why it can't open

By James Fenton

August 6, 2020 at 4:13pm


Mellett's Emporium in Co. Mayo has questioned the Government's decision not to allow pubs that don't serve food to open on August 10.

Based in Swinford, Mellett's Emporium does not serve food and doesn't intend to for a 'variety of reasons.' The pub's Marie Mellett has taken to social media to highlight the measures she and her staff have taken to ensure customers can visit safely without having to eat.

Four pictures were posted to Twitter which show socially distant tables along with plastic dividers placed between each seating area. The caption reads: 'Here’s a few pics of our socially distant tables. We accept decision has been made for now, but @DonnellyStephen @LeoVaradkar @MichealMartinTD you need to realise our anger. If there was a pizza from the local chipper on each table we’d be open. It makes no sense.'

When questioned by a follower about why she doesn't serve food, Marie responded: 'Food is tricky business & we have zero experience or facilities. I take immense pride in our pub and couldn’t morally charge for food I’m not 100% sure of. I refuse to force our loyal locals to eat chipper food. If we do it it will be on my terms with full HSE support serving proper Irish food and we will install a kitchen and employ a chef.'

While the current situation is bleak for many traditional Irish pubs, Marie concludes by saying: 'I genuinely believe at the end of this there’ll still be place in Ireland for non-food pubs. We’ve done it for 223 years and I’ll fight it to the end.'

On Tuesday it was confirmed that pubs that don't serve food will remain closed despite being scheduled to open on Monday, August 10. The next Government review will take place on August 31.

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