Gloucester 57 reopens after COVID lockdown with a bang

Grace Solomon and Mackayla Battams are happy to be back at work ta Gloucester 57.
Grace Solomon and Mackayla Battams are happy to be back at work ta Gloucester 57.

Gloucester cafe owner, Kieren Moore has reopened his doors post-COVID lockdown and business is booming.

While locals may be still taking it easy on the public outings, according to Kieren, Gloucester 57 is packed with tourists looking to spend money to support regional businesses.

"It's been crazy. Really busy," Kieren smiled.

And what a way to restart having a brief shutdown during the peak of the COVID restrictions.

Like many businesses owners, when the restrictions were put in place at the end of March, Kieren found all the rules and regulations a little confusing. Initially, he opted to keep the open for take away but after about a week, on April 1, he decided to close the doors.

"Most of our customers are in the vulnerable age group and we wanted to help protect them and my staff," Kieren explained.

While the cafe was closed, Kieren and his staff took advantage of the time to complete a few odd jobs around the place that they've been trying to do since taking over ownership nearly four years ago.

"We utilised the time to do some renovations we've been wanting to do for years," he explained.

They painted the walls, resurfaced the tables, did a massive cleanup, got rid of the clutter and purchased a few things. Thankfully the government financial support kicked in and Kieren was able to keep all of his staff.

"The grant and jobkeeper, that's what saved us," he admitted.

On Wednesday, May 6, the cafe reopened its door to show off its new minimalistic look and the customers have been continuously pouring through the doors. They started with just take away, then as restrictions eased, they were able to put a few tables and chairs out around the place.

"Sunday (July 5) was the second busiest day we've had in four years. People are coming into town and they are spending money. And I mean, a big spend," Kieren smiled. "It's good to see."

But it's not just the increase in customers that's making Kieren happy, it's also they way the Gloucester businesses owners are reconnecting.

"It's good to see the positive vibe in the business community."