September 26, 2020
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Ballyhale al fresco: Joy as Billy’s Tearooms to reopen for first time in six months

Award-winning community cooperative Billy’s Tearooms and Shop will reopen its doors this week for the first time in six months.

The Ballyhale cafe has been much missed in south Kilkenny since it was forced to close its doors when the pandemic hit.

Over the weekend the venue said it was “delighted to announce” Billy’s Tearooms will reopen its doors to the public this Thursday. Its new opening hours are 9am to 3pm Monday to Saturday, and 9.30am to 3pm on Sunday.

Billy’s Tearooms admitted the past six months has been “a tough and worrying time for us all”, and that they did not envisage being closed for so long when they were forced to shut their doors back on March 16.

But it is now looking forward to welcoming its customers back from Thursday, albeit with some “significant changes and requirements”.

The venue said all changes and decisions have been made “in conjunction with the HSE and are designed for the safety and peace of mind of both our staff and customers”.

It added: “Upon entering you will be asked to sanitise your hands and for your contact details, one person per group will suffice, and once seated you will be asked not to leave your table unless it is use the toilet facilities. The layout has changed slightly and your server will give you a menu, take your order, serve you and you pay at the table.

“The maximum stay time as outlined by HSE guidelines will be 90 minutes. We ask that once seated you do not leave your seat to speak to someone at another table. We have a new menu and there will be a daily special available also.”

Billy’s Tearooms has asked people, where possible, to book a table in advance.  They will also have four tables out front, providing more space to allow for social distancing.

Many people took to social media over the weekend to welcome the venue’s reopening.

One woman said: “Delighted to hear that Billy’s is reopening. Best of luck. It’s looking great.”

Another man added: “Good luck with the reopening. Great to see the community getting back to normal.”

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