‘It has been really fun but very busy,’ Eastbourne businesses happy to be open again

A number of Eastbourne businesses have enjoyed the last week as cafe, pubs and restaurants were allowed to welcome back customers.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 9:56 am

Since April 12 food and drink related businesses have been able to host customers as long as they are seated outside.

Dew Drop Inn supervisor Megan Faffin said, “It has been really fun but very busy, obviously as expected but it is good to be back for sure.”

Kayleigh Leman who is also a pub supervisor for the Crown and Anchor on Marine Parade said, “It is so good. I think a lot of us have been off for practically a year now, it is nice to be back and to have a bit of normality back in our life.”

The Crown and Anchor in Eastbourne after the easing of lockdown measures in the summer. (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-200507-080707001

For Coffee and Carrot owner Maria Shehu, she was glad to see her regulars return.

Mrs Shehu said, “People are coming out and are coming down and enjoying their coffees outside. It is a bit of a privilege, that is what is feels like now.

“A lot of our regular customers who were shielding have come out as well and we haven’t seen them this whole time so it is really nice to know that they are safe and well.

“Obviously we have to keep on top of the cleaning and the lots of rules that we have to abide by, it does make it hard when it is busy but we are trying our best really.”

As expected, many businesses have been busy with the number of customers returning.

Miss Faffin said, “We really weren’t expecting it to be that crazy because we have only got a limited number of tables in the garden but it has been, on the weekend and the evenings, it has been full up all evening. There have been good vibes in the garden as well.”

Fellow pub supervisor Miss Leman also said the Crown and Anchor had been busy.

Miss Leman said, “We have been fairly busy. It has obviously been a bit different serving outside and stuff but we haven’t had any problems. It has been really nice.”

Mrs Shehu said she was thankful for the number of people who have been visiting the cafe on Cornfield Road

Mrs Shehu said, “It has been really busy and we needed it. We really needed it because if it wasn’t then I don’t know what would have happened.”

Miss Faffin also said she believes customers have returned with a new appreciation for the South Street pub.

Miss Faffin said, “I think where people haven’t had the pub, I think people aren’t going to take it for granted anymore.

“I think it is fair to say we are quite optimistic about how it is going to go from now on if the last weekend is anything to go by.”

Despite being happy to see a degree of normality return, Mrs Shehu raised concern about the lack of certainty at the moment.

Mrs Shehu said, “If it rains, like on the first day, Monday, it was snowing, it wasn’t busy and we got the extra staff in and it is tough because you have to pay for extra people and you are not busy at all so I think that is going to be the hard point but apart from that it is good.”

In regards to what happens when the weather is bad the cafe owner said, “We lose 40 seats in one go. That is not normal but obviously everyone is in the same position that you can open outside.

“You might have all these reservations and then they all get cancelled and then it is just hard.”