Falkirk folk hit the pubs and gyms like it's 2019 again ... well almost
Pub, restaurant and gym owners were able to let people into their establishments to enjoy themselves without too many restrictions this week.
It could be said the Falkirk area returned to almost pre-pandemic days on Monday as restrictions were further eased to Level Two and residents and visitors began enjoying freedom of movement not seen since before Christmas last year.
Businesses including the aforementioned pubs, restaurants and gyms – as well as entertainment venues and other people’s homes became available to people once more.
Behind the Wall, in Melville Street, Falkirk, had been going along nicely with their outdoor eating and drinking area, but for owner Brian Flynn it was good to see customers back inside, eating and drinking like they used to back in the day.
"We’ve still got a wee bit to go,” said Brian. “We’re not back to what they call ‘vertical drinking’, or standing at the bar yet. But things are loosening off and business has been steady.
"Hopefully it will start to build throughout the week and get back to normal levels. We still have the two hours slots which are a bit of a pest for the customers. Things are going in the right direction though."
The Black Bull, in Main Street, Polmont is more than just a pub/restaurant – to some people it is a lifeline.
Owner Lisa Fraser said: “We have one man who gets his taxi from the old people's home straight here and picks him up again two hours later after he has a couple of halves. It was the first time he had been out since the end of last year.
"We didn’t re-open our restaurant last year because the numbers allowed in were so limited. We just used it as an over spill for the bar area. Then we were allowed to open later in the year but we couldn’t serve alcohol.”
During that limbo period, Lisa opened up the restaurant again and offered customers a limited menu which proved relatively successful.
"Then we opened up again on April 26 and now we have the bar and restaurant open this week. It’s taken people a while to know we are open again with our full menu, but out regulars have been happy to get back in for a drink again.”
For Rezults Personal Training and Fitness, in Main Street, Bainsford, Monday almost marked a return to the way things were – apart from an even greater emphasis on hygiene.
Owner Derek Thomson said: “Our clients were excited to get back indoors for group personal training – we had been doing sessions outdoors but the way the weather has been people were happy to get back inside again.
"It was almost back to normality again, but we still have measures in place – no one shares any equipment. They have their own mats and kettle bells and then we switch to fresh mats when new people come in.
"We also have plenty of hand sanitisers and spray for people to wipe down the mats and equipment.”