Restaurants across the country have been inundated with so many booking requests since the lifting of restrictions that some have even reported their online booking facilities crashing.
As the Irish Examiner reports, one Cork restaurant was booked out for its 8pm sitting tonight within minutes of last night’s announcement.
Other venues across the city reported that their website booking facilities crashed as people dashed to make online reservations following the announcement by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.
Phil Ryan, manager of Isaac’s restaurant on MacCurtain St in Cork City, said the phone was "hopping" immediately after last night’s announcement, with places for the restaurant’s 8pm sitting being sold out within 20 minutes. Between 75 and 80 people will dine there tonight during that sitting.
He said that online reservations are also already made for the next two weekends, while calls are still being received today by people wishing to book a table for tonight:
The phone was hopping off the hook and it is ringing all day today for tonight.”
By 4pm this afternoon, many of Limerick’s most popular bars were already a hive of activity. Pharmacia, on Sarsfield Ave, announced they will be open until 12.30 tonight, with manager Ger Devine expecting a busy evening to come.
“We’ve been busy so far today, and we're excepting to be mad for the night. Then we are facing into an extremely busy week of student events from Monday,” he said.
Mr Devine said they were absolutely delighted to be open, fully and freely, once more, following the announcement that the restrictions would be lifted, but added he was annoyed at how it was done, with little time given for publicans to prepare.
“But I guess we’ve come to expect that level of rashness from this Government,” he added.
Jack Costello, manager of The Locke Bar on George's Quay in Limerick said they too will be open until 12.30am tonight.