Relaxing Restrictions in Glenferrie
PLEASE NOTE: This article was produced in June 2020 and portrays locals traders working with the relaxing of COVID-19 related restrictions which came into effect 1 June and 22 June. With the return of lockdown for Metropolitan Melbourne as of 9 July 2020, The Glenferrie Times wishes the best for all affected traders. We look forward to seeing our local businesses reopen to their full capacity in the (hopefully) not too distant future.
Since 1 June, many pubs and restaurants have been able to open up again with socially distanced seating after indoor venues were shut down in March to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
James from Beer DeLuxe (329 Burwood Road) said the bar was "booked out every night" for the first week they were back open. On 22 June, alcohol was allowed to be served without a meal. As restrictions ease and customers can now come in just for a drink, James is looking forward to "getting new beer on tap" as he says that regular new craft beers from local breweries are "the best part of working here".
When Brow Theory (Lido Arcade, 673 Glenferrie Road) opened its doors after two months of closure, "it was hectic to say the least", said Nikki. Customers have been extremely "grateful and flexible" with their time, and Nikki has been enjoying hearing about what some of her clients have been up to during the shutdown. "It's amazing to be back at work and seeing regular faces," she said.
While Machaela from F45 Hawthorn (Unit 1/408 Burwood Road) said she "loves a challenge", it has been "wonderful to re-open ... seeing their [members] faces is what we really needed". While they were closed, F45 posted workout videos, weekly challenges, and live sessions as well as having various members host online classes from dance to cooking to osteopathy. Since re-opening, they have divided the gym floor into solo sections of 6 square metres for 17 members at a time - less than their legally allowed 20 members with 4 square metres each - to ensure "everyone feels safe, comfortable, and has enough room to work out". The "strongest thing that has come out of this", she believes, is the community coming together to learn "how we can all accept challenges and adapt."
Dave from Debonaire Dry Cleaners (711 Glenferrie Road) remarked that they have been impacted hugely while "people were at home as opposed to working in the city". Customers did not need their workwear and formal outfits laundered during the shutdown. But while business has been slow over the past months, they took the opportunity to innovate and introduce new technology and marketing practices. Debonaire began a pick-up and drop-off service, launched an app and improved their website to allow customers to still "interact when the doors are closed". Dave has been "blown away by the camaraderie" during the pandemic period and seen that "people have relaxed a bit more, it will be interesting to see how that plays out."
Alley Tunes (8/660A Glenferrie Road) closed for a month but opened up again in April offering take-away coffees and vinyl. To owner Max, it seems that some people have a bit more disposable income from not going out as much and now that they have more free time, they "value music more and having the physical form" of a record to play. While business is improving, it is still fluctuating up and down. Although there is still a long way to go, Max feels "lucky we have good community support".
For a profession with such stringent health regulations, Kristian from Ravens Hollow Tattoo Studio (Basement, 823 Glenferrie Road) was surprised tattooing was "one of the first to go, and one of the last to come back" due to shutdowns. When they first closed, some clients reached out to the studio, offering to purchase merchandise or pre-pay for future works in full. "That was really generous," he said. Kristian has spent the past months reflecting on “improving the studio dynamic" and organising the installation of new flooring, but most of all, he is looking forward to people being able to feel less scared and "more themselves".
Hairdressers like Cocoa Hair Bar (1/379 Burwood Road) have been allowed to keep their doors open through the pandemic shutdowns. However, as a hair salon with a large clientele base of Swinburne University international students from Asia, "many customers are still back in their home countries", said Oscar. Cocoa Hair looks forward to the re-opening of the university and the return of their regulars, as well as welcoming more local customers in for a cut.
Eddie from 7/11 (Cnr Barkers and Glenferrie Roads) has welcomed "students, teachers and tradies coming back." When the schools were closed it felt like a holiday period, he said, with hardly anyone around in store or filling up with petrol. As parents, teachers, and students of the local school make up the majority of the store's customers, Eddie is glad to see many regulars returning to 7/11.