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Janie prepares for magic Monday

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By Fiona Reid
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Janie prepares for magic Monday

MOFFAT landlady Janie Seaton is crossing her fingers that her pub beer garden can reopen on Monday.

For she has been working hard to get the outdoor space at the Black Bull Inn ready to receive customers again safely and is now just waiting on confirmation from the First Minister. She said: “I am delighted we are moving to the next phase of easing and relish the opportunity to get back to business after a long hiatus.

“It’s been a strange time for all of us in hospitality but now we can look forward to welcoming our customers back, while navigating carefully and working with the changing times rather than fighting them.”

Janie has carried out risk assessments of the premises to ensure the health and safety of staff and customers and said: “Going forward we will implement plans made during lockdown – throughout the 13 weeks I have been organising and planning a new direction. Early on I could see things would change immeasurably and resting on my laurels was not an option as I did not intend to open up in the same vein as when we closed. I like to take positives over negatives and for me the lockdown presented a chance to think, plan, take stock and execute a new approach at Moffat’s oldest inn, while also offering the community something new and very different to what we did before.”

Her immediate focus will be on outdoor socialising and BBQs and there will also be a takeaway service. She has invested heavily to ensure the beer garden is warm and welcoming, saying: “With social distancing in mind, we cut down the old trestle tables and benches to create individual seating which can be moved to comply with current measures and also erected a trellis structure which can be covered in bad weather.

“The finished effect of the garden – we hope – will be romantically enticing and people can enjoy some semblance of ‘normality’ once more in a safe environment. I am looking very much forward to the next stage at The Black Bull Inn which I have now owned for 18 months. While the pandemic shutdown was unexpected, unforeseen and came as a huge shock at first, it happened and we can’t change it. I will always move with the times and work with challenges thrown at me and this is the biggest one yet, however the Black Bull has stood for 452 years and has seen a lot of challenges, it isn’t the first!”

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