RESTAURANTS, cafes and food outlets on both sides of the Murray River are adapting post-haste as the coronavirus pandemic continually pulses trading restrictions.
Restaurants have closed temporarily, chefs have offered take-home meals and cafes have organised delivery/pick-up options for those cut off by the state border closure.
Beechworth Bakery managing director Marty Matassoni said the business had offered takeaway and click and collect options only since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
"We made the decision to not open up for table service and have offered takeaway since March," he said.
"Safety of staff and customers is very important as is the speed of service."
With bakeries in Albury, Ballarat, Beechworth, Bendigo, Bright, Echuca, Healesville and Yackandandah, Mr Matassoni said the first lockdown in March-April coincided with their peak trading season.
He said they managed that slowdown well overall before tourism picked up in June ahead of the border closure.
"Our Albury store has a really strong Wodonga following so we've noticed the impact of the border closure," Mr Matassoni said.
"JobKeeper has been a saviour across most of our sites.
"August is our quietest month of the year when we really rely on local traffic anyhow."
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Having temporarily closed last week amid tighter border restrictions, Wodonga's La Maison Restaurant and Bar has returned with weekend dining for Victorian customers and a takeaway service on both sides of the border.
La Maison Restaurant owner Wassim Saliba said they had closed last week to assess how they could best serve all of their customers.
"We understand that this is a very different new normal but we just want to keep doing what we love most, which is service our amazing customers on both sides of the border," he said.
La Maison Restaurant will open for dining-in on Friday and Saturday nights.
Victorian residents can collect La Maison take-home meals from the restaurant on week days while NSW patrons can pick up take-home meals from Murray River Smokehouse in Albury on week days.
Dean Street eatery Hapi Dumpling Bar advised it would close temporarily for two weeks only.
Albury's Nannini Ristorante and Pizzeria closed its doors on July 18 in response to the coronavirus crisis.
"Due to the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to advise that Nannini will be closing its doors indefinitely," it advised.
"We would like to thank our customers for their loyalty and support."
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