VICTORIAN hospitality venues are scrambling to clear stock and uphold key events after the state government announced a seven-day, circuit breaker lockdown from Friday.
It is the fourth time Victorian restaurants, cafes, hotels and cellar doors have had to temporarily shut their doors or pivot to a takeaway only service.
Wodonga business La Maison Restaurant co-owner Wassim Saliba said they had been booked out this weekend with strong bookings since they were last closed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Saliba said they had enough stock in their cool room to cater for 3000 people.
"It's the premium time of year for us," he said.
"There are end of financial year events, mid-year events, anniversaries and birthday celebrations; we have a warm place with good food around the fires."
Saliba said he was pleased he could still retain a belated 80th birthday function by moving it off-site.
He said Lavington resident Margaret Hancock had already missed out on celebrating her birthday at the restaurant on May 30 last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"It was going to be her belated 80th birthday at La Maison but now it will be held at Thurgoona; it's a really sentimental event."
Mrs Hancock's daughter, Darlene Ortlipp, said she was blown away by the kindness shown from the La Maison team.
"They really wanted to do the party because it had been cancelled last year," she said.
"It's amazing that no matter what has happened to the business, Rocky and his team still want to brighten the lives of those around them.
"Even with all of the air let out of their balloons, they can put that aside so we'll have a lovely weekend together."
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Saliba said they had packaged the last of their stock into chef-prepared meals for a market day on Friday afternoon.
"We'll take a breather while we find out what's coming next," he said.
"If it goes on for longer than a week then we'll reconsider starting up again.
"But it's not easy to stop and start the business all of the time.
"We didn't see it coming and it's tough for Border towns who shouldn't be suffering like this."
The Other Place at Rutherglen owner Cyril Cox was hosting a Biggest Morning Tea fundraiser for Cancer Council on Thursday when the Victorian government announced the lockdown.
He said he would pivot to a takeaway only service for the fourth time.
"We'll open early for the tradies to get their takeaway coffees, Monday to Thursday, next week," he said.
The Goods Shed Craft Beer Cafe said it would take a different approach to the fourth lockdown.
While the kitchen will be closed over the seven-day lockdown, takeaway drinks were still on offer this weekend.
Patrons can get takeaway specialty brews today and tomorrow from noon to 7pm.
Nearby, Church St Hotel was offering a takeaway dinner and drinks menu over two nights from Friday.
Patrons were encouraged to order via Facebook or phone on Saturday night.
Bright Brewery will close for the seven-day lockdown but directed patrons to order their craft brews online.
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