Carrickfergus hotel 'devastated' as reopening plans halted
A family-owned business in Carrickfergus have spoken of their devastation after plans to reopen their doors this weekend were halted.
Dobbins Inn was one of many in the hospitality sector preparing for a return to business this Friday, April 30.
The High Street hotel and restaurant had created a new outdoor seating area at the rear of the premises.
But in a statement on their Facebook page today (April 28), the owners of the historic inn said: "It is with deep regret that we have been advised by the authorities that we cannot open our new outdoor area on Friday as planned.
"We are truly devastated by this eleventh hour decision after making such a large investment in getting the new area ready but rest assured, we are working round the clock to find a resolution but unfortunately, we do not anticipate this being resolved before Friday.
"As it stands we can still serve at the front of the hotel and are trying to relocate as many bookings as possible to this area. We are aware that we will not be able to accommodate everyone and understandably some people will be left disappointed and for this we sincerely apologise.
"We feel that the fairest way to relocate bookings is the order they were taken and we will start contacting bookings this evening after 8pm.
"Given the current situation for hospitality industry we hope that common sense will prevail as quickly as possible and we can open the area as soon as intended.
"We thank our customers for their understanding and continued support."
Dobbins Inn is not the only business in County Antrim to have reopening plans put on hold, with The Speckled Hen in Lisburn and Belfast eatery Mourne Seafood Bar also told that their outdoor seating areas did not meet current regulations.