Sydney reopens, businesses brace for midnight customers, waves of bookings

Companies through Sydney are bracing for a deluge of returning customers when the lockdown ends at midnight tonight.

Hairstylist Alan Buki said today that he’s accepting his first client in months at 12:01 am tonight – and is full until 9pm tomorrow.

“After almost four months, the show is finally opening,” he said.

Allan Buki and his partner Tiffany Thurtell at their Paddington lounge, which opens at 12:01 am tonight. (Brook Mitchell)

“The store is out of control and the energy is contagious.”

He said the salon was booked for the next two months – and other salons were in a similar situation.

Ian Oakes and Alex Milne, who run Drake Eatery at Bondi Beach, said the staff were making a “really big effort” to be ready for tomorrow.

Lots of reservations have come in – but Ms Milne told Today they were a little worried about the vaccination police.

“We know people can show their evidence and we are obligated to verify that,” she said.

“I guess it’s really hard for people to remember to bring this to a reservation, we hope we don’t have aggro people. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, everyone is nice to us.”

Mauro, the manager of Barbetta in Paddington recommended that people make a reservation rather than hope for a date.

Barbetta in Paddington has been full for weeks. (Edwina pickles)

“We’re actually full for the next few weeks, I would say three or four weeks,” he said.

“We always leave spare tables for people who want to try to make a walk-in, but I definitely recommend that you reserve.”

He said the staff were “very, very excited” to finally reopen after more than 100 days.

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