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Whether it's a shot, cocktail or beer straight from the tap, people are slowly, but surely, finding their way back to their favourite bars.

The city's bars have not seen a sudden rush of people quenching their thirst for an alcoholic beverage, but they've noticed those who come in for a catch-up over a drink are bringing a more "chilled" atmosphere.

Malls, cafes and restaurants reopened last Thursday but bars had to wait another week before opening in level 2 unless patrons were seated and served food with their drinks.


Kris Cunninghame headed straight to the Phoenix after work yesterday and said being able to wind down with a drink and friends was something he had missed.

"It's a nice day, nice weather ... just freedom," he said.

Depending on his budget, he aimed to bring back the weekly ritual to at least once or twice a week.

"Hopefully more."

He was enjoying his afternoon with his mate, Neil Falconer, who said it was "absolutely amazing".

"We don't want to get trollied but it's nice to come and have a chat with people I know."

The group would be enjoying the Thursday night burgers for dinner - the special.

The Phoenix co-owner Ana-Marie Ward said they had been open since last Thursday serving food with a drink.


She said food made up 50 per cent of their income and she was looking forward to seeing more people out.

The Mount's popular hangout, Astrolabe Brewbar, is getting ready for a big weekend, especially if last weekend was anything to go by.

Manager Zac Ledesna said a few drinks had already been had by lunchtime, and even those getting food stayed a little longer for an extra drink.

The bar had been operating takeaways at level 3 and opened for dining last week.

Ledesna was blown away by how many people went out last weekend.

He said it was good to get back to a bit more normality.

It was a slow start for H2O Gaming and Sports Bar but two customers yesterday morning had turned to 10 by the afternoon.

Manager Mandeep Kaur said only two drinks had been sold, and everyone there had been regular customers prior to the lockdown.

"They're more interested in the pokies," she said.

This was the first time the bar could open following nationwide lockdown and Kaur said it was good to finally be back.

Crown and Badger owner Jessica Rafferty said a few people had come in for a drink yesterday and the atmosphere felt more relaxed.

"We're excited to see how the weekend goes."