It's been almost two months since we've been able to catch up with friends over a cold brew at our local - but today that changes.
Under the next phase of Covid-19 alert level 2, bars are once again able to open their doors under certain guidelines.
Some Whanganui bars have been open since the move into level 2 for customers who were dining in. However, they have only been able to purchase a drink if they ordered a meal.
But, from today, the majority of local bars will be open without the dining requirement.
Under the guidelines, up to 100 customers can be on the premises but they will all need to be seated and will be served by a single person.
Groups of no more than 10 must be separated by one metre from other groups or between individuals not in groups.
Contact details must also be kept by the bar to enable contact tracing.
Stellar Bar manager Charlie Meyerhoff said they will be sticking to the same rules that they have implemented since level 2 was announced.
"Everyone needs to be seated, there will be a single server per table, with smoking areas limiting it to one person per table as we don't want people congregating and mixing bubbles outside."
She hopes everyone who comes in to buy a drink or dine is kind and respectful to the staff.
"Just understand that it's a bit more pressure for us. We've got to increase staff numbers in order to keep to the rules."
Contact tracing will be carried out with a contact number and name being taken at each table.
A maitre d' will be at the main door to ensure they do not go over the 100-person cap.
"I think people are still pretty nervous to come out, speaking to a few different restaurants in town," Meyerhoff said.
Next door at The Vic, it has been decided to open only on Friday and Saturday from 5pm.
The St Johns Club will also be opening its doors for the first time in weeks today, with both the bar and restaurant in full swing.
Manager Dennis Dorgan said they will have everything operating, but with a limited number allowed in and with table service done a little differently.
Lucky Bar + Kitchen, which is under new ownership, will not open for another two weeks due to renovations.
New owner Andrew Rennie said he was going to try to open for lunch next week, but decided to push it out for another two weeks to get everything finished.
The Red Lion Inn is also opening a little later than other bars, with its kitchen still undergoing renovations.
Owner Anne Hanna said they will be back in business from 10am on Tuesday, May 26, with new menus in the hotel and bar.
"We're kicking off with burger night and we're looking forward to seeing everyone again," Hanna said.
Whanganui District Council district licensing commissioner Stuart Hylton said people still needed to take responsibility for social distancing and keep up hygiene practices to the required standards.
He said there was some concern about social distancing as, once people got intoxicated, it might fall the wayside.
"I think licensed premises have a role to play as being the guardians and the licence holders and then the police and other agencies will be in the background monitoring but the licensee sets the tone, sets the rules and everyone is aware of what they need to do. Hopefully, people can be adults."
Hylton said it will be a bit odd going into a bar, being seated and staying one metre away from others but everyone will have to get used to the new normal and make it work.
"Getting out and about is part of getting back to normalish life and allowing our economy to reinvigorate itself."