Cessnock's Cafe Manuela offers takeaway cocktails during coronavirus crisis

DRIVE-THROUGH COCKTAILS: Cafe Manuela owner Meryem Sarnelli with some cocktails that can be ordered online and delivered to your car.
DRIVE-THROUGH COCKTAILS: Cafe Manuela owner Meryem Sarnelli with some cocktails that can be ordered online and delivered to your car.

While many restaurants have sadly been forced to close their doors during the COVID-19 crisis, some have introduced new ideas as they try to stay afloat.

Cafe Manuela at West Cessnock is now offering a takeaway drink service - including cocktails - which can be ordered online and delivered to your car out the front of the Wollombi Road cafe.

Following the Federal Government's forced closure of pubs, clubs and dine-in restaurants last Monday, the NSW Government relaxed its liquor laws to allow licensed venues to sell alcohol off-site.

Instead of closing down completely, Cafe Manuela owners Meryem Sarnelli and Nic Bell decided take the opportunity to trial the takeaway service.

"It's time to innovate and do what's best that you can do at the time," Mr Bell said.

"Everything's so fluid right now, you've just got to take it day by day.

'We're just trying to keep things alive for the staff, and future-proof things so when this all blows over, hopefully we'll still have a business."

While they are still assessing their trading hours (stay tuned to their Facebook page for more information), and the viability of serving takeaway food (due to the availability of stock), they kicked off the drive-through drink service on Thursday afternoon.

Cocktails are served in a takeaway cup with a seal over the lid to comply with liquor laws. Customers are reminded to drink responsibly and to not drink and drive.

Beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, soft drink and even beef jerky are also available. Orders can be placed online at cafemanuela.com.au.

Cafe Manuela is located in the PJ O'Neill building (the former Wine Society) at 4 Wollombi Road, Cessnock.

Meanwhile, other restaurants and cafes around the valley are offering family packs of food and other supplies to help people avoid the supermarket queues.

Blanchie's Cafe and Diner in Vincent Street, which is still offering takeaway meals, has put together a $35 'care package' including flour, sugar, rice, pasta, salt, ham, gravy powder, onions, potato, corn, pumpkin and tissues.

Binnorie Dairy at Lovedale has meat packs and fresh milk available, with a 'contact-free' service delivered to your car.

Twine Restaurant at Pokolbin has put together a $280 family pack of meat, fruit, vegetables, milk, bread and two toilet rolls (see the image below or find out more on their Facebook page).

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