Some relieved at extended dining-in hours

In expectation of diners: A worker cleaning tables at one of the ­roadside stalls in George Town, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: After months of takeaways only, the tables in many popular eateries here remain empty even though dine-in hours are now allowed till midnight.

A check around lunchtime yesterday showed that although many restaurants have restarted dine-in service, few diners were seen enjoying hot meals with fresh brews of teh tarik.

One patron, Que Ramzan, 20, was glad to be able to sit down with his business associates – all fully vaccinated – at an eatery that was otherwise devoid of dine-in customers.

“It is a relief. I used to come here at least twice a week,” he said at the popular Sup Hameed stall in Penang Road.

Dining in had been allowed in the state from 6am to 10pm for weeks and on Thursday, it was extended to midnight.

Que, a businessman, said that with the longer operating hours for eateries and other businesses, it was much more convenient for those who had to work late to find food.

Factory worker Rhefzail Md Salleh, 20, too was pleased that he could now enjoy good food after work.

“It is definitely easier for us who work till late at night. It’s just not practical to bring packed food from home every day,” he said.

Sup Hameed owner Shahul Hameed Kader Bramsha said he expected more customers to return to his stall soon.

“Now, business is still kind of slow.

“I think we’ll see more customers in a few more days,” he said.

At Nasi Kandar Beratur stall in Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling here, a long-time haunt for those craving nasi kandar, only a handful of customers buying takeaways were spotted on Thursday night.

Owner Ajmer Ali Liakat Ali said they would resume their dine-in service only during the weekend.

“But we will extend our operating hours until midnight,” he said.

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