Restaurant bookings hit in Bahrain
Manama, February 14, 2012
Restaurant bookings in Bahrain have halved this Valentine's Day compared to previous years, as diners fear to travel on the roads in case trouble erupts.
Outlets in Adliya said customers who booked tables tonight were hesitant to show up amid calls for anti-government protesters to march to the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout to mark the first anniversary of the February 14 unrest.
"We have had lots of enquiries from locals and expatriates about bookings, and many have expressed their uncertainty about whether they will be able to make it," said a source at the Gulf Hotel.
"A lot of people haven't confirmed their bookings, as the main worry is being able to get to the hotel if the roads are blocked and there is trouble out on the streets. I would say we are half booked this year, but hopefully it will pick up at the last minute."
An employee at Upstairs Downstairs Restaurant expected people to turn up today despite its reduced number of bookings.
"So far we have 25 bookings, which is less than last year, but we are expecting five more couples for the Valentine's dinner," he said.
"We aren't worried about the roads or security situation, mainly because most of our customers live in the Adliya area so access won't be too much of a problem."
As many restaurants in the area risked waiting till today to celebrate Valentine's amid calls for increased protests, other opted to celebrate the day last weekend.
"Today will be a normal evening," said a source at Meat Company. "We held our Valentine's Day special event last Friday, where there was a meal and a band. "During the mid-week, such celebrations aren't possible, so today we will be open as usual." – TradeArabia News Service