Courthouse Bar and Grill owner Brain Gleeson opened his doors on Friday for dine-in service, for the first time since late March.
"We opened at 11am and had a few people booked in for lunch," he said.
"We can have six people in the bar and 10 in the bistro, that's all that we can get in.
"People have gotten used to going to each other's houses so it will be a bit of a challenge, but at least it is a start and we will see where it takes us.
"We are still doing takeaway burgers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
WANT TO READ MORE OF TODAY'S NEWS? CLICK HERE
Regional Victoria welcomed new restrictions at 11.59pm on Wednesday, allowing patrons to eat-in at restaurants, cafes and pubs.
Mr Gleeson was relieved to welcome back diners but said the government's plan to increase outdoor dining space was not a viable option for them.
"We are pretty stuffed where we are. There is a fence right at the front of our building ... there is nowhere to put chairs and tables at the front.
"It wouldn't be practicable unless they change the curbing. Unfortunately for us, it's not much of a goer.
"With the four square metre rule you aren't going to get many seats out there anyway."
"Our red line area ends at the entrance of the building, so for people to dine out there with alcohol, we would have to get an extension of the red line to the footpath ... which could take months to get."
Hotel Rex owner Hayden Crawford also reopened on Friday and said they already had bookings for lunch and dinner.
"It's a relief ... the takeaway was just tying us over. It was never going to keep us in business that's for sure," he said.
"It's good that's happening but it would be nice if it were more people. I suppose you got to take what you're given.
"We did the application for council yesterday for outdoor dining."
Lake Bolac Pub owner Ian Bennett said it was "not easy" being closed for six months.
"We have had zero income for six months but the bills have kept rolling in," he said.
"We have limitations still ... but we are going to go ahead and reopen, and we are looking forward to it."
Mr Bennett said they would reopen the pub for dine-in service on Friday, September 25.
"It's a big challenge and we are getting ourselves organised. We have applied to the council for some streetscape outdoor dining.
"That's going to help us a lot. We are getting some umbrellas and outdoor tables."
Do you have a story to share? Get in touch - email@example.com.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Ararat Advertiser, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ararat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.