West Dorset is spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drink and the good news is bars and restaurants can reopen next month.

The news has been met with mixed reaction from local eateries and pubs.

Dorshi, Bridport, has been open for takeaway through lockdown and intends to stay that way for now.

"Unfortunately we wont be opening on July 4 as we don't think we'll be ready to safely or profitably operate by that date," said owner Radhika. "For now we are going to remain as a takeaway and look forward to welcoming dine-in guests in the very near future."

Soulshine on South Street has also been active throughout lockdown, baking for food bank Cupboard Love and Soulshine staff plus a Saturday morning box delivery. It's unsure how things will work but says 'it is time to be creative and also be ready to adjust.'

The cafe has also been offering some takeaway. A spokesman for Soulshine said: "All our regulars have been super kind and supportive and made lots of orders. It has been tough because things keep changing and there are just not as many people out there. A lot of people, for a long time, were just about up for the risk for groceries and then home for coffee. We are going to try and keep spreading Soulshine in all different ways.

"You may come to Soulshine on a Wednesday in July and see it set up in one way and then come the following Saturday and find a new system. We will keep trying to get it right for everybody."

Ross and Claire Moore run the Station Kitchen at West Bay. Their initial reaction to lockdown was worry and what would happen to their staff. They've since been running a takeaway service and plan to make this a permanent fixture after converting a hut on site, now called The Ticket Office.

Ross said: "I have to say that the Government's reaction to how it’s helped small businesses has been second to none. We are so thankful we live such an amazing country. I’m not going to touch on other aspects of the Government's handling of the coronavirus, but from a business perspective, it has been truly exceptional. There have been grants, furlough pay and bounce back loans for those that need it.

"I always say ‘when you’re backed into a corner, come out fighting’ this is exactly what ourselves and many other local businesses have done since the start of lockdown."

The Ticket Office will be offering posh sarnies, a cupcakery, cream teas, hot and cold drinks and various other goodies. The Station Kitchen will reopen on July 4 and is already nearly fully booked.

"Social distancing in a train carriage is a little challenging," said Ross. "But by losing just four tables, we can operate at around 75 per cent capacity. This leaves enough room for everyone to stay at least a metre away from each other. We now have our own toilets at Station Kitchen and will be enforcing a one in, one out policy to keep within the guidelines. Although we do have his and hers so this will apply to each side independently. Our diary is rapidly filling up for this summer, if anyone would like to book, please get in touch."

Darren Moore, of The Woodman on South Street, says the news is good overall, however, he added: "Sadly, like all announcements, the details have yet to be released which makes it difficult to make a decision. We will have to re arrange the pub and outside seating. The way people order and limit customers.

"Also it’s what we can get hold of from the producers and how people feel about going out again. Plus the issue of inside; it’s restricted to people from two households which will be very difficult to prove, and what do we do if it begins raining?

"We are not that large and it’s a cost situation versus wages until the distancing is moved."

Bridport Local Food Group says it will be working hard with local businesses to help promote and support them.

Chairman Kathy Dare said: "Bridport and the surrounding area is blessed with amazing food and drink businesses, and we have been so lucky throughout lockdown to have so many hospitality businesses who have remained open and how they operate to be able to offer home delivery and collection services so their customers can still enjoy their food and drink. There has been no reason locally why we haven't been able to still enjoy great food and drink.

"Now that lockdown is easing and our hospitality venues can re-open both outdoors and indoors in a 'covid-secure way' they face further challenges. Not only how they get their venue open with social distancing and still keep the customer experience, but also whether it will be financially viable to do so. The hospitality industry has been hit extremely hard by the pandemic, being the first to be closed and one of the last to be able to re-open. Whatever they decide to do they are going to need our support more than ever.

"I'm sure we are all keen to support our wonderful cafes, restaurants and pubs, but don't expect it to be the same, it is going to be a completely different experience - a learning experience for all of us.

"We’ve had to adjust since the lockdown 3 months ago. It’s been tough for every business, not just hospitality businesses. Although, hospitality was one of the first industries to close and one of the last to open, so it’s been particularly hard for us in this sector."