By ANNA USHER

For Mosman resident Matt Cowley, it really has been a long time between drinks.

The 52-year-old broke a 15-week self-imposed booze ban and was the first resident to enjoy a tap beer when the pubs opened on Monday.

Mr Cowley was first through the door of Mosman RSL at 10am, and wasted no time placing his order.

Sipping from a schooner of icy cold Carlton Draught, he told Mosman Collective it was the best beer he had ever tasted.

“This feels like a religious experience,” he said, “I’ve dreamt about this moment for 106 days.”

Mosman local Matt Cowley was first at the bar this morning, after 106 days off the beers!

Mr Cowley is just one of many lower north shore locals who will hit pubs, gyms, hairdressers and cafes to enjoy Sydney’s ‘Freedom Day’ after months of social starvation.

Bathers Pavilion was a full house from 7:30am, with diners enjoying their first sit down restaurant meal after lockdown.

Bathers Pavilion say they are “thrilled” to have patrons back at the iconic restaurant.

Kazzi Beach Greek also welcomed scores of hungry locals, who didn’t let the wet weather dampen their spirits.

Manager Simon Moclan, grinning from ear-to-ear, said, “it is the best feeling to be serving our customers again.”

Local barbers had queues outside 8am, and nail salons were also at total capacity.

“It will remain this way for a few days as people rush to get their hair done, have a manicure and enjoy a sit-down drink,” Councillor Roy Bendall told Mosman Collective.

“Despite the rain, it’s been a great morning to see so many people on the street and supporting local business.

“I’ll be heading to the pub for a drink today and am really looking forward to seeing my mates face-to-face.”

Local barber shops reporting huge numbers lined up for hair cuts today.

Mosman Club and The Fernery General Manager Gerard Boyle said staff are well prepared and ready for drinkers and diners this week.

“We are thrilled to be back in business,” he told Mosman Collective, “our staff are vaccinated, and all systems are in place to make the club experience safe,” he said.

“We’ve had locals popping in for a beer since 10am, and there’s been no confusion or trouble with the new rules.

“Members simply need to show their proof of vaccination when they sign in, they must have a mask on when ordering at the bar, and they must sit down while drinking.

“It’s all been smooth sailing, and fingers crossed it stays that way.”

The Buena turned their taps on at Midday.

Big queues waiting for a beer!