Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are gearing up for what could be a busy week in Saskatoon with events for the Juno Awards set to start in about a fortnight.
The Juno organizing committee sent a request to the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority (SLGA) asking for an extension for liquor service.
The request is for March 13 to 15, and, if granted, will allow service until 3 a.m. rather than 2 a.m.
Hudsons Saskatoon expects around a 20 per cent increase in business over that weekend.
“Throughout a weekend like that, we’ll probably see 4,000-5,000 people come through and I would say it’s probably similar for a lot of places downtown,” said operating partner Greg Clark.
In the past, Clark has noticed the extra hour helps to slowly let patrons out as the night comes to an end.
“It’s a great way for us to be able to ease out the end of our night so you just don’t see hordes of people or lots and lots of people all going out to the street at the same time. It allows our taxi systems and cabs to keep up and it’s a big safety thing as well,” he said.
However, not all establishments will take advantage of the extra hour of service.
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Shift restaurant at the Remai Modern is hosting the welcome party for Juno week, but it won’t stay open past its regular closing time.
“We really don’t have people in here dining past 11 o’clock on a normal basis. We do see those on Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve and times like those, but this liquor extension doesn’t fully pertain to us,” said food and beverage director John Costanzi.
SLGA has granted similar requests in the past, including when Saskatoon last hosted the award show in 2007.