Advertisement

Some Calgary shops choose to not fully open their doors despite COVID-19 restrictions being lifted

Some Calgary shops choose to not fully open their doors despite COVID-19 restrictions being lifted
WATCH: For the first time in weeks, Calgary hair salons, restaurants and bars welcomed customers back in on Monday. But as Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, some businesses are in no rush to fully reopen right away.

On Monday, Calgary restaurants, bars and salons were permitted to join the rest of the province in Phase 1 of the relaunch, but some have decided to take it slow.

Cold Garden Brewery didn’t advertise its soft opening on Monday, but people were quick to grab a seat in the lunchtime sun. The popular Inglewood hangout is only opening at 25 per cent capacity for now to allow more time for staff to get comfortable with all the new rules.
“It is not worthwhile to open if we remain at this occupant load at 25 per cent,” Cold Garden Brewery co-owner Dan Allard said.
“So it’s at a loss right now but we are of the opinion that this is going to be the system for a while so the sooner our staff can get comfortable with this new normal, the sooner we can get to that 50 per cent occupant load.
Story continues below advertisement
Allard  said they haven’t been making any profit over the last couple of months but at least he didn’t have to lay off staff.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“At 25 per cent, with the success of the delivery side, we are able to break even on wages so everyone has remained hired. So it can be a break-even scenario but the company doesn’t make any money.”
The owner of Shades of Sleep and Accessories is open by appointment only. Sheila Connell wants to be able to provide clients with a great experience which she says is hard to do when the store is lightly staffed.
“I know for some of the other stores that have opened in Calgary and Vancouver there are problems with shoplifters right now because they are not back to full staff. That is a concern for me. And financially, I am just not ready to bring staff back yet,” Connell said Monday.
Story continues below advertisement
Across 9 Avenue in Inglewood, Circa Vintage Art Glass is also open by appointment only. The owner experimented with opening on the weekend, but he figures it won’t be worth it to open full time, judging by how slow the walk by traffic was so far.
“I am taking a fairly cautious approach to it,” said owner Brian Imeson, who has been operating Circa Vintage Art Glass for 18 years. “I’m in no big hurry to kick the doors wide open. My priority is the safety of my clients and the people in the gallery overall.”
The head of the Inglewood BRZ said other retailers are slow to jump back in entirely because they’ve discovered success in selling their wares online.

READ MORE: Calgary and Brooks get green light to move forward with Stage 1 of Alberta’s relaunch strategy

“Some businesses have been reluctant to speak publicly about how well their business is doing because they don’t want to make other businesses feel bad,” said executive director Rebecca O’Brien.
O’Brien said there’s a wide spectrum of responses from shops and restaurants in Inglewood with some opening fully and others holding back for now with everyone trying to find their own comfort zone.