Coronavirus: Saskatchewan restaurants, bars greet 1st customers in months

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WATCH: One Saskatoon pub was full of patrons within less than an hour of reopening – Jun 8, 2020

The Yard & Flagon Pub in Saskatoon hadn’t made a cent in months — until Monday.

Within less than an hour of opening at 11 a.m., the pub was full of patrons.

It’s one of many restaurants and bars welcoming customers for the first time since March, as part of Phase 3 of the Re-open Saskatchewan plan.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan restaurant owners eyeing reopening day with caution

The Yard co-owner said he opened the doors with the hope of doing some financial damage control.

“We’ve just been accumulating debt,” Grills told Global news.

“If we’re … able to start paying some bills and as long as we’re able to pay our staff, that really is a success.”

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Restaurants can operate at half capacity — a government guideline that has many owners worried they won’t break even.

“The longer they do that, I think the more need there might be to stretch those [financial support] programs out,” Grills said.

It could take years to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan restaurants brace for hardship once dine-in service resumes

Still, outlooks were optimistic on reopening day.

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“I’m nervously excited,” said Daniel Ford Beavis, co-owner of O’Shea’s Irish Pub in downtown Saskatoon.

“It feels like it did … over 18 years ago when we first opened the doors here.” 

Staff at The Yard and O’Shea’s are wearing masks and cleaning regularly.

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Tables have been spread out to allow for physical distancing, while O’Shea’s installed plexiglass barriers at its bar. 

“We’re ready and the staff is ready and we just want to get back to doing our jobs,” Ford Beavis said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: What you can and can’t do as Saskatchewan moves to Phase 3 of its reopening plan

Many restaurant doors stayed shut on Monday.

Rebellion Brewing in Regina is waiting until Tuesday to reopen.

“[We’re] definitely going to take our time with everything,” taproom manager Jen Muscoby said. “We’re not opening up completely.”

The brewery is only opening its patio and is limiting its hours from noon to 6 p.m., she said.

It will limit people to two drinks, to reduce the wait time for other customers.

“I’m expecting a lot of people to just sit down and smile and be thankful to be here,” Muscoby said, “even if it is just for a couple beers.”

— With files from Allison Bamford

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Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan enters Phase 3 of reopening, majority of businesses opening – Jun 8, 2020

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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