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.
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.”
Restaurants can operate at half capacity — a government guideline that has many owners worried they won’t break even.
It could take years to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
Still, outlooks were optimistic on reopening day.
“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.
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.
Many restaurant doors stayed shut on Monday.
Rebellion Brewing in Regina is waiting until Tuesday to reopen.
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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