Montreal bar owner threatens to reopen July 1 unless government offers opening date

Click to play video: 'Montreal bar owners threaten to open, whether the government gives them the green light or not' Montreal bar owners threaten to open, whether the government gives them the green light or not
WATCH: It has been more than three months since bars have been closed and there's still no re-opening in sight for bar owners. And to the dismay of bar owners, restaurants have re-opened and those who have liquor permits are able to serve alcohol. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, frustrated bar owners say they will re-open, whether the government approves or not. – Jun 22, 2020

Bar owners in Montreal argue they’re in an unfair position as they’re not allowed to open while bar-restaurants that serve food have been given the green light to welcome back clients.

Ziggy Eichenbaum claims people are allowed to drink in restaurants without ordering food, but he can’t even open his doors because he doesn’t have a food preparation permit.

“I’m not asking for much. Just let me open like they do. They’re the same as me. The only reason is because I don’t have a kitchen — I can’t open,” Eichenbaum told Global News.

The owner of the iconic drinking establishment on Crescent Street is threatening to reopen on July 1st unless an opening date is provided by the government.

READ MORE: Montreal restaurants, gyms opening at their own pace

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“If I don’t have anything from the government by next week, I’m opening up July 1st,” he said.

Others who work in the restaurant business support Eichenbaum.

Stuart Ashton opened McLean’s Pub Monday and says Eichenbaum should be allowed to do the same.

“He’s done everything in his power to put up the dividers and do his part and it’s a shame,” Ashton said.

The co-owner of McLean’s says he will be operating at only one-third of his normal full capacity and doesn’t expect a rush back to in the immediate future.

But he’s hoping business will increase as summer progresses.

READ MORE: Quebec reports nine additional deaths while several sectors reopen Monday

Monday was the first day restaurants could open after being shuttered for 14 weeks.

“Most of the people who are here are good friends of ours and they’re helping support us,” he said.

It’s a similar situation at Pizzeria Tuscolo’s on Crescent Street.

Physical distancing measures are in place and workers are expecting clients to eventually start returning. But for now, patrons won’t be allowed to come to the restaurant to only drink.

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“People need to order food and it’s mostly you eat, you drink and then you leave,” Elijah Black told Global News.

Eichenbaum just hopes he will be given the same chance as restaurant owners to welcome back his clientele.

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