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Coronavirus: Montreal bars ensuring safety as sports resume this summer

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WATCH: Montreal sports bars ensuring safety for patrons as sports resume this summer – Aug 2, 2020

With sports returning this summer after months off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Montreal bar owners are getting ready.

“Being a sports bar downtown Montreal, sports coming back is definitely good for business,” McLean’s Pub bartender Kenny MacIntyre said. “It’s super exciting for everybody; it adds a little bit of normalcy.”

Sports bars are still following the guidelines from health officials to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We have social distancing,” said Emily Magee, a server at McLean’s. “We have certain tables where you can’t sit, in order to maintain distancing. We clean all our card machines and we don’t have menus; you access them through QR codes.”

Staff at McLean’s Pub say their customers feel good about the safety measures in place.

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“I think all the patrons who come to McLean’s Pub have felt safe secure; I think they will come back for at least playoff hockey for sure,” said MacIntyre.

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Magee agreed.

“I think people who come out are happy to come out and their energy is what I live off,” she said.

“I hope it brings more people out, so we can engage in that kind of energy as well, cheer with them and have a good time just like we used before the pandemic.”

On Saturday night, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in an overtime thriller.

Montreal bar owners know the Habs winning is good for the city — and good for business.

“We got three hours where everyone forgot about COVID,” Ziggy’s Pub owner Ziggy Eichenbaum said. “Montreal won and people were excited.”

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The Toronto Raptors also won their game Saturday night, 107-92 against the L.A. Lakers.

During their championship run over a year ago, bars downtown were packed, streets were closed off and bar owners are hoping for the same outcome this year — with health and safety in mind.

“It’s great, it’s fantastic, it’s not only hockey, it’s basketball, baseball, all the games are coming back, it brings back the sense of what we were before and it’s coming back again,” Eichenbaum said.

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“(The) health and safety of our customers is the most important thing, we haven’t changed our safety regulations since we have gotten the green light to open.”

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