Another Regina business has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a local business association says it likely won’t be the last.
After temporarily closing during the pandemic lockdown, Hunter Gatherer Vegetarian Diner will not reopen, according to a Facebook post Tuesday.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I have to announce that Hunter Gatherer Vegetarian Diner will not be re-opening, at least not in its current iteration,” the post said.
“After all of our setbacks, and the uncertainty of the industry going forward, we just can’t push through.”
In the last year, the restaurant has faced a number of break-ins, a forced pandemic closure and a kitchen fire in July that seriously damaged the building.
The diner was the second Regina business to announce its permanent closure on Tuesday.
Laser Quest, located in the city’s north end, also confirmed its closure on social media.
In the post, the company said “as much as we wanted to re-open, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting uncertain economic climate have made the continued operation of our location next to impossible.”
John Hopkins, Regina and District Chamber of Commerce CEO, said businesses that rely on a large number of people in one space are being impacted the most.
“There are still a lot of challenges for a lot of businesses particularly those in the food service industry where you have capacity issues in terms of trying to make revenue,” Hopkins said.
These kinds of business closures are expected to last into the new year, according to Hopkins.
“I suspect as we move ahead and there’s less and less government support for different types of businesses, we may see more closures not less,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said adapting business models to better deliver services in a pandemic-friendly way can help pivot companies to turn a profit.
The Chamber of Commerce continues to emphasize the importance of supporting local.
“Communities need to help communities, and provinces need to help provinces,” Hopkins said.
“If there’s an opportunity to shop local … it’s important to do that because it’s our families, friends and neighbours working at these places.”