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Pandemic restrictions and flood hamper downtown Kingston, Ont. bar

Downtown Kingston Bar, Barcadia has been dealing with a string of bad luck. Global News

Barcadia, a downtown Kingston bar and arcade, has been forced to use some “extra lives” after a recent flood damaged 13 of their standup classic arcade games.

The flood happened when a pipe burst in its ceiling last week.

“There are a couple of inches of water on the floor, games were filled with water, the drywall had fallen all over them,” said Robbie Sheldon, co-owner. “It’s just a bit of a nightmare.”

The nightmare had started out as a dream when he and his business partner Bambi Gray assumed ownership of Barcadia in October.

Gray said they had a great November, but then a dreadful December arrived, and with it Omicron and the restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the new variant.

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“So, they couldn’t serve alcohol past 10 o’clock. Now, this was incredibly unfortunate because we normally pick up as a social bar around 10 o’clock,” Gray said.

The new owners opted to close over Christmas, then the new provincial restrictions kicked in, forcing them to stay closed.

During all this upheaval, they also had a storefront window smashed in.

Yet despite the challenges, the owners saw an opportunity. Gray and Sheldon said they had planned to renovate anyway. Things like the flooding just sped up their plans.

“We did see the silver lining. This was a great opportunity,” Gray said.

Even though their insurance covered only a portion of the damages, others have stepped up, such as their landlord.

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“He’s like, ‘I’m going to get my insurance company in and check it out and maybe we can work together and you can be the contractor on this and you can actually make some money for the money you lost.'”

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Pizza has been donated by Paradiso and patrons have offered support as well.

“To see them reaching out online, it means the world to us,” said Haley Squires, bar manager.

“We’re so excited to have them back. We’re hoping to do something for them when we can be back and open again.”

The owners say that if renovations continue as planned, they hope to have Barcadia back open to the public by the first Thursday or Friday as restrictions loosen at the end of the month.

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