The Quebec government still allows restaurants to operate at 50% of their capacity and only until 10 p.m. However, some Montreal restaurateurs are going beyond government guidelines to protect staff and customers before the Christmas holidays.
“We just wanted to close, close,” said Alexandre Cohen, owner of Arthurs Nosh Bar.
The restaurant owner spoke to Global News in his completely empty dining room – a rare sight for St. Henri’s brunch, which sells out on weekends and even weekdays.
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Arthurs Nosh Bar closes its doors until at least December 30. They want to keep their staff safe with the surge in COVID-19 cases in the province.
“We decided that it was best not to take any risks right before the holidays, to make sure that our staff spend time with their families, as some of them did not do so last year,” he said. Cohen said.
Although he said it was the right decision, the ongoing pandemic is proving relentless for small business owners.
“As a business owner, it’s depressing. This is boring, “he said.” There is nothing we can do about it. We are only thinking about the safety of our staff. The safety of our children.
Other restaurants across town, including Vesta and Helicopter, have made the decision to close their dining rooms this weekend as a precaution, some due to epidemics.
Monkland Tavern closed its 52-seat dining room on Friday.
“One of our servers tested positive last week and the rest of us tested negative. But it really touched us and scared us and we realized it wouldn’t go away and it was very common, ”said Barbara Irwin, co-owner of Monkland Tavern.
The local favorite is pivoting again, selling pre-made food and wine inside the restaurant until December 23.
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“Last time it took us weeks to figure out what we were doing, but we kind of hit our stride already and it was like a pickup game,” said co-owner Josh Crowe.
While that may not be a popular opinion, condominium owners say indoor restaurants should be closed like theaters, gyms and bars.
“We’re no different from these other places, the only thing is they stand without their masks or whatever.” So that’s stupid, ”Crowe said.
Before closing, Monkland Tavern had 30 cancellations, so Irwin wonders who still wants to eat out.
“I don’t think people go out, like, even though they’re open until 10:00 am. I don’t think there are a lot of people who are comfortable going out and dining in public, ”she said.
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