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Restaurant Relaunch: Calgary Business Owners Happy To Be Back

Trolley 5 Brewpub owner wears his mask and meets with returning customers. May 27, 2020 / ISAIAH LINDO FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

The Windsor Rose Pub reopened its doors on Monday and was thrilled to see some regulars back on their terrace.

“Our customers were very grateful, our regulars were all here,” said co-owner George Kaketsis.

He said it was difficult not to be present in the church. Delivery and takeaway only do so much.

Windsor Rose did roadside service and delivery but it was tough on the restaurant.

“It’s not enough to keep a business going. We had to pay our employees and our rent, ”said Kaketsis.

Some bumps along the road

In early May, the Alberta government announced its relaunch strategy, according to which restaurants with a capacity of 50 percent could be reopened.

The day before the first phase began, Prime Minister Jason Kenny announced that Calgary and Brooks would have to wait until May 25th to reopen.

Windsor Rose was one of many restaurants affected by the last-minute cancellation of the first phase of the reopening.

Kaketsis said everything was prepared, everyone was excited to open up, and then they were forced to throw everything away.

Ernie Tsu, owner of Trolley 5 brewery, said they weren’t affected by the short-term change but knew many people who invested their money in reopening it.

Safety is still a top priority

Nathan Moore, General Manager at Local next to their unique hand sanitizer on May 27, 2020. MADASYN KOST / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Since reopening on Monday, Tsu has said the pub has been pretty busy with happy customers.

“It was great. Customers are very happy with the security protocols we have,” he said.

Tsu said they will make sure customers practice physical distancing to keep everyone safe.

“It’s about making sure everyone else is safe,” he said.

Kaketsis said adapting to all new regulations has been a challenge.

“With all of these extra measures we’re taking, it’s definitely difficult to completely change the way we do things,” he said.

Nathan Moore, general manager at Local, said they had done a lot to prepare for the reopening.

“Myself and my team have spent countless hours examining the details of how it could happen to play different scenarios,” he said.

“It’s exciting to bring people back in, but the most important thing right now is safety.”

The changes are still ongoing

With the pick-up and delivery option, some companies have had to adapt their staff.

Kaketsis said he could only offer full-time hours but once things get back to normal he will bring everyone back.

Tsu said they were lucky enough to keep all of their staff and it is clear that they want to be there.

“Everyone wanted to come back so that we could all be back in place,” he said.

Patio visitors enjoy the sun on Local’s updated terrace on May 27, 2020. MADASYN KOST / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Moore said they hadn’t lost any staff out of fear of security. They actually needed more staff on deck to ensure that everything went smoothly and safely.

“If anything, I’d say I need more people with 50 percent capacity than I do when we were full,” he said.

We are just the third day of Calgary’s restaurants reopening and Moore said that today is the busiest.

He said he was excited and optimistic about the future and saw the same feeling in his customers.

“You can feel it, it is tangible that energy is real. People stretch their legs a little, ”he said.

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