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Mois de la Fierté
Home & Garden Guide
Restaurant owners and hairdressers in Ontario got a bit of good news this week, as the province announced they could finally reopen for business on Friday June 12, but with restrictions and protocols to respect. After months of closure, local hairdressers heaved a sigh of relief, but their relief was swiftly replaced with stress as their appointment books began filling up fast and they waited on directions to ensure staff and client safety post-Covid. As for restaurants, many local establishments are still left without option to open, as only patio service will be allowed and several have little or no outdoor seating.
A mixed bag for local restaurants
“We are opening our patio on Friday and we’re looking forward to it,” said Lavigne Tavern owner Guy Fortier. “We’ve been open for take-out now for the last 3 weeks, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and prior to that we were closed completely. It’s been a bit of a challenge to say the least. We are anxious… and bored. No live entrainment on the horizon yet, as they haven’t said when they would allow that. The announcement came down the pipes on Monday so we’ve had to place emergency orders as I just kind of let my inventory run down as we weren’t selling beer and stuff like that. So we ordered more refreshments and going to be doing some work on our outdoor area to give us a bigger patio space and try to accommodate as many people as we can.”
Fortier said the news is a bit of a “light at the end of the tunnel,” but it won’t bring back all the lost income. “It’s allowing us to open up and host again. It’s nice… until it rains. Then we’re back to square one. We get a rainy week and I wipe out an entire week’s worth of business. But it is a little bit of good news and it’s done wonders for the morale of myself and my staff. My staff is chomping to get back to work as they’ve been without income as well… we’re really looking forward to it.”
Don Leblanc has had his two Sturgeon Falls restaurants, Padou’s and Don’s Bar and Grill, closed with no prospect of reopening for now. Padou’s on Main Street has no outdoor area, and Don’s Pub has only a small patio that he deems inadequate for social distancing. Don’s Pub has been offering take-out for the past few weeks, while Padou’s remains closed entirely.