Nightclubs and bars gear up for first busy weekend since the start of the pandemic

Nightclubs and bars gear up for first busy weekend since the start of the pandemic
Inside the Duke Saloon

Checking the sound system and getting prepared at The Duke Saloon nightclub, the re-opening means a bit of a scramble, according to general manager, Quincy Leachman.

“We kind of heard whispers and I guess with the other provinces opening up, we shouldn’t have been super surprised. I was a little shocked that they lifted as much as they did,” Leachman said.

They’ve opened before, last fall at half capacity, before having to close, again, due to COVID-19 cases on the rise.

Now Leachman said they’re getting the nightclub ready for what they expect to be a busy weekend with all indoor limits removed.

“Oh, definitely. It’s the best news that we in the nightlife industry have had for two years for sure,” he added.

The lifting of restrictions doesn’t start for another 24-hours, but at Il Terrazzo, owner Shellie Gudgeon said they’re ready.

“Really happy to hear this. This is very good news,” she noted.

As one of Victoria’s largest restaurants, it’s been a tough two years.

Gudgeon said news that indoor events are unlimited in terms of capacity is going to benefit the city’s entire hospitality industry.

“It’ll just be so nice for them to be able to experience 7000 people downtown for a concert. You know, 5000 people downtown for a hockey game or something in the arena where we’re all busy.”

Couples are still getting married, but the wedding industry had to constantly adjust to changes in BC’s restrictions on seated indoor gatherings.

Sara Stevenson, General Manager at The Good Party, said it’s the news they’ve been waiting for.

“We are thrilled. It’s been a really long two years. And this was just the good news that we really, really needed. and our couples needed. it’s better than we were hoping for, to be totally honest with you,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson added that the removal of indoor seating limits is a game-changer.

“There’s a huge pent-up demand. I mean, we’re already almost at capacity for 2022. Really right now we’re looking into 2023.”

It’s estimated that 20 per cent of BC’s restaurants disappeared during the pandemic, and other industries were hit equally hard.

Now they are all hoping they’re prepared to meet the expected demands.

READ MORE: B.C. to lift event capacity limits, restrictions in bars and nightclubs

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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