Alberta's new COVID-19 restrictions close winterized patios


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“There’s going to be some layoffs for sure because of our reduced capacity,” he said. “I don’t know how many. We’re just going to kind of see how things go.”

Downton said the cafe is offering pick-up and delivery while the retail section of the store is open at 15 per cent capacity.

Wayne Jones, co-owner of Rocky Mountain Icehouse, said he spent about $20,000 as well to turn his outdoor patios into a comfortable place for customers to sit during the winter months. He said he spent weeks speaking with the city to get the necessary approvals but just as he was preparing to welcome guests, the province announced the new restrictions.

Jones praised the city for speeding the approval process as much as possible.

“We gotta do what we gotta do and follow what (Alberta Health Services) is suggesting,” Jones said. “It’s not great for us but I look at it as an investment. I think we have to make people feel comfortable outside and that’s where I think people do feel the most comfortable. We put in Plexiglas, we built a pergola and just got these incredible heaters out there. We have to shut down right now but I’m hoping that we will get some use out of them.”

He said the restaurant will be starting to offer takeout on Tuesday. Customers will be able to pick up their orders through what Jones describes as a walk-thru patio.

Jones said he has had to lay off staff and is now operating with five people. Before the pandemic, he employed roughly 50. He said the short-term goal is simply to survive.

“I’m hoping (the new restrictions are) only four weeks but it could be eight weeks,” Jones said. “It would be into March. We don’t know. Hopefully, it won’t be, but you gotta play by the rules that are set.”

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December 15, 2020 |

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