Feeling bitter-sweet at the keepers bar

Un sentiment doux-amer chez les tenanciers de bars

Jérémy Bernier

The reopening of the bars leaves a bitter taste with bar owners. Some institutions in Quebec will remain closed because of the distancing of 2 meters “, which kills the essence of a bar”, according to owners.

Martin Walsh, the owner of the Brewery, the grim Reaper on the rue St-Jean, will not open its doors for the time being.

He describes his establishment as focusing on the “nightlife” and the party atmosphere, which is totally contrary to the principle of distancing according to him.

“We open at 19h and our fort is between midnight and 3 o’clock. The action happens around the bar. This misrepresents completely what it is and it is not yet desperate to change our nature,” says the entrepreneur.

To make the law

The latter therefore prefer to stay closed rather than having to “fight” with the customer.

“If one opens, I have to hire someone full-time to the police to the toilet and everywhere. This is not profitable, and I don’t want to start to make the repression in a place that should be festive,” says Martin Walsh, well decided to wait for release of the rules.

The Midnight Blue, a nightclub located in the basement of the Phoenix in Saint-Roch, will remain closed also for some time.

“The conditions are completely ridiculous. You can’t make the law and prevent people from having fun by telling them to stay seated and not dance”, complains the owner of the establishment, Alain Tremblay.

You have to dream in colours to hope that people respect the measures of alienation in an institution of this kind, he believes.

“[The government] gives us hope, one is happy with the new one. But in the end, you may not receive clients. This is ridiculous.”

Open, but…

For its part, the owner of the Bar Lionel, on avenue Chauveau, will open its doors Monday, but will analyze the situation closely.

“There is one thing for sure is that I will not make a cenne with it,” said Guy Baillargeon, who must reduce its capacity from 100 to 32 places to meet the two meters.

“Will have to fight with the world, so that it respects the distance. And the worst of it is that it is we who are entirely responsible. So, if I see that it doesn’t work, I’m going to close,” says the bartender who has lived a day of bitter-sweet.

“We are happy to finally be able to open, but the ambience, forget it, it’s over for a bit”, he laments.

“It’s going down”

At the cabaret club on The Drag, we are looking forward to the new, but it is not illusion.

“If the government maintains this [way of doing] in the medium term, for us, it is like removing a leg and an arm. We can try struggle as one wants in the water, but sooner or later we will sink”, image the owner Jean-Philippe Blondeau, who is believed to be unable to get through the holiday season if nothing changes.

Even if two additional areas of the institution will be open today, there will be only 150 seats, which is far to compensate for the 800 to 1000 regular customers Friday night.

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