LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- Thursday cafes, restaurants, hair salons and museums were able to allow the public inside their doors for the first time in two months.

For all of them, it felt pretty great.

“After being in quarantine for so long it’s great to see the economy open up again,” said Water Tower Grill customer Douglas Bergen. “It’s the social element - we do a lot of business when we go out for lunch.”

Business owners are happy to be taking people in.

“We’re really excited to open back here all our employees are happy to get back to work” said owner of the Water Tower Grill and Bar Ram Khanal.

The Grill is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week and Khanal hopes to regain some of that lost revenue of the past few months, a feeling shared by fellow Lethbridge small business owners.

“To get people back to work, to get people in our seats and to offer not just dine in but also take out and Skip (the Dishes) services as well is huge for us,"said  Hudson’s Pub operating partner Jesse Dixon, "because it’s been a tough eight weeks.”

Dixon is excited for the pub to have its doors open, Sunday through Thursday 3-9 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 3 p.m. to midnight.

Bookstores are also happy to be back in business.

“We have been looking forward to it for a long time” said Big John’s Books owner John Pyska. “It’s been so much nicer. It’s nice to have some one to actually talk to. Usually I just sit here all day by myself.”

Lethbridge hair salon

Prior to Phase one reopening Big John’s Book Store was offering pickups.

One entity unable to do that is hair salons, which are now open for business.

“Kind of mixed feelings about being open, but here we are, we are open. I’m excited, I’m positive” said Levi Cox, the owner of Catwalks Salon. “I cannot wait to kind of uplift the community and my clients and friends and staff. Hair is much more than looks - it recharges you.”

But for everyone, owners or customers, it feels like Thursday offered a sense of relief and step towards normalcy that won’t be taken for granted.

“It’s time for us to prove that we can be responsible and open up this economy” said Bergen.