Restaurant owners disheartened, but not surprised, by Alberta's mandated patio closures
The owners of Prairie Dog Brewing in southeast Calgary plan to open their new patio on Friday and close it at the conclusion of the weekend when new restrictions go into effect.
CALGARY -- Patio season in Alberta will be temporarily halted in the coming days, eliminating the lone avenue restaurants and bars had for serving patrons in-person.
As per the new restrictions announced Tuesday evening by Premier Jason Kenney, establishments in Alberta will no longer be permitted to offer al fresco dining effective 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges and cafes in Alberta may continue to offer take-out or delivery.
The patio restrictions are the latest challenge for a restaurant industry that has faced numerous pandemic-related obstacles over the last 14 months.
Preparations are underway at Prairie Dog Brewing — located in Calgary's Manchester Industrial Park — to temporarily close for a third time, mere days after celebrating progress with their plans to welcome customers back.
The owners of the BBQ and craft beer pub had recently reached an agreement with their landlord to construct a parking lot patio and had purchased $10,000 in materials.
"We've spent all of our savings, all of our capital, everything that we could, into staying through the open-close, open-close," said Laura Coles, Prairie Dog Brewing co-founder. "But this time around, it's definitely put us — we're scraping the bottom of the bucket and doing the best to still support our community while supporting our 33 staff members."
Prairie Dog Brewing hopes to open its new patio on Friday with plans to keep it open until the new restrictions go into effect on Sunday.
Nearly half of all patio permit applications submitted to the City of Calgary this year had yet to be approved when the province announced the new restrictions Tuesday.