Local business owners rejoice when capacity limits are removed

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Erie Street stalwart Nico Tavern owner was among local business owners grateful Monday that the provincial government has officially lifted capacity limits for bars, restaurants and many other local businesses.


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“The way we’ve configured everything (the impact of the pandemic) hasn’t been that bad for us,” said Nick Politi, owner of Nico Taverna. “But it will be good to win more seats so that we can maximize what we can do.

“People have still been coming, but this certainly won’t hurt. Every time there is good news like this, people feel more comfortable. “

As of Monday, the government’s COVID-19 reopening plan removed all capacity restrictions for restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities, casinos, personal care services, covered tourist attractions and real estate open houses. Proof of vaccination is still required.

For Nico Taverna, it means that Politi can refill more than 100 seats inside his restaurant to maximum capacity. Under the latest restrictions, the restaurant in the 500 block of Erie Street had been limited to about 80 seats.


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“I just like the fact that this is a positive thing,” Politi said. “Especially anything that helps get people out. We have some new businesses open on the street and this will help everyone, including me. “

Nick Politi, owner of Nico Taverna in Windsor is shown at the Erie Street restaurant on Monday.
Nick Politi, owner of Nico Taverna in Windsor is shown at the Erie Street restaurant on Monday. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Operations at Caesars Windsor have been hampered since the start of the pandemic. As the provincial government released the implementation of the lifting of restrictions on Friday, the casino management team was “excited to see the ease of the capacity restrictions” but was still “reviewing the updated regulations,” said Susanne Tomkins. , public relations manager.

“We will provide more information this week on how this will affect our operation,” he said.

Given that up to 30 percent of its pre-pandemic customers were from the U.S., there are still concerns about how quickly Caesars Windsor may get back to normal operations.


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“We see this as a positive step; however, with the testing protocols that are required to cross the border, along with the vaccination and masking requirements, we do not expect to see a material impact on our business at this time, “said Tomkins.

As far as the casino’s concert hall is concerned, the impact of government announcements and changes in restrictions is also still being studied, he said.

“Stay tuned for the reopening announcements (for the concert hall) as we work out the details of last Friday’s announcement from the province,” Tomkins said.

Caesars Windsor will be seen on Friday, October 22, 2021.
Caesars Windsor will be seen on Friday, October 22, 2021. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Nic Puim, owner of the Dugout Sports Lounge on Ouellette Avenue, said Monday that the lifting of capacity limits couldn’t come at a better time given the rapidly changing weather and outdoor seating at his bar and restaurant no longer are doable.


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Its smallest establishment has an interior capacity of 82 seats that has been reduced to 38 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We were lucky to have 10 tables outside on our patio, so literally the entire summer has been replacing what we can’t do indoors,” said Puim. “Hopefully we no longer have to turn down income at the door. That everyone can be in here will be great. “

He assumed it would take a couple of weeks for customers to adjust and feel comfortable returning inside his restaurant, and any other, with no set capacity limit restrictions.

“People are still cautious, but they have gotten used to everything approaching the end of all this,” said Puim. “We are trying to get back to where we were before all this, so any step forward for us is good news.”

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