Restaurants and movie theatres opened to 50 per cent capacity this week, Saturday will be the first weekend that people can take advantage of it. But right now, it’s already making a difference for small business owners.
A month ago, Nada Salame’s restaurant, Miss Molly’s, was empty. On Friday, the lunch crowd is back. Finally able to fill half her restaurant.
“We’re happy to open again and see all of our customers,” says Salame. “The last month was very hard on us. We are behind on all of our payments, on rent, on everything.”
Saturday morning is usually her busiest day of the week, and she’s worried she might have to turn people away.
“We used to have a lineup with full capacity,” says Salame. “So I don’t know about tomorrow, how it’s going to be. We feel bad telling customers that we can’t sit more than 50 per cent.”
Salame also able to bring back her entire staff. Vanessa Monsour has been a waitress here for 17 years.
“It feels really good to be back to work,” says Monsour. “We’re seeing lots of familiar faces and lots of new faces. It’s well needed here.”
And those having lunch here on Friday, like Dianne Wyman and Chas Simpson, glad that indoor dining is finally back.
“We’re coming out because we’re so happy that everything opened up,” says Wyman. “And we’ve been supporting this business all along.”
Simpson adds, “Well the plate speaks for itself. It’s not something I would eat on my lap in the car. So it’s a real treat to be able to eat indoors again.”
Something else that people will be looking to do this weekend is to take in a movie. Thomas Harding has already seen Spider-Man – No Way Home, but he wanted to bring his mom Barb Moulton to see it for the first time.
“Sort of have the big blockbuster movie experience, lights and everything. It’s pretty cool,” says Harding.
“I like Landmark because they have the special drinks,” says Moulton. “You can’t get that stuff at home.”
Like restaurants, theatres can open to 50 per cent capacity. They are also bringing back movies that people might have missed due to lockdowns that normally would have been out of theatres by now.
“We are here to see the new Spider-Man movie because theatres are finally back open, and we are huge movie fans. And we’re excited to be here,” says Robyne Drover who brought her two boys with her. Their favourite part according to her son William, the popcorn.
“I’m so happy that movie theatresare open so we can go have popcorn again,” says William.