Some restaurants on Haida Gwaii hosting dine-in guests again

Some restaurants on Haida Gwaii started hosting a limited number of dine-in guests as early as Tuesday, May 19, 2020, when the province entered the second phase of its COVID-19 restart plan. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)
The Oceanview Restaurant in Queen Charlotte started hosting dine-in guests again on Thursday, May 21, 2020, with limited hours and seating. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Friday, May 22, 2020 was the first full day that Leona Dawn reopened her barbershop, which she runs out of her home in Queen Charlotte. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Restaurant seating is beginning to reopen on Haida Gwaii.

The Queen B’s Cafe in Queen Charlotte started hosting a limited number of dine-in guests on Tuesday when the province entered the second phase of its COVID-19 restart plan.

ALSO READ: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to re-open parts of society

Owner Dana Adams said the cafe had been serving takeout items throughout the ongoing pandemic, with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in place.

The rules the cafe is following to be able to host dine-guests again, she said, include limiting capacity to a maximum of 15 people allowed inside at a time, spaced at least six feet apart. Tables are also spaced at least six feet apart and there may be up to six people per table who are in the same social bubble.

ALSO READ: WorkSafe BC issues COVID-19 guidelines as businesses ready to reopen

“It’s great that we can have people [dine]-in again,” Adams said.

However, she added that money will still be tight since the cafe is limited to 50 per cent capacity.

“We’ll see how it goes.”

ALSO READ: Village of Queen Charlotte council meets to discuss eventual ‘reopening’ of Haida Gwaii

The Oceanview Restaurant also began hosting a limited number of dine-in guests on Thursday.

The restaurant had announced its temporary closure on March 23 due to COVID-19, until starting to accept takeout orders for pizza on April 20.

“Well the time has come!” the restaurant announced in a Facebook post on May 21. “We have limited inside seating (with lots of rules of course).”

Owner Lorelei Krueger told the Observer they reopened seating for a maximum of 30 people at a time, compared to the 60 or so people they are normally able to accommodate.

“It’s different for each place depending your space,” Krueger explained, adding that like Queen B’s, the restaurant is also required to observe the cap of six people per table.

“It’s a step in the right direction, but we won’t recover from what our sales normally would be with tourism.”

The restaurant has limited hours for its reopened seating, on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m., and while the menu includes more than pizza, it is also still limited.

“We don’t want to waste [food],” Krueger said.

Asked about the outlook for the summer months, she said “it’ll depend on the business and what we see for traffic.”

“If there is a demand, then we will follow the demand,” she said. “It’s kind of a wait-and-see.”

ALSO READ: Haida Gwaii restaurant owner joins #OneTable campaign, calls for government support

Leona Dawn also reopened her in-home barbershop in Queen Charlotte on May 22, trimming the hair of 10 clients throughout the day.

Since she only cuts one person’s hair at a time, Dawn said she did not have to go to great lengths to reopen.

However, she is required to wear a mask and has installed a homemade hand-washing station outside the front door, which is fed by her garden hose.

Clients are asked to call 250-559-7875 to make appointments only, since walk-ins are prohibited by the new COVID-19 business regulations.

ALSO READ: WorkSafe BC increases inspections by 50% as businesses reopen

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