‘It feels fantastic’: Alberta pubs and restaurants reopen in time for Oilers win

EDMONTON — Oilers fans were able to enjoy a beer and NHL hockey inside a pub for the first time this season Monday after the province lifted a nearly two month restriction on in-person drinking and dining.

“It feels fantastic,” said Rick Weidemann, manager at The Pint on 109 Street. 

While Weidemann said he understands the need for the restrictions, watching other people go to work while he couldn’t, was hard. 

“Your shoulders are kind of slouched. You feel like Eeyore. There’s a cloud over you. It almost seems like everyone’s against you and you feel like you’re being singled out,” he said. 

The Pint reopened Monday and hosted a few dozen costumers, most of whom came to see the Oilers beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1.

“It feels good, man. A little normalcy is nice. I feel really safe. They’ve done a good job here,” customer Albin Swamy said. 

“We missed socializing and being part of day-to-day life. So, thank you for lifting the ban,” customer Quang Luong said, adding he felt safe to go out now. 

RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE

Bars and restaurants still have to close early, and customers must sit with people they live with. People who live alone are allowed to attend with cohorts. 

Plastic barriers also line the bar at The Pint to separate groups. 

The Dec. 13 dine-in restriction was lifted Monday as part of the Alberta’s effort to reopen the economy in phases. 

New coronavirus cases as well as hospitalizations and ICU admissions have fallen since restrictions were tightened. 

Still with COVID-19 variants now spreading in Alberta, some health experts think another lockdown may be necessary. 

Staff at The Pint are hoping that doesn’t happen. They’d like to see hours extended, and they’re hoping for an Oilers playoff run in the coming months. 

“I feel real safe. There’s hand sanitizers everywhere. Everybody is wearing masks. Everybody is six feet and sticking to their own groups. I feel fine,” Weidemann said. 

A full list of evolving coronavirus precautions is listed online. 

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