When the COVID-19 alert level in Kahnawake dropped recently from red to orange for the first time since last fall, it meant that local restauranteurs could allow diners back into their establishments – even if it’s only locals for the time being – and that’s a wonderful piece of progress that will allow local restaurants to get back into the business of serving customers on site, said one local restaurant operator.
“It’s incredible to be able to open again and allow people back into the brewpub,” said Kahnawake Brewing Co. head of brewing Drew Stevens.
Since last fall, Stevens and his restaurant have only been allowed to serve take-out fare, which is a tough sell for a brewpub. But with sales of brews helping their cause and serving delivery to Kahnawake and Chateauguay and take-out from Thursday to Sunday nights their only recourse the last few months, Stevens said the brewpub has “kept its head above water,” and has once more re-arranged its dining room to welcome patrons at 25 per cent capacity.
“We’ve knocked down a wall, and we have created quite a bit more space in an effort to seat as many people safely as we are allowed. It’s pretty cool and we are glad to se that the community has come out to support local business,” he said, adding the KBC has added an outdoor seating area that can be filled at 100-percent capacity.
“It’s only locals that can come eat here for the moment and people that work on the territory, but that’s a good start and we can only hope that we can continue to serve up delicious food and high-quality brews,” the Chateauguay resident said.
The hard work of creating a safe space for diners now done, Stevens said he is excited to get on with the real work of running a restaurant day to day.
“This is a lifesaver, honestly,” he said. “We are just getting staff back and employed at 100 percent, and getting some new staff on board, with the extra measures that have been put in place and that have to be complied with and it’s just really, really great to get some people back to work,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to a great summer of serving great food and excellent beer,” he added.
Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase