'Itching to get back to work': Business owners prepare to reopen Monday

Local business owners are preparing for an easing of indoor restrictions on Monday.

Starting at 12:01 a.m., indoor dining, bars, retailers, museums, theatres and religious services can operate at 50 per cent capacity.

"We’re excited to have everybody back in here. I’m sure all our members are excited to come back as well," Nick Anapolsky, owner of Polsky’s Strength & Conditioning said.

According to Anapolsky, keeping clients engaged virtually has been a challenge, but through each lockdown, he’s tried to stay connected with all of his members.

"I feel like it’s the same thing over and over. We keep having déjà vu of being locked down and reopening," Anapolsky said.

Despite being excited to open, the gym owner feels each time his business gets back to a feeling of normalcy, it gets taken away through another lockdown.

"We start to get financially stable again or comfortable with trying to rebuild and get everyone again motivated in what we’re doing. It’s always like we start to feel like we’re going up and up and up, and then we go right back to the start again," Anapolsky said.

Theatres like Princess Cinemas will also be able to open on Monday. Owner John Tutt said he’s excited customers will be allowed to eat and drink, as long as they remain seated.

"Super happy, everybody knows food and beverage is a big part of staying in business as a movie theatre," Tutt said.

Customers will have to show their digital or printed vaccination passport QR code in order to access businesses. Tutt said there might be some confusion at first, but his staff are prepared to help.

"We have a quick search, a quick help for people that need it," Tutt said.

Kentucky Bourbon and BBQ in Waterloo is planning to open its doors at midnight, to take advantage of every hour possible. Owner Adam Cole said reservations are mostly full starting at midnight.

"The guests have been itching to come out, our staff are itching to get back to work, so we figured we'd both give them the opportunity to do that," Adam Cole, owner of Kentucky Bourbon & BBQ said. "Last call is technically 2 a.m., they have until 2:45 a.m., all drinks have to be off the table by 2:45 a.m., so they can't order anything, we do last call at about 1:45 a.m."

Venues will still be required to screen customers before they're able to enter, but businesses will no longer need to collect information for contact tracing.