London nightlife braces for new COVID-19 restrictions
Published Friday, September 25, 2020 7:31PM EDT
LONDON, ONT. -- London’s nightlife is now forbidden from running into the early morning hours, with the 'last call' to serve alcohol moving to 11:00 p.m.
The provincial government announced tighter restrictions on restaurants and bars to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
As of 12:01am on Saturday, all food and drink sellers in Ontario must stop serving alcohol at 11 o’clock each night. Strip clubs have been closed indefinitely.
"It’s obviously going to take people time to adjust to the idea of it," explains Victor Anast, Manager of The Barking Frog on Richmond Row.
Anast anticipates moving last call to 11:00 p.m. will only motivate patrons to come earlier.
"Hopefully, people get used to it and go out a little bit earlier," he says.
Nightclub goers tell CTV News that’s exactly what they’ll do.
"We all work really hard during our days, and we like to enjoy our nights," explains student Taylor Gang. "If we have to go out a little earlier to have fun, we’ll definitely do that."
"If that’s the only option available we’ll definitely try that," adds student Fira Katchan.
Taxis and take-out restaurants that cater to late night revellers could face another blow to their bottom lines.
Last week, the jump in COVID-19 cases emptied entertainment districts of customers.
Predicting the changing entertainment market, Anast says The Barking Frog has spent the summer expanding its patio and building a kitchen to diversify its business.
"We’re now open every day for dinner, so we are trying to get away from relying on being open late at night."