SASKATOON -- Starting June 8, bars and restaurants can unlock their doors and begin welcoming customers.

Daniel Ford Beavis, owner of O’Shea’s Irish Pub downtown, said he’s thankful for the chance to start slinging suds.

“If you told me a couple of months ago that you were going to make me go to half capacity we would have been pretty upset, but I was pretty scared when we had to shut down when we did,” Beavis said.

“But now because we’ve been at zero and you say ‘you get to open with 50 per cent of people’ we’re happy about that.”

O’Shea’s closed its doors ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, one of its busiest days of the year, but it has still been offering take-out options.

In phase three of Saskatchewan’s plan to reopen the economy, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open at half capacity.

Beavis and his staff are removing every second table and keeping seating six feet apart.

They are also building partitions around the bar, where keeping a six-foot distance is difficult.

“Life isn’t going to be normal. We want to do everything we can to make it feel like we’re back at it.”

Beavis said O’Shea’s is slated to open at 11 a.m. on June 8.

9 Mile taproom, nanobrewery staying the course

While the founders of 9 Mile Legacy Brewing feel excited that Saskatoon’s entertainment industry will soon be able to open, Shawn Moen and Garret Pederson aren’t rushing to open the taproom on 20th Street West.

“It’s a little challenging for our space,” Moen said. “It’s a tightly-spaced operation where people are intended to bump into each other so obviously to maintain distancing even at 50 per cent capacity it’s not entirely feasible.”

Since the pandemic hit Saskatoon, 9 Mile’s taproom has been operating as a depot, taking online orders and arranging pickups as well as home delivery.

Moen and Pederson have greater ambitions - a new office space and production facility two blocks from the taproom at 402 21st Street West.

“A lot of our high-volume beer will be put into cans and distributed more broadly in the province and out of province,” Moen said. “The current location will remain and we’ll use that space to get a little more creative with our beers.”

This new space will be 9 Mile’s third brewery since opening its first tap room next to the old Farmer’s Market space on 19th Street and Avenue B South.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Pederson about the new space. “Coming from a closet brewery, the first one was 200 square feet, now we have a lot of room here.”

The new office space and production facility is expected to be operational by the fall.