“The biggest thing that hurt us the most was the construction of 17 (Avenue), which was really difficult to cross,” said Joanna Andreopoulos. “In the process, property taxes went up and many were closed around us, so we were left here alone.”
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Major road and utility construction work began on the causeway in 2017. The final phase of the project resumed in May 2019, resulting in major local detours.
Andreopoulos said the pandemic was the final straw for the restaurant and lounge.
Construction resumes on 17 Calgary Avenue
“We actually weren’t able to celebrate our 15th anniversary because we closed a few weeks before our 15th anniversary,” she said.
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“There is a lot of fear in the restaurant industry right now. If we see restaurants closing again, we will be really hurt.
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This week, Mill Street Brewery also announced that it will close in early November.
“This decision was based on two factors,” Mill Street President Daryl Minor said in a statement. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on everyone in the hospitality industry, made worse by a location particularly affected by the loss of the Stampede and other major events.
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Industry advocates agree that Calgary’s retail and entertainment district has been particularly hard hit.
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“Businesses along 17th Avenue have tried to remain resilient despite all the property tax increases and now COVID,” said Ernie Tsu, president of the Alberta Hospitality Association.
“It’s just too much for them to try to hold on more.”
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Calgary Mayor Neheed Nenshi on Wednesday praised the restaurant industry for the way it has followed health guidelines throughout the pandemic.
“Restaurants and bars overall do a great job of managing risk and creating good protocols,” he said.
Opening of new restaurants despite the COVID-19 pandemic
Andreopoulos said the other two World Bier Haus locations in Calgary are still operational and are doing well despite ongoing health restrictions.
“We take care to ensure the safety of our customers because it is our livelihood.”
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