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Local businesses excited to be able to reopen patios

Two women have drinks on the patio at an Earls restaurant, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. British Columbia began phase two of the reopening of its economy Tuesday, allowing certain businesses that were ordered closed due to COVID-19 to open their doors to customers if new health and safety regulations are followed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

CALGARY – Local restaurants are thrilled to be reopening patios this week as restrictions in Alberta begin to ease.

Among the businesses looking forward to opening their patios is Prairie Dog Brewing in the southeast.

The local brewery was forced to close its new $10,000 outdoor seating area just two days after opening it because of restrictions.

Co-founder and executive chef Jay Potter says the province could have done a better job with the health measures, but it admits it was in a tough spot.

“I would’ve appreciated stricter measures, not half measures for the most part. But to be honest with you, I don’t think the government could’ve done anything that they wouldn’t have received flack for,” he said.

Potter says many in the industry are optimistic this will be the last shut-down, as they see cases drop and vaccinations rise.

“I see hope light at the end of the tunnel here after all the shutdowns,” he said.