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Canadiens' success leading to business boom for Montreal bars after COVID-19 closures

Last Updated Jun 23, 2021 at 2:30 pm MDT

MONTREAL — Kevin Beaudry says there’s never been a better time to be operating a restaurant in Montreal.

The manager of La Cage sports bar and restaurant at the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, says he expected customers to return when the government allowed restaurants to reopen from COVID-19 closures at the end of May.

But he said today that business at the sports bar, which has become a hub for fans to gather for Stanley Cup playoff games, has been 10 times what he expected — thanks to the success of the Canadiens.

The hockey team is now one win away from the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993.

At La Cage, customers are being told to show up before 3 p.m. if they want to get a table to watch tomorrow’s game — five hours before the puck drops.

Thursday’s game also coincides with Quebec’s Fête nationale holiday, which has bar operators excited about crowds but also worried about celebrations getting out of control.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press