(Photo courtesy Smitty’s Sportsline Lounge and VLTS)
Westman Bars, VLT Lounges, and Restaurants Re-open Friday
The newly adjusted COVID-19 regulations released by Manitoba Health officials include licensed establishments with VLTs. While the updated regulations apply to all licensed restaurants there are slight variations at some Westman’s watering holes and or VLT lounges. For now, the new loosened regulations don’t include casinos but those who wish to try their luck while enjoying happy hour have a choice between the many spots in Brandon.
Licensed establishments in Brandon that offer VLTs include Echo Bar in the Clarion Inn, Playmaker’s Lounge in the Canad Inn, The Vic Inn VLT Lounge, The Rock in the Keystone Motor Inn, The 40, and Smitty’s Sportsline Lounge and VLTs in the Shoppers Mall.
While the regulations include all of those aforementioned bars, restaurants, and lounges there are some slight variations with how each establishment will adhere to and or police the rules. Here’s a rundown of what some of these establishments shared on their social media platforms.
The 40 (18th Street North – Brandon)
We are pumped to open our doors and welcome you back this Friday, March 5 at 9 a.m. Our new hours of operation will be 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday.
There are some new rules we ALL have to follow in order to continue heading in the right direction with the reopening of our province. We’re going to lay it on the line here so everyone knows what’s up.
FIRSTLY THESE ARE PROVINCIAL REGULATIONS THAT WE ARE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW BY LAW- SO WHILE SOME THINGS MAY NOT MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY – THEY WILL BE ENFORCED TO A “T” BY OUR STAFF.
SECOND – and this is CRUCIAL – TREAT OUR STAFF WITH RESPECT and they will do the same in return. (I know this applies to only a tiny percentage of people in the world, but we have heard some horror stories from others in the industry the past few months) These hardworking ladies and gentlemen are GRATEFUL to be back at work – some have been without jobs for almost 4 months – do not come in here with a bad attitude. Rude behavior WILL NOT be tolerated by anyone. We are here to do a job, and right now that looks a little different than it used to so PLEASE BE KIND.
Masks are MANDATORY. Hand sanitizing is MANDATORY. Signing in at the door as you enter is MANDATORY. NEW – LIQUOR CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE SERVED WITHOUT A MEAL BEING ORDERED – IF YOU WANNA DRINK, YA GOTTA EAT.
Table groups are limited to MEMBERS OF THE SAME HOUSEHOLD ONLY – You will be required to produce photo ID to verify proof of address in order to dine with anyone.
THERE WILL BE NO BENDING OF THE RULES BY ANY EMPLOYEE AT THE 40.
We may not have bands YET but if all goes well, hopefully, we can soon – but ALL 41 of our VLTs will be operational – with physical barriers in place between each for your safety!!
The Rock in the Keystone Motor Inn
VLTs will be open. Karaoke, pool tables, and live entertainment including adult entertainment are not permitted yet.
Restrictions are as follows:
Masks are mandatory when not seated.
Hand sanitizing is mandatory when you enter.
You MUST sign in and provide legible contact information when you enter.
Liquor can NOT BE SERVED unless food is ordered, so you must eat if you want to drink alcohol. Popcorn doesn’t count!
Table seating is still limited to 5 household members only, and you are required to produce PHOTO ID to verify your age and address.
Only 1 person is permitted at a VLT machine at a time.
Smitty’s Sportsline Lounge and VLTS
According to owner-operator Jeff Crooks, 21 of the 41 machines in his establishment will be playable. “We’ll have just over half of our machines ready to be played to allow for the 2-meter distancing rule. Also, we’re all stocked up on Lysol wipes and staff will be sanitizing on the regular.”
Alcoholic beverages will not be sold unless ordered with food. However, no food is allowed to be consumed at the VLT machines. Crooks says customers may eat their food in the lounge first then take their beverages to their favorite machines.
“There were a few unfortunate incidents during the last reopening with COVID regulations in place involving some customers taking out their frustrations on staff,” said Crooks. Therefore Smitty’s will have extra security on hand to police the situation and ensure customers follow the new rules while playing the machines. Crooks adds, “we didn’t didn’t make the rules and we don’t like some of them either but we all have to follow the rules and regulations.”
The province reported 51 new cases of COVID today (Thursday, March 4, 2021) bringing the total number of cases in Manitoba to 32, 051. There’ve been a total of 181 hospitalizations to treat those affected by the virus and 62 people are currently still being treated in hospitals throughout the province, of those 9 are in ICU. While 30,005 people have recovered from the virus there are still 1,005 active cases within Manitoba. Provincial health officials have reported 903 deaths related to COVID-19.
For more details on COVID regulations visit the Manitoba Government’s COVID info website here.