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Montreal bars are open and ready for NHL playoffs despite provincial curfew still being in place

MONTREAL (CityNews) – Up until recently, Montrealers haven’t been able to sit on a restaurant patio since October.

Since Montreal moved into the orange zone, 3,500 bar terraces have reopened, and come Monday, Montrealers will be able to take a seat inside as the city moves into the yellow zone.

However those looking to watching the Montreal Canadiens take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup semifinals, might have a difficult time.

Bars and restaurants reopening will be only allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity, with a limit on how many people can be at a table.

“It’s like a new, new years. We lost grand prix, we lost St. Paddys and here come the Canadiens, they’re going to generate more business than ever,” said Ziggy Eichenbaum, owner of Ziggy’s Pub.

“They start the hockey game in Vegas at 9 o’clock, so by the time the game starts its 9:30 and we’ll have last call at 11 so were going to have to send everybody home to watch the second and third period.”

Despite the provincial curfew still being in place, bar owners say they’re grateful for the foot traffic once again, now that their doors are partially open and soon to be fully open.

“Before the shutdown, we had people coming in for the Canadiens, for many years, even though they had losing seasons. If we had been open since the last two weeks, it would have been amazing. In my bar and other bars in Quebec. It brings back a lot of customers,” said Jean Jacques Beauchamp, CEO of Quebec Bar Owners Association & Owner, La Chic Regal.

“Bar owners were the first ones shut down and were the last ones to reopen. I don’t know why it’s like that. But we are reopening, let’s forget about the past.”

For bar owners and Habs fans, all eyes on the future prize, hoping for bars having their usual 3 a.m. closure, and a Stanley Cup for Montreal.