Toronto's favourite comedy bar is reopening with lots of changes
The city's beloved Comedy Bar has announced it will be reopening to the public this Friday, Aug. 7, and a number of measures are being implemented to provide a safe (yet comedic) experience for all.
"A big part of the Comedy Bar experience was coming down those steps on the weekend and entering a bustling room, with people going in and out of the showrooms and freely congregating around the tables and the bar," said Comedy Bar President James Elksnitis.
"We've had to change the customer journey entirely in order to safely accommodate our guests while protecting our staff. Now we've made the switch to table service only, as required"
According to Elksnitis, upon arrival, visitors will be required to check-in outside the front door where staff will ensure that masks are being worn and screening questions will be asked.
Customers will then proceed to the box office where tickets will either be validated or purchased, and contact tracing information will be recorded.
After checking in, visitors will be escorted to their table in the showroom where drink orders can be placed and paid for using a brand new software.
"One positive aspect of this whole situation is that our reduced schedule and guest capacity will allow us to try some alternative ordering methods and tech that we weren't able to adequately test out while operating at full capacity," Elksnitis said.
Only the main showroom will be open for the time being, according to Elksnitis, and the smaller cabaret space has been converted into additional seating space for customers that would like to have a drink before or after a show.
The tech booth has also been entirely enclosed using plexiglass, and plexi barriers have been added at several points throughout the theatre as well as along the entire bar.
"All touch points (tables, chairs, bathroom fixtures, etc.) throughout the building will be disinfected continuously throughout the night," Elksnitis said, adding that only 44 seats, or 10 tables, will be made available in the showroom.
At this point, Comedy Bar is only selling table packages and no single tickets.
Tables have been spaced out further than the required six feet to give everyone a bit of extra room, according to Elksnitis, and the comics will be performing from the rear of the stage — leaving approximately 16 feet of separation between the front row tables and the performer.
YUP! We're back THIS FRIDAY! Check the changes we've made to keep everyone safe and laughing! 👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/ucprof2eZZ— Comedy Bar (@comedybar) August 3, 2020
Elksnitis says he's "cautiously optimistic" about opening up after four and a half months of forced closures, but he believes the reopening plan will be easy enough to follow and allow for the safe return of some of Toronto's best comics.
The lineup for Comedy Bar's upcoming shows can be found online, and tickets can be purchased there as well.
"All of our staff will be utilizing the appropriate PPE, and will have minimal contact with our guests," he said. "We have implemented straightforward protocols that won't be difficult to manage."
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