Oshawa ‘s Brew Wizards game for Province’s re-opening


Published February 1, 2022 at 1:59 pm

Monday’s re-opening couldn’t come fast enough for Jesse Johnson and the rest of crew at Brew Wizards, Oshawa’s go-to spot for fair trade coffee, craft beer, sandwiches and gaming tables fit for a wizard, or at least the nerd inside all of us.

Capacity restriction had been lifted in late October and business was starting to rebound when the rise of the Omicron variant forced the Province into another shutdown on December 17.

“We were all really looking forward to it, December was on track to be a great month for us, all things considering. So it was a blow to get shut done again. Now we have to rebuild up steam back to where we were. Which is getting exhausting,” said Johnson, one of the restaurant’s co-owners and the curator of its extensive beer list.

“We are at 50 per cent capacity and social distancing. Frankly it doesn’t impact us too much (though) we can’t seat our front room right now because it’s high traffic. That’s the biggest issue – that’s 10 seats we can’t use. “

It’s not like the Brew Wizards team haven’t had to adapt before, what with nearly two years of opening and re-opening under their belts. Still, it can get tiring.

“All the guidelines like social distancing and sanitizing were easy. The big thing was we slightly pivoted and have started to really focus on our craft beer to go. And that has been really good for us. We have always focused on non-LCBO beers but having a selection of cans basically only offered here or the brewery was a good draw for customers.”

The next step in Premier Doug Ford’s plan happens on February 21 when he removes capacity limits on all indoor spaces where proof of vaccination is required, so with active cases of the virus plummeting daily there’s something else to look forward in less than three weeks.

“We are always very positive here and are looking forward to the summer,” Johnson enthused. “Patio beers, board game events and food trucks – we should be able to make some great memories! Making money is important, but we really miss our customers and are mostly just looking forward to reconnecting with them.”

Upcoming events Brew Wizards include X-Wing Flight Night (tonight) and RPG Night (Wednesday).

Brew Wizards is open 10-4 on Mondays, 10-10 Tuesday to Friday and 11-10 Saturdays.

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