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The owner of a Toronto bar says her business will be able to weather the worst of the COVID-19 lockdown after customers bought up their beer stock to help keep them in business.
Abra Shiner, owner of the Swan Dive in the west-end Toronto neighbourhood of Brockton Village, put out a call on Facebook to sell the bar’s stock of craft beer after the COVID-19 lockdown forced the bar to shift its business to curbside pickup and delivery.
Shiner told CTV News Channel that it wasn’t long before the post gathered more than 20,000 views and people started showing up in droves.
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“People just started telling each other and they showed up and they bought the beer,” Shiner said. “People just helped. It’s a really amazing community here in Brockton.”
Shiner added that the bar typically has 35 craft beers available and keeps two or three cases of each beer in stock, but is now down to just two cases, which can fit in the fridge.
Shiner added that 25 per cent of the people who stopped by to buy some beer were the bar’s regular customers.
“People just started coming out of the woodwork, customers we hadn’t seen in a long time were driving in from out of town,” Shiner said.
The money from the beer — combined with the federal rent subsidy — will help the Swan Dive to remain fully closed between now and March and reopen this spring when hopefully the pandemic is more under control.
“We’ve been saved, I was afraid we were going to have to go out of business,” Shiner said.
Now, Shiner said the bar will host some occasional pop-up shops and will be available for some friends in need of an art space or dance studio.