'It's going to be tough:' Local businesses shutting their doors
Three local businesses in Regina announced they are closing their doors for good.
Since March 2012, The Lancaster Taphouse was a popular pub at Grasslands Crossing in Habour Landing.
Owner Tim Rogers said with small business pandemic supports running out and the debt he acquired to continue to operate during the pandemic, they are closing the doors for good on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.
“Business still hadn’t come back, we’re only at about 70-75 per cent [of pre-pandemic revenues],” he said. “So, with the slow business and the debt obligations, there’s nothing we can accommodate for right now.”
The Lancaster prided itself on being a part of the local community, often playing Regina Pats or Rams’ games on the TVs above the bar.
“Owning a business in Regina, you get to play a role in the city,” said Rogers. “We got to focus on all the great local things happening in this city.
“Some of the most amazing nights in this place were watching Pats or Rams games. We’ll miss that for sure.”
Lancaster’s isn’t the only small business casualty in the Queen City this week.
“I hope this is a message that there is a big problem right now,” said Rogers. “It’s just how the pandemic has affected everything and it’s a little bit of a scary time right now.”
At Fat Plant Farm, business boomed during the pandemic. But inflation and changing consumer spending habits has also led to owner Kait Waugh to shut down her brick-and-mortar store after nearly seven years at the end of December.
“I thought the pandemic was going to be the hard part,” she said. “Coming out of that now and experiencing the struggles was a surprise.”
Warehouse Brewing Company also announced it will be permanently closing its door as of Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in an Instagram post.
“We have tried everything to keep the doors open, but sadly cannot financially continue to do so,” Warehouse said in the post.
Warehouse Brewing is located in the Weston Bakery building in Regina’s Warehouse District. It was original built in 1929.
The brewery opened in 2020, after a year and a half of work on the old factory building. It offered a selection of locally brewed Warehouse brand beers.
Warehouse Brewing was a part of Regina’s “Hop Circuit” – a self guided tour of six of the city’s craft breweries.
“It’s been a ride to say the least and we are sad it’s over,” the post continued. “Thank you and farewell Regina from all of us at the Warehouse Brewing Company.”
In the goodbye post, the company encouraged Regina to continue to support the other craft breweries in the city.
“It is too late for us, but please help the other craft breweries thrive and succeed,” Warehouse said in the post.
Waugh echoed those sentiments.
“If you have the financial means to support your local shops, please do so,” she said. “It’s the quirky, passionate business owners that provide a unique experience you’re not going to find other places.”
“It’s really sad and disappointing we are losing some of those unique businesses.”
Lancaster’s was thankful for their customer’s 11 years of support.
“Everybody here was passionate about what The Lancaster is and what is was for the community,” said Rogers. “I think some of [the regulars] are taking this harder than I am.”
Rogers said he is lucky to have a second location in downtown Regina for his customers.
Recalling the final episode of the show, ‘Cheers’, and fighting back some emotion, he tried his best to not think about what would be running through his mind when he locks the door for the final time on Saturday.
“There will be a moment of shutting the lights down and walking out of here, but I’m trying not to think about that right now,” he said. “This is home. This is my baby. This is the dream. It’s going to be tough to close it down.”
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