Customers Help a Desperate Toronto Bar Owner Save her Business

The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt in Canada. Many businesses have been closed while others are still operating amidst so many challenges. Abra Shiner, the Swan Dive owner in the west-end Toronto neighborhood of Brockton Village, is among the business persons who have experienced dark days since the pandemic began.

Shiner said the COVID-19 lockdown forced her bar to shift its business to curbside pickup and delivery caput. Afterward, she became desperate and decided to sell the bar’s stock of craft beer. She advertised her bar on Facebook, and to her surprise, she said the post gathered more than 20,000 views. She also said Swan Dive typically had 35 craft beers available and kept two or three cases of each beer in stock, but was now down to just two cases, which can fit in the fridge.

Immediately after the Facebook post, Shiner said people started showing up in droves. They were coming out of the woodwork.

Even customers they hadn’t seen in a long time were driving in from out of town. Shiner said she was amazed by Brockton’s community’s willingness to help-they are the people who saved their business.

Shiner said she was relieved that she would not lose her business. After the pandemic is under control, she said she would reopen her business using the money from the stock plus the federal rent subsidy. Meanwhile, Shiner said Swan Dive would host some occasional pop-up shops and be available for some friends in need of an art space or dance studio.


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