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Some New Year’s Eve events still a go in Surrey as pubs adapt to B.C.’s new COVID-19 rules

** This story was updated at 9 a.m. Dec. 23
Drag performer Myria Le Noir, aka Donald Crowe, will be featured during a Surrey Pride-hosted event on New Year’s Eve, at Central City Taphouse & Kitchen. (File photo: Amy Reid)

** This story was updated at 9 a.m. Dec. 23

Surrey-area nightspots remain open, with some adjustments, under B.C.’s new COVID-19 restrictions.

Liquor-primary bars, nightclubs and lounges are closed under the province’s latest public health order, but food-primary pubs and restaurants are still allowed to operate.

On Tuesday (Dec. 21), the government announced COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the holidays as Omicron cases surge.

The new rules, which started at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 22) and run until Jan. 18, will close bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centres and dance studios.

“New Year’s Eve is still a go as per the Provincial Health Authority,” operators of The Taphouse Guildford posted on Facebook.

“The only major change regarding the night is mingling amongst guests will not be permitted. The health & safety of all our guests and staff remain our top priority and all safety protocols will be in place as per usual.”

The B.C. government’s COVID-19 website says indoor and outdoor dining is allowed with physical distancing requirements and other rules, including a maximum six people per table, physical distancing or barriers between tables, customers must remain seated and cannot move between or visit other tables, no dancing, masks for all patrons when not seated at a table, and proof of vaccination for entry.

Surrey Pride’s New Year’s Eve event at Central City Taphouse & Kitchen (at the mall) will now feature a solo drag performer, Myria Le Noir, not the multi-person show originally planned.

• RELATED STORY/VIDEO, from 2019: An inside look at Surrey’s drag scene.

At Newton’s White Hart Public House, acrylic barriers between tables are back up, for people watching the live bands there, including the Wingnuts on New Year’s Eve.

“We will be operating at 50% capacity but will still be open, as we are a food primary establishment,” White Hart operators posted to Facebook. “This past year has been hard for everyone, especially the service industry. We just want to thank everyone for your patience and understanding.”

Live music recently returned to Brewster’s Pub, where a New Year’s Eve event is set to feature the band Trama.

Opened in September at Bridgeview’s Turf Hotel, Mojitos was set to host a New Year’s Eve event featuring music by Sonora Kings, Chela Tumbao and DJ Casanova, but the party has since been cancelled, and the pub will be closed until Jan. 18.

“Thank you for your support during this pandemic, please continue to be patient. We will keep you updated,” pub management posted on social media late Wednesday (Dec. 22).

• RELATED STORY: Latin music and more at Surrey’s newest nightspot, at Turf Hotel.

On 96 Avenue, Donegal’s Irish House is now “pulling back a bit” on the launch of the pub’s live music schedule, due to the government’s new restrictions, after staging the Golden Archies band on Saturday, Dec. 18.

“We will be back, we are more committed to bringing the shows back to Donegal’s Irish House than ever before; but we would rather wait and do it right!” Donegal’s operator Daniel Cook posted to Facebook.

“As restrictions start to lift again, in (hopefully) the near future, we will get things put together, and get it cranking….in the meantime, we’ve got a killer new menu coming out the first week of January; might not be able to fill our souls with sound, but we can at least fill our bellies with some great food and drinks still.”

In the theatre world, White Rock Players Club’s “Robinson Crusoe” panto will now play to half-capacity houses on Dec. 23 and 26. “This means that we will have to refund the tickets to our patrons based on the date and time that the tickets were purchased,” the theatre company posted to Facebook. “Sadly, we are unable to schedule more performances. Thursday the 23rd and Sunday the 26th were virtually sold out and our box office will be contacting patrons and refunding the price of their tickets back on the method of payment used to purchase the tickets.”

B.C.’s latest restrictions also ban indoor organized gatherings such as wedding receptions and reduce capacity at seated events such as concerts, movies and sports to 50 per cent capacity, regardless of the size of the venue. Religious services will be unaffected and remain at full capacity if all attendees are vaccinated or 50 per cent if they are not.

with file from Katya Slepian

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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