Canadian community comes together to save a neighborhood bar

Beer
(Image credit: iStockphoto)

When Abra Shiner put out a call for help, it didn't take long for customers, friends, and complete strangers to show up.

Shiner owns the Swan Dive, a bar in Toronto's Brockton Village neighborhood. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the bar had to pivot to selling craft beer via curbside pickup and delivery, and it wasn't enough to cover all of the bills. Shiner posted on Facebook that it didn't look like the Swan Dive would be able to stay in business, but before closing, she wanted to sell as much beer as possible so it wouldn't go to waste.

Almost immediately, "people just started coming out of the woodwork," Shiner told CTV. "Customers we hadn't seen in a long time were driving in from out of town." About 25 percent of the buyers were regulars, and the rest were members of the "amazing" local community, Shiner said. The Swan Dive usually has about 35 craft beers available, with two or three cases of each one on hand, and Shiner said all but two cases were sold.

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Because of the support of many, as well as Canada's emergency rent subsidy program, Shiner said she can cover the rent until March. She is looking forward to when business can return to normal, but until then, Shiner is grateful for her customers. "We've been saved," she said.

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