Manitoba restaurant industry running low on liquor as strike stretches on

The food and beverage industry is having to go the extra mile to secure liquor, but the cost to do it is running up a tab.

Melissa Schlichting, the food and beverage manager for the Winnipeg Goldeyes says each game day Shaw Park pours thousands of drinks for thirsty baseball fans. But the ongoing strike of Manitoba Liquor Mart workers is running them dry.

“We are running low on certain brands and we are struggling to keep up with the demand but we’re doing everything we can,” Schlichting said.

She has been driving around town looking for liquor, which is running up its own tab.

“On average we’re adding at least three of four hours every day in order to just go and be able to pick up those bottles of liquor that we would normally have delivered to us.”

Silver Heights Restaurant co-owner JC Siwicki is having the same problem as most Manitobans who are looking for liquor.

 “We shop in the same stores and I know some customers here yesterday – he had to buy stuff he’s never bought before,” Siwicki said.

Siwicki added he has driven to designated stores, only to find they are closed.

 “You phone other stores you’re supposed to go to and ‘sorry we can’t take you today’ and so its been a very big juggle,” said Siwicki.

Restaurants are calling each other in hopes of getting some supply, but everyone is low on liquor.

Folkorama tells CTV News they are working closely with Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries to get alcohol to pavilions, saying it’s been working out well for them.

At Shaw Park, Schlichting says their local craft beer sales have been unaffected by the strike and she’s glad it can keep flowing.

“At the end of the day I mean we are here for the fans and you know we are going to do everything that we can in order to get them what they want,” she said.

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