You can't dance, but The Mad Trapper bar is reopening in Inuvik

It’s the longest the famous bar in Inuvik, N.W.T., has ever been closed, but it opens its doors again Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The famous bar reopens on Tuesday after closing in March due to the pandemic

Rick Adams is the owner of The Mad Trapper. The bar reopens on Tuesday, and he says he's pretty excited. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

It's the longest The Mad Trapper bar has ever been closed, but the famous bar opens its doors on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

However, bar-goers in Inuvik, N.W.T., should expect changes, including much smaller capacity.

"It's only 25 people but I'm just excited ... I just miss my friends," said Rick Adams, owner of the bar. "We aren't allowed a dance floor ... [but] the pool tables are still there, the dart tables are there, the boys play cards all day long and they can visit."

The bar closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only about five out of 15 of his staff members will be back on the payroll. Adams says it's been rough on them.

Normally allowed a capacity of 225 people, the bar is now only allowed a fraction of that with 25 people.

"I won't even make any money, but at least we are open," said Adams." I'm quite anxious to open up ... but it'll pay some bills. If it pays one bill that's better than none."

The Mad Trapper bar sits empty during the pandemic in July 2020. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Adams will be opening from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting Wednesday, six days a week, for alcohol takeout sales. The bar is open seven days a week for sit-down customers

When customers come in, they will see that there are yellow arrows all over the floor and physical distancing signs posted throughout.

Some areas have been rearranged, the dance floor is boarded off and more plexiglass will be installed as it arrives in town.

The town is so boring right now that people are phoning me.- Rick Adams, owner of The Mad Trapper

Adams said employees will constantly be sanitizing throughout the evening, making sure the bar is safe and clean.

Although some restaurants in town are now open to takeout, none are open for dining in.

The Roost restaurant is the only service establishment in town that was open throughout the pandemic offering takeout and delivery, but representatives say they don't feel safe yet during Phase 2 to open back up for dine in.

Inuvik Legion McInnes Branch 220 is now open to its members, and was the only establishment where customers could sit down for a drink.

The bar closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

"The town is so boring right now that people are phoning me steady at home wondering when we're going to open because they're going stir crazy," said Adams. "At least we can offer a place to go."

Adams said the pandemic has been stressful and luckily he had some government funding that has helped him survive — "we wouldn't have made it [otherwise]," he said.

Although Adams put the bar up for sale last year due to his wife's cancer diagnosis, he's managing to continue operations.

The bar has a reputation on the weekends for most of the clientele coming the last 30 minutes to an hour before the place closes at 2 a.m. Adams says that's going to change.

"That just won't happen now because they won't get in," said Adams. "Come early … I'm sure we'll have fun."


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