(Ethan Morneau/Victoria Buzz)

Victorians were eager to hit the dance floor this past weekend, with local venues packed to the gills after some COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

Tanya Heartwell, general manager of Darcy’s Pub on Wharf Street, finds it’s been busy lately, but Friday and Saturday were “extremely busy.”

“I think it’s better for everyone,” Heartwell told Victoria Buzz.

“It’s great for the staff to always know that they’re coming into a full, busy room. As we always were, but full with restrictions and capacity limits is very different from regular full.”

BC officials announced last week that effective 11:59 p.m. on February 16th, restaurants, bars and nightclubs could return to full capacity, with mingling between tables and dancing also permitted.

Back in December 2021, bars and nightclubs were ordered to close under updated public health orders.

Then in January, those orders were extended, including no more than six people per table at restaurants.

“It’s just great that we can accommodate so many more people again,” Heartwell added.

“As much as we did have long lines, we moved through them relatively quickly and were able to get as many people in as we could. It’s great.”

Victoria Buzz staff managed to snap a photo of the Friday night line outside Douglas Street’s Sticky Wicket Bar & Restaurant. It was so long, it nearly extended to the next block.

Meanwhile, it was a similar story on Yates Street.

On Friday, Michael Mac posted to the Victoria Rant & Rave Facebook group a photo of the big crowd at Sonora’s Bar & Grill. 

“Even though clubs are officially back open, this isn’t anything new as there are usually this many people outside Sonora’s and Warehouse every weekend,” Mac wrote.

Still, Sonora’s manager Joe found that it was “pretty busy this weekend.” 

“We’re happy,” he said.

But with masks and proof of full vaccination via BC’s Vaccine Card still required for patrons, Joe says that’s proving to be a challenge.

“It’s really difficult for us to tell people that they can do almost anything, but they have to wear masks,” he added.

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