Smoke ’N Water restaurant and performance venue in Nanoose Bay has announced its closure. (Smoke ’N Water/Facebook photo)

COVID-19: Popular Nanoose Bay restaurant, performance venue closed permanently

‘We just decided it’s not going to be worth it’

A popular Nanoose Bay restaurant and performance venue has announced its closure, pointing to the uncertainty of the industry and the financial impacts it has already suffered due to COVID-19.

Smoke ’N Water made a post saying it would be closing permanently on May 8 — social media comments from community members poured in, saying how sad they were to see it go.

Owner Michael Scheuerman called it a difficult, but necessary decision. He’d originally planned to reopen, but dwindling takeout sales and recent announcements on restrictions pushed him to make the call.

“After sitting back and weighing all the odds of that and deciding that due to the loss of buffets, we were no longer able to serve weddings economically for the summer,” he said. “We just decided it’s not going to be worth it.”

READ MORE: Canada’s best harmonica player coming to Nanoose Bay

READ MORE: Full COVID-19 coverage here

Scheuerman said the uncertainty of when tourism will return was also a factor in the decision to close.

“We’re a tourist-based industry in this area, without the tourism, the hotels being full, especially with us because we’re part of a resort,” he said. “It just became clear that there was absolutely no way that we were going to survive the remainder of the year, so might as well close now while we had the opportunity.”

The loss of Smoke ’N Water means one fewer venue supporting live music and arts in the area, as well as job loss. Scheuerman said he had to lay off approximately 10 regular staff – there’s also 15 to 20 seasonal staff who won’t have jobs with the establishment. He called that the “toughest part.”

As sad as it is to close down, Scheuerman said he has a slew of great memories from six years of Smoke ’N Water.

For now, he’s taking those all in and figuring out his next steps, which he said are still up in the air.

“As we pack it up and clean it up, it’s something that sticks with you – what if this didn’t come?” he said. “And what if we could open up without these restrictions, but they’re there and it’s a reality we’re facing, we had to make an economic choice.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

ICET provides Qualicum Beach with $250K for East Village project

Town expects revitalization plan to attract more developments

COVID-19: Garage sales should follow mass gathering guidelines

City has received variety of queries on the issue

Parksville’s ‘Support Local’ parade celebrates businesses

Approximately 30 vehicles turn out for event

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach man stages concerts for charity out of his garage

Larry MacDougall says reception from neighbours has been heartening

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Missing man thought to be in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP ask for public’s help in locating Kevin Golze, 45

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Most Read