TORONTO -- Customers are clinking their glasses for the final time at Brass Taps on Danforth Avenue Friday night.

After 30 years of pints, pizza and memories — the beloved bar and restaurant is closing, another economic casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a local place and it’s very friendly and people love each other here. It’s very sad we’ve been crying,” said Elaine Nicholson who has been coming to have a beer for 20 years.

“I’m getting goosebumps just talking about what this places means to me,” said long-time customer Kevin Pietersma who recalled celebrating his 40th birthday at the bar. “It’s a fantastic place. It’s one of the places on the Danforth which is like a family place.” 

Although the owners, Clare and Will Sturm said the landlord has been helpful with rent, because of the lockdown they were closed for months and since reopening Aug. 8, are only making 10 to 15 per cent of what they made pre-pandemic.

They said they were denied an outdoor patio space through the city’s outdoor roadside dining program CafeTO because of safety concerns due to their proximity Logan Ave. and Danforth Ave.

“We have two boys and we raised them here and they are devastated that this place they call home has to close,” said Clare.

“Our sweat and tears and our blood is in this place and we’ve made fantastic acquaintances, relationships and friends out of this establishment. That’s what is going to leave a scar,” said Will. 

The pub’s last night comes on the same night the province ordered a shutdown of indoor dining in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa to curb COVID-19 infections, stating at 12:01 Oct. 10. 

Non-profit advocacy group, Restaurants Canada said the indoor closures could cost more than 30, 000 jobs in Toronto and will require government support for a rebound. 

“They will have lost a lot, all their food basically, a lot of their supplies and will need to re-clean the restaurant totally when they reopen,” said spokesperson James Rilett “Even if it’s a short shutdown it’s going to be significant cost to restaurants.”

The group is commending a new federal rent subsidy program announced Friday to help businesses access support. Ottawa said help from the program would be provided directly to tenants, and will subsidize up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses until Dec. 19th.

But many restauranteurs are still fearing the worst.

“It’s going to be very difficult to maintain our current staff just on take-out and patio service. The inability to seat people inside when it’s raining, when it’s freezing, basically puts us in an untenable financial situation,” said John Sinopoli with