The renovated Mudsharks Coffee Bar re-opens Saturday in downtown Courtenay. Photo supplied

Courtenay cafe celebrates 25 years; re-opens Saturday

One of the original coffee shops on Vancouver Island celebrated 25 years on May 6.

On Saturday, May 23, Mudsharks Coffee Bar will re-open in downtown Courtenay.

Businesses in B.C. have been permitted to re-open Tuesday as government enters the second phase of its COVID-19 restart plan.

READ: B.C. businesses grapple with new health protocols as reopening begins Tuesday

“Maximum capacity is based on tables being six feet apart,” said Darryl Kotyk, who has owned Mudsharks for about four years. “We’re expecting a lot of people to maybe gather outside (on the patio). I think people gathering inside might take a while, but we’ll see. Every business needs a COVID-19 plan.”

Business was thriving at Mudsharks before the coronavirus hit. Kotyk said the coffee shop enjoyed its best month ever in February, and was anticipating more of the same in March.

“Until March 15 we were on track to have our best month of all time even more, and then with this (pandemic) happening, we had our worst month of all time. We were really gearing up for a pretty amazing summer, but that changed.”

Kotyk has used the down time to undertake renovations to the premises at 4th and Cliffe, next door to Gladstone Brewing Company.

“We have lots of outdoor space. We work good together. It really is a nice corner, especially with the patios.”

He hopes to re-employ the 11 staff members who had been laid off, and to start serving some of the longtime customers.

“We’ve had some people coming pretty much every day since the original days,” Kotyk said.

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