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Dear Editor,The immense casualties of the pandemic cannot be ignored. Included in this category should be some of the establishments that were an integral part of Oshawa’s history and community.

In the past year, The Tartan Tavern, The Corral, and Excuses have all been forced to close their doors permanently (amongst others). For some, these might have been places of rowdiness and depravity. For others, these places were as much a part of them as the blood in their veins.

For me, it is the Tartan Tavern that will be sorely missed. The Tartan has been a favourite spot for decades. My parent’s friends met here with their $2 packs of cigarettes and $15 tanks of gas. I had my first legal public beer here. I met my fiancé here.

The patrons and staff of the Tartan were like family. One year, the owners invited some of the regulars to attend the employee Christmas party. Like a family, people stood by and stuck up for each other.

The feeling of a hundred sweaty people belting out the lyrics to Home for A Rest is indescribable; a human energy that makes everyone in the room feel like they mean something. The parking lot at closing time was full of people calling taxis and figuring out what to get on their pizzas, maybe even planning the next adventure for the night.

And the Tartan Tavern facilitated all of this.

It is a tragedy that places like this have been forced to close. Let us support the ones that are left. Buy your six-packs from the pub down the street. Get your takeout from the little guy. We have a duty to help keep these places afloat.

Because after this mess is done, we’re going to need them.

Tyler Koke