COVID-19: Kitsilano restaurant that defied health orders won’t reopen today

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A day after the city of Vancouver stripped the restaurant of its business licence, Corduroy owner says eatery will remain closed for unspecified reasons.

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A Vancouver restaurant that had its business licence suspended by the city and its premises ordered closed by health officials for defying orders banning indoor dining says it will remain closed until further notice.

Vancouver Coastal Health issued a closure notice for Kitsilano’s Corduroy Restaurant on Saturday after police received several complaints that the eatery was flouting COVID-19 orders by serving patrons indoors, many of them anti-restriction protesters.

A video posted to Facebook showed health inspectors presenting restaurant owner Rebecca Matthews with a closure notice inside her restaurant while she accused the officials of trespassing, citing sovereign citizen law, and a throng of maskless patrons chanting “get out!”

Despite the closure notice, she vowed to keep defying the provincial health orders with a promise to open for business at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

However, on Tuesday, a day after the City of Vancouver suspended the restaurant’s business licence, Matthews, through her restaurant’s Instagram account, said Corduroy will remain closed for unspecified reasons.

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“Something has been brought to my attention that I need to put all my focus on,” the message said. “Closed until further notice.”

Message on Corduroy restaurant’s Instagram page.
Message on Corduroy restaurant’s Instagram page.

The provincial public health order that bans indoor dining runs until April 19. Until then, restaurants can only serve patrons on patios or by takeout. Both Corduroy and the Gusto restaurant in Olympic Village defied the order.

Gusto, like Corduroy, was ordered closed by the VCH and had its business licence suspended by the city. The restaurant, which is owned by Federico Fuoco, a board member of the Non-Partisan Association municipal party, remains closed.

In a written statement, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart accused the restaurant owners of “openly” defying public health orders.

“The harassment and bullying of public health officials experienced during the execution of their duties is completely unacceptable,” he said.

— With files from The Canadian Press and Tiffany Crawford

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