A take-out station set up outside of Kitimat’s Mr. Mikes in response to the new restrictions which don’t allow any indoor dining services to take place until after the three-week suspension. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)

A take-out station set up outside of Kitimat’s Mr. Mikes in response to the new restrictions which don’t allow any indoor dining services to take place until after the three-week suspension. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)

Local Kitimat restaurants react to new restrictions

With restrictions halting all indoor dine-in services, local restaurants try to reinvent themselves

New pandemic restrictions leave restaurant owners/managers in disbelief and confused as to what the next steps are.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and health officials have implemented a three-week ‘circuit breaker’ style lockdown adding new restrictions on indoor dining in restaurants.

Though patios will remain open, indoor dining has been suspended and all food and liquor-serving premises must solely depend on takeout and delivery services.

READ MORE: B.C. stops indoor dining, fitness, religious service due to COVID-19 spike

With new restrictions taking place, restaurant owners/managers are worried that staff won’t be able to take such large amounts of time off work and will start looking for new jobs.

“We’ve been busy lately and it’s getting busier and busier every week and now, this again,” said Tanya Healey, manager of The Chalet restaurant. “All my employees are going to be laid off, the only person we can keep is a cook, […] so what are they suppose to do wait for EI? Will the government provide more funding? If they’re shutting everything down again, what’s next?”

As restaurants are still picking up the pieces from hits they’ve experienced last year, the new restrictions took owners/managers by storm saying they weren’t prepared for this kind of shutdown.

“In the morning we heard there was a possibility that restaurants might be closed then the announcement came on a 1 pm,” said Christine Drabik, owner of Rosario’s restaurant, of the March 29 new public health orders.

“The situation is really stressful, we weren’t expecting this at all, […] last time we were kind of prepared that [restrictions] were going to happen but this was something that we weren’t ready for,” said Drabik. “We had a lot of people coming in because they were finally starting to feel more comfortable, but now we’re going to see a big decrease.”

With restaurants now forced to adapt to the new regulations, restaurant owners like Drabik will attempt to reinvent themselves by setting up an outdoor patio accommodating up to 30 people, however, Drabik is worried that neighbouring restaurants won’t have the same luxury.

“Not everyone in town has the same ability to do what we plan on doing. […] People who carry a lease and have to pay big bucks and might not have space or funds to set up a patio,” said Drabik.

Drabik also suggests that restaurant restrictions should be separated by region instead of creating a provincial suspension.

“Why are we dealing with the consequences when we’re doing everything we’re supposed to do?” said Drabik.

Throughout these challenging times, owners/managers are still remaining optimistic and are anticipating that the new restrictions will be lifted after three weeks.

“I’m hoping after the 19th they tell us this isn’t something that’ll continue and it’s happening because Easter is coming up and they’re trying to prevent large gatherings,” Healey said.

For more information about B.C.’s province-wide restrictions go to gov.bc.ca/covid19.


 


jacob.lubberts@northernsentinel.com

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

 

A sign put up at the front door of The Chalet Restaurant in Kitimat stating they will only be doing take-out services until the new restrictions are lifted. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)

A sign put up at the front door of The Chalet Restaurant in Kitimat stating they will only be doing take-out services until the new restrictions are lifted. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)

an empty parking lot outside of The Chalet restaurant in Kitimat. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)

an empty parking lot outside of The Chalet restaurant in Kitimat. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)

Just Posted

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The fence option chosen for the 461 Quatsino Boulevard development is the red lines that border the site plan. The fence will be roughly six feet high with the exception of the fence bordering Cranberry Street which will be eight feet high. (Boni Maddison Architects photo)
Fence to be erected between housing project and Kitimat homeowners

Residents of the Cranberry Street area are finally getting the fence they want

Rising demand for police to perform well-being checks and field calls for people struggling with domestic violence cases is driving the city to formulate a ‘situation table’ to connect vulnerable people with the services they need. (News Bulletin file photo)
Situation Table comes to Kitimat to support vulnerable people

Situation Tables identify and help vulnerable people in need.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Most Read