Although his restaurant has a large patio, Moose Mulligans owner Denny Loughran is frustrated with the recent public health order which shut down indoor dining across B.C. on short notice. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)

Although his restaurant has a large patio, Moose Mulligans owner Denny Loughran is frustrated with the recent public health order which shut down indoor dining across B.C. on short notice. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)

‘Don’t punish everyone because of Whistler and Big White:’ New rules frustrate Shuswap restaurateurs

Business owners upset with B.C. government not providing advance notice

Frustration is the prevailing feeling for Denny Loughran as he retools operations at Moose Mulligans Public Eatery in Sicamous, hoping to keep his staff of over 35 working.

The cause of the frustration is a public health order issued on March 29 which has forced restaurants across the province to close their indoor dining rooms and only serve people seated outside or picking up takeout. The measures are supposed to be in place for three weeks as a “circuit breaker” to slow rising COVID-19 case totals, but Loughran is concerned about its impact on his business, his staff and the industry as a whole.

He said Moose Mulligans has done everything that was asked of them to make indoor dining safe and passed multiple inspections from Interior Health and WorkSafeBC.

Loughran said he recognizes that COVID-19 cases are on the rise but thinks restrictions could be rolled out region by region in order to keep areas where the case count is lower open.

“Don’t punish everyone because of Whistler and Big White,” he said.

Read More: Column: Shuswap Trail Alliance co-founders helped create a legacy to be proud of

Read More: Shuswap trails trailblazers to be honoured

Loughran said that Moose Mulligans’ large patio makes it fairly well suited to weathering the indoor dining shutdown but it is another setback for businesses already dealing with reduced indoor capacity and longer shutdowns last year.

Although the shut down creates hardships for businesses, Loughran said it can also be very bad for employees, particularly workers who rely on tips. Loughran said tipped workers have already faced setbacks such as early closures on nights like St. Patrick’s Day and New Years Eve which would ordinarily offer the potential for large earnings.

Loughran said he is trying to keep his staff working, knowing how hard it can be for workers to catch up after having to wait for an EI cheque to come through.

Other Sicamous eateries such as Brothers Pub and G&G Kitchen and Tap have also rushed to open up their patios as a way to stay up and running through the health order.

Patio season will also arrive sooner than expected in Salmon Arm with the province’s latest health restrictions putting a stop to indoor dining at restaurants.

The unexpected news prompted two downtown Salmon Arm restaurateurs to contact the city about pushing up the opening date for downtown sidewalk patios. The city’s sidewalk café extension program permits the removable structures between May 1 and Oct. 31.

Salmon Arm Mayor Harrison expressed support and hoped the weather allows for outdoor dining.

Hanoi 36 and the Shuswap Pie Company were the first downtown Salmon Arm businesses to take advantage of the city’s sidewalk café extension program in 2020. The owners of both were grateful for the outdoor seating option amid last year’s varying pandemic restrictions.

Read more: Downtown Salmon Arm sidewalk patios likely to return next spring

Read more: Salmon Arm council decides to waive fees for sidewalk cafés during pandemic

Michael Vu, the owner of Hanoi 36, said he contacted the city right after Monday’s announcement.

Vu said he was disappointed that B.C. restaurant owners received little advanced notice from the province.

“I just got $500 worth of meat – that might not be much, but for a little business like myself… it’s just like wow, what are we going to do now?” Vu said with a laugh.

Barley Station Brew Pub’s Stu Bradford could empathize with having to deal with difficulties selling off large food orders from a restaurant with no indoor dining.

“That was certainly the feeling we all had. This is quite a blow to all of us,” said Bradford.

Despite the possibility the three-week stoppage on in-house dining could be extended, Bradford noted customers were already using the pub’s attached patio, and he was optimistic the community would continue to show its support.


lachlan@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

General

#Salmon Arm

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

Just Posted

New signage was installed leading up to the intersection of 10th Avenue SW and Highway 97B in 2019, but concerns have been raised about continuing danger. (File photo)
Improvements urged for Salmon Arm’s Highway 97B/10th Avenue SE intersection

Council may bring up overpass with transportation ministry as crossing under provincial control

Sicamous Council approved a development permit for a new mobile home park on Hillier road on Wednesday, April 14. (Jim Elliot- Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous council approves development of 35 unit mobile home park

The new development will be located on Hillier Road

John Gibson has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help care for his father Stephen McCrae-Gibson, who suffered a stroke in February and had to undergo surgery to remove a blood clot near his brain. (Contributed)
Long road ahead for Salmon Arm man recovering after stroke

Son launches GoFundMe campaign to help prepare for father’s return and rehabilitation

(Photo: pixabay.com)
Morning Start: More human twins are being born now than ever before

Your morning start for Friday, April 16, 2021

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)
South Okanagan leaders team up to get ball rolling on regional aquatic centre

Oliver and Osoyoos have long expressed desire for a year-round indoor aquatic centre

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

RCMP cruiser, no date.
Threats against RCMP lead to high-risk situation in Ashcroft

Distraught man made threats directed at police, potentially had access to firearms

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $82M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

A Canada goose honks at other birds at Salish Park on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Goose addling program underway in Vernon

2021 cull applications in process as addling program enters 15th year

The Columbia Valley Wetlands are known for their extensive and fragile ecosystem. (File photo)
Wildsight speaks out against logging in Columbia Wetlands

Located 50 kms south of Golden, the proposed operation was justified as bark beetle management

Most Read