British Columbia

Vancouver suspends business licences of 2 restaurants that defied COVID-19 closure orders

Vancouver's chief licence inspector says Corduroy Lounge and Gusto are "harmful to the health and safety of the community and guilty of gross misconduct."

Corduroy Lounge in Kits, Gusto in Olympic Village must now close until April 20, says city licence inspector

The Corduroy restaurant in Kitsilano has had its business licence suspended by the City of Vancouver for defying public health orders and an order to close. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Two Vancouver restaurants that opened in defiance of COVID-19 health orders have had their business licences suspended and have been ordered closed until April 20 by the City of Vancouver.

Corduroy Lounge in Kitsilano and Gusto in the Olympic Village both violated restrictions against indoor dining last week and ignored closure notices issued by Vancouver Coastal Health.

"...I have concluded that your business is harmful to the health and safety of the community and guilty of gross misconduct," wrote Vancouver's chief licence inspector Kathryn Holm in her letters to each of the restaurants. 

Holm said both Corduroy and Gusto risked further suspension if they do not comply.  

"Pursuant to Section 4(3) of License By-law No. 4450, if you are convicted of carrying on business without a licence, you may be refused a business licence in the City of Vancouver for the next five years."

Two health inspectors were shouted out of Corduroy on Saturday by patrons chanting "get out," and then yelled at on the sidewalk outside the restaurant.

Health inspectors in Vancouver jeered out of restaurant by diners breaking pandemic rules

3 years ago
Duration 0:36
Featured VideoPatrons inside Corduroy Restaurant in Vancouver shouted 'get out' at two officials until the pair left.

Video taken inside by a local anti-mask activist shows a large group of people chanting "freedom" and milling between tables, maskless.

"I think the whole country was aghast at the behaviour of these restaurant owners who openly defied public health orders in the face of rising case counts and the spread of variants," said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart in a statement.

"The harassment and bullying public health officials experienced during the execution of their duties is completely unacceptable."

Gusto A Taste Of Italy restaurant is pictured closed after its business licence was suspended for violating COVID-19 protocols in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. is going through another spike in COVID-19 cases, with one-day records set on both Friday and Saturday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry introduced new orders on March 30 further restricting the operations of B.C. restaurants, religious groups and fitness gyms until April 19.

Henry said the province is experiencing exponential growth in COVID-19 transmissions and vaccinations haven't yet reached enough people to contain the spread.